It was a frustrating afternoon for the Marussia Carlin GP2 drivers at Spa-Francorchamps, as Max Chilton and Rio Haryanto took part in today’s Feature Race. Despite starting from pole and leading the field, a spin on cold tyres for GP2 rookie Haryanto left the Indonesian at the back of the field. The 19 year-old did well to fight back to tenth place, just ahead of team mate Chilton who was 12th.

Haryanto coped well with the pressure of his maiden GP2 pole, and after a steady getaway, did well to defend from a flying Esteban Gutierrez at the start to maintain the lead. As the race got underway Haryanto was leading from Marcus Ericsson who was close behind. However, the more experienced Ericsson passed him soon after, just before the safety car emerged following a heavy accident for Nigel Melker.

As the race was neutralised, Haryanto was second, while Chilton was 14th. The race for position then transferred to the pit lane, as the majority of the drivers dived into the pits to make their mandatory stop. A fantastic stop by the Carlin crew saw Haryanto beat Ericsson back out on track and effectively take back the race lead, but the young Indonesian spun on cold tyres at Les Combes soon after and dropped down the order.

Chilton meanwhile also had a good stop, but in avoidance of an unsafe release, was forced to sit in his pit box as several drivers passed and rejoined the track ahead of him in the busy pit lane.

As the marshals worked hard to repair the heavy damage done to the tyre wall following Melker’s accident, the race was red flagged and the drivers returned to the grid in their current order. The short delay soon turned into a lengthier one, as the restart was held off until the medical helicopter could return having taken Melker to hospital.

When the race was finally restarted it was behind the safety car, with Chilton in 14th and Haryanto 19th. A flurry of penalties for other drivers and several late pit stops saw Chilton and Haryanto climb back up the order and with seven laps to go Chilton was 11th while Haryanto was 14th.

Chilton made up one further place in lap 10 when he passed Guerin for tenth, while his team mate was also making progress with a move on Felipe Nasr for 12th the following lap.

A troublesome pit stop for Stefano Coletti saw Chilton and Haryanto climb to ninth and tenth on lap 22, but Haryanto, clearly frustrated with his earlier spin was keen to make amends and passed his team mate for ninth shortly after.

With just two laps to go the young Indonesian was on top form and closing in on eighth place and the race two reverse grid pole position. Despite pushing hard, Haryanto was passed by Nasr who had also overtaken Chilton, and at the chequered flag Haryanto took the final point in 10th while Chilton was 12th.

Reflecting on his race, Haryanto said, “Obviously it’s a bit disappointing. I had the lead at the start and the team did a great job in the pits, but I was on cold tyres and the car just surprised me and snapped away and there was nothing I could do. I’m frustrated, but it’s a mistake I won’t make again. Afterwards I had good pace and fought hard to get back in the points. Nasr managed to get past me right at the end; I tried to fight back on the long straight but I was hitting the limiter and couldn’t quite get the position back. I learnt a lot from today’s race.”

This weekend’s GP2 Sprint Race will take place at 10.35 local time.