Stefano Coletti won a gripping wet/dry sprint race at Hockenheim, with the weather offering the perfect conditions for drama throughout the pack.
A rain storm just before the start saw some drivers starting on slick tyres in conditions that were definitely suited to wets. Johnny Cecotto was among those on slicks and, starting from second on the grid, looked as though he was moving backwards as the rest of the cars on wets stormed past him. Cecotto then got caught up in the inevitable tangle of wheels at Turn 1 and made contact with Stephane Richelmi's DAMS, which then caught fire at the side of the track.
A safety car period resulted, with Nathanael Berthon, who started on pole, briefly leading before dropping down the field, allowing feature race winner Mitch Evans into first. Evans ran wide at Turn 1 on the next lap to give Stoffel Vandoorne the lead ahead of Marco Sorensen and Rafaelle Marciello. Marciello looked quick but his charge came to an end on lap seven when he tried a move on Sorensen at Turn 8 and ran wide.
- 1. Jolyon Palmer 168 pts
- 2. Felipe Nasr 127 pts
- 3. Johnny Cecotto 100 pts
- 4. Stefano Coletti 96 pts
- 5. Mitch Evans 92 pts
A dry line had emerged by lap 10 and on laps 11 and 12 drivers started to gamble on slicks. On lap 13 Vandoorne and Sorensen pitted for slicks from the lead but as soon as they rejoined a safety car was deployed to remove a car that had spun on the straight. That gave Andre Negrao a brief lead as he stayed out on wets, but after the restart it soon became clear that slicks were the way forward.
The medium compound slicks appeared to be the best option and Coletti and Felipe Nasr made use of them to carve through the field, with Coletti taking the lead. Nasr was pushing hard as he moved up to second, but Coletti was equal to him, maintaining a lead of over a second until the end of the race.
Vandoorne held on for third place ahead of Sorensen, Jon Lancaster, Jolyon Plamer, Alexander Rossi and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs in the last of the points-paying positions.