| Following his great win in yesterday’s Feature Race Alexander Rossi was starting from 8th on the reversed grid for today’s 21 lap Feature Race and Jordan King, would start from the pitlane in a new chassis following his accident. The weather at the Sochi circuit was still cool but sunny with air and track temperatures of 17° and 25° respectively. All the cars were starting on the Pirelli medium compound tyres.
As the lights went off Alexander got away cleanly passing Sirotkin for 7th but several cars made contact further down the field and the Safety Car was immediately deployed. Racing quickly resumed after two laps and on lap three the Racing Engineering car was 0.5 seconds behind Vandoorne and 0.7 seconds ahead of Cecotto. By lap seven the cars from 3rd to 7th were separated by just two seconds as Pic, in third, was holding up the other cars.
As the race reached its halfway point on lap eleven Alexander set his fastest race lap so far as he battled with Gasly for 6th place and on lap fifteen Pic went off the track moving Alexander up to 6th but the young American was having to be careful not to make a mistake as Matsushita was right behind him. With one lap remaining an accident to Cecotto saw the Safety Car deployed again and the race finished with the cars touring around and Alexander still in 6th.
Jordan, starting from the pitlane, was able to take advantage of the first lap Safety Car incident to catch up with the other cars and the accident that eliminated several cars promoted him to 19th although he lost a place at the restart. By lap four the young Briton was just 0.3 seconds behind Berthon as he got used to his new chassis and on lap seven he passed the Frenchman for 19th position and two laps later it was 18th as he got ahead of Stoneman. Jordan continued to fly and he passed Visoiu on lap ten and his next target was Canamasas who was 3.7 seconds ahead.
Lap sixteen saw Jordan gain another place as he passed Latifi, who had been passed by Canamasas, and once again the Racing Engineering driver was closing quickly on the Lazarus car and with two laps remaining he was up to 15th and the accident to Cecotto saw him 14th but the Safety Car incident saw him drop to 16th place at the end.
A mixed weekend for the Racing Engineering drivers with a great win and a sixth for Alexander but an opening lap accident effectively ruining the weekend for Jordan. There will now be a five week break before the teams meet again in Bahrain for the penultimate round of the 2015 GP2 Series.
Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering: “First of all we are all glad that following the big accident Jordan had yesterday, he is OK and has been able to drive today even though he suffered from some pain. Secondly, I want to congratulate the team on the work done, the effort put into rebuilding a car from scratch during the night. A big thank you to them for putting a safe, reliable and fast car on track today. Thank you, boys!
Congratulations also to Stoffel Vandoorne for securing the title today. We fought hard this year and showed at several occasions that we could match his performance or beat him. But he won the title and we want congratulate him.
Regarding today’s race, we started 8th with Alexander and finished 6th. It’s not bad although we aimed higher than this. We always want better results, but today we didn’t have the pace to gain more positions, so we need to work on this. Jordan, who started from the pitlane, was 14th on the last lap before the safety car retired and dropped to 16th due to some strange manoeuvres from other drivers under safety car, which are being looked at, did a solid job today. He checked out the car, did some good overtaking and make sure that everything is good for the upcoming event. We have a lot of work to do now to prepare for Bahrain, We have high hopes as we performed well during the opening round there.”
Jordan King: “Physically it was a bit harder than normal because I was a bit tired and bruised. That wasn’t a big problem. I think it was good to get out in the car again and check all the work the boys have done overnight. It was all fine, so that was good. The speed was not so bad, we were coming through the field and we had to overtake some people. All in all it was a good day, I think, and we were able to prove that, as a team, we can put the effort in. I cannot thank the guys enough that they got the car going again and then we actually had a decent race and managed to overtake some 10 cars. I am looking forward to Bahrain, I was 4th there at the season opener and hope to better this and get to the podium. It would be a good way to go into the last round of the season, with a couple of podiums and score more points to finish the year well.”
Alexander Rossi:: “That wasn’t the race we were hoping for. We needed a big one today in terms of points, but we didn’t get it unfortunately. We still gained points towards second position, which we need to consolidate now that the championship is out of reach. It was kind of inevitable but you never want it to actually happen. Stoffel has done a great job and he deserves it, so we just focus on Bahrain and Abu Dhabi and making sure we finish second.”