Sakhir, 5 April – Raffaele Marciello’s GP2 debut turned out to be more complicated than expected and saw the Italian finish eighteenth. The first race was won by Belgium’s Stoffel Vandoome in the Art Grand Prix car. Marciello dropped from eighth to sixteenth place at the start and when the Safety Car came out after three laps, he and eight others came in for their compulsory tyre change.
Raffaele had to queue while his team-mate’s pit stop was finished which cost him a further 10 seconds. As he pulled away, he failed to operate the pit lane speed limiter and so the Ferrari Driver Academy youngster was given a drive-through penalty. “In this race, many things did not go well, but it was mainly my mistake at the start that affected the final result,” said Marciello. “I’ve not yet got the right feeling for the start procedure and it’s something I must work on more.
I am disappointed at the lost opportunity because apart from the incidents that penalised me, my race pace was good and therefore I could have got a good result.” Race 2 now awaits Marciello tomorrow at 14h15 local time.