Vandoorne beats Rossi to Monaco win
22 May 2015 – Stoffel Vandoorne continued his emphatic start to the 2015 GP2 season as he claimed his third successive Feature Race win around the streets of Monaco on Friday.
Vandoorne started from fourth on the grid on Prime tyres before jumping ahead of Alexander Rossi in the pit stop phase and managing his Option rubber to record a comfortable win.
Rossi hounded Vandoorne until slipping to a 6.2s gap by the flag, while Sergio Canamasas was a surprise third for MP Motorsport.
As drivers lined up after the formation lap Nobuharu Matushita suffered a drop in oil pressure while Pierre Gasly jumped the start.
Several drivers behind Matsushita were unable to get through and a few cars cut out, thus leaving organisers with no option but to delay the start for 20 minutes and resume in original grid positions, aside from Gasly, who was ordered to start from the pits.
When the race got underway front-row starter Raffaele Marciello used his Option tyres to surge ahead of Rossi into the lead, opening up a two second gap by the end of the first lap.
Rossi closed the gap as Marciello's Option tyres began to wear away, with Option-shod Arthur Pic and Prime runner Vandoorne making it a four-car train up front.
Marciello stopped at the end of Lap 8 while Pic also switched to Primes a lap later – in doing so jumping the Trident driver – while this unleashed Rossi and Vandoorne up front.
The Virtual Safety Car was deployed mid-race after a collision between Mitch Evans and Nick Yelloly, prompting both Rossi and Vandoorne to pit for Option tyres.
Vandoorne narrowly emerged ahead and immediately hammered out an advantage, which Rossi rapidly reeled back in as stewards deemed that no further action was warranted over Rossi's alleged unsafe release.
The pair were strung together until five laps remaining when Vandoorne pulled a couple of seconds clear before recording victory by 6.2.
Canamasas started on Prime tyres and managed his strategy well before executing a move on Arthur Pic to claim a podium, as original third-placed driver Julián Leal was given a 10 second time penalty for an unsafe release.
That dropped him to sixth, behind Sergey Sirotkin, who was the victim of Carlin's haste in the pit lane.
Richie Stanaway was seventh for Status, while early leader Marciello could only manage eighth, with Jordan King and Yelloly rounding out the top 10.
The GP2 Sprint Race begins on Saturday at 16:10 local time (GMT +2)