Sirotkin wins crazy GP2 race at Hockenheim
30 July 2016 – ART Grand Prix driver Sergey Sirotkin secured his second victory in a row as he triumphed during a scintillating GP2 Feature Race at Hockenheim.
Sirotkin led away from pole position but his initial pit-stop was deemed not to count as he was serviced behind the Virtual Safety Car.
Sirotkin thus had to stop again but emerged in second place and hunted down Raffaele Marciello to finish on top, running an Option/Prime/Option strategy.
Luca Ghiotto and a recovering Pierre Gasly completed the podium positions, with the Prema driver robbing Marciello of third on the line.
Sirotkin converted pole into the lead at the start while Marciello rocketed into second at the expense of Prime-starter Gasly, who plummeted to 12th.
Marciello remained glued to Sirotkin, both running on Options, and sized up his rival on a number of occasions until making a move into Turn 8.
However, the VSC was soon deployed when Artem Markelov clouted Jordan King at the hairpin, and Sirotkin dived into the pits for his mandatory stop, to switch to Primes.
Marciello stayed out and Sirotkin minimised the time loss under the VSC, emerging only eight seconds adrift of the Italian.
Stewards investigated Sirotkin's stop and, when Marciello ultimately pitted, the ART driver inherited the lead with the threat of a penalty hanging over him.
Stewards deemed that Sirotkin's stop did not count, meaning he would have to be serviced once more, and he pitted for a second time with 12 laps remaining, this time for used Options.
Sirotkin emerged eight seconds behind Marciello, but with the Russian Time driver struggling on his tyres, carved into his advantage and took the lead with a bold move into Sachskurve.
From there, Sirotkin went on to cross the line 13.1 seconds clear of Ghiotto, who started from 13th and ran an Option/Prime strategy to leap up the order.
Marciello's lap times plummeted and he was soon under pressure from a recovering Gasly.
Gasly dropped to 12th at the start but made progress and emerged from his pit-stop in ninth position.
Gasly surged through the pack and challenged Marciello exiting the final corner, nabbing third spot as the pair crossed the line.
Gasly nonetheless extended his title advantage to 21 points over new nearest rival Sirotkin.
Marciello was left in fourth place, in front of Arthur Pic and Oliver Rowland, the MP Motorsport driver also struggling for tyre wear during the closing stages.
Gustav Malja ensured both Rapax drivers finished in the points as Alex Lynn received a time penalty for clipping Norman Nato and dropped to eighth.
Antonio Giovinazzi recovered from the back of the grid to take ninth, while Nobuharu Matsushita claimed the final point on offer for 10th.
Update: Gasly disqualified from third position
GP2's Sprint Race begins at 10:35 local time on Sunday