GP2: Haryanto storms to first victory

Rio Haryanto from Indonesia
Rio Haryanto from Indonesia

Rio Haryanto claimed his long overdue maiden win with a mature drive in Bahrain, overtaking early in the race and then cruising off into the distance to win by 3 seconds from McLaren test driver Stoffel Vandoorne and Nathanael Berthon.

The win was set up at the start with an impressive getaway from seventh on the grid: poleman Julian Leal made a decent start while fellow front row starter Berthon stuttered, with Mitch Evans just failing to pass the Colombian into the first corner and Haryanto sweeping into P3 ahead of Andre Negrao, Robert Visoiu, Nobuharu Matsushita and Vandoorne.

Haryanto was soon on a charge, blasting around the outside of Evans at turn one on lap three while Vandoorne started to slice through the field as he chased a second podium for the weekend. Four laps later the Indonesian made short work of Leal as he blasted into the lead on the outside of turn one once again, and started building a gap over his pursuers.

From left, Vandoorne, Haryanto and Berthon

Evans had a go at Leal the next time through but the pair came together, with the New Zealander having to limp back to the pits after picking up a puncture on Leal’s broken front wing endplate: the Colombian was unable to hold back his rivals and was concentrating on bringing home something for his efforts, with Vandoorne slicing through them all, with Alexander Rossi following in his slipstream.

As the laps rolled down tire management was coming to the fore, but Haryanto used his experience to hold position: Vandoorne didn’t have enough to catch the Indonesian but his second podium secured his lead in the points, while a fast charging Berthon had bided his time and put his fresher rubber to good use by moving from P7 to P3 in the closing laps, stealing a podium from Rossi on the last lap. Leal did a good job to finish fifth after his struggles, ahead of Matsushita, Visoiu and Negrao.

Vandoorne leads the drivers’ championship after the first round ahead of Haryanto, 43 points to 33, with Rossi in third with 23 points ahead of Berthon on 16, Jordan King and Visoiu on 12, Leal on 10 and Evans on 8 points as the grid looks towards the next round of the championship in Barcelona.

Sakhir – 23 lap Sprint Race

Pos Driver Team Behind
1 Rio Haryanto Campos Racing 0.000s
2 Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 3.004s
3 Nathanael Berthon Lazarus 5.639s
4 Alexander Rossi Racing Engineering 6.258s
5 Julian Leal Carlin 13.945s
6 Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 15.923s
7 Robert Visoiu Rapax 19.794s
8 Andre Negrao Arden International 20.159s
9 Jordan King Racing Engineering 21.101s
10 Arthur Pic Campos Racing 25.690s
11 Richie Stanaway Status Grand Prix 32.040s
12 Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 33.200s
13 Daniel de Jong MP Motorsport 34.335s
14 Sergey Sirotkin Rapax 34.361s
15 Alex Lynn DAMS 35.050s
16 Norman Nato Arden International 39.501s
17 Mitchell Evans RUSSIAN TIME 39.536s
18 Zoel Amberg Lazarus 41.084s
19 Marlon Stockinger Status Grand Prix 43.390s
20 Raffaele Marciello Trident 47.545s
21 Marco Sorensen Carlin 49.715s
22 Pierre Gasly DAMS 56.504s
DNF Sergio Canamasas MP Motorsport Retirement
DNF Rene Binder Trident Retirement

Fastest Lap: Raffaele Marciello (Trident) – 1:44.715 on lap 23

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