GP2: Giovinazzi leads Gasly in Prema practice 1-2

GP2: Giovinazzi leads Gasly in Prema practice 1-2

Formula 2

GP2: Giovinazzi leads Gasly in Prema practice 1-2


Baku double winner Antonio Giovinazzi kept up his run of form by setting the fastest time in free practice for the GP2 Series round at the Red Bull Ring.

The Italian leapt from seventh to first with a blistering lap in his Prema Racing car with just one minute remaining on the clock, heading teammate Pierre Gasly by three tenths of a second.

Giovinazzi needed three tries to get his lap in. At the first attempt, he was up on Jordan King’s session-leading time when a full-course yellow was called because Mitch Evans had been flicked towards the barriers – stopping inches short – by the exit curb at Turn 1, and Nabil Jeffri then spun under yellow flags.

As the session went green, Giovinazzi was then baulked by an unhelpful Sergio Canamasas, before finally unleashing his 1m13.922s standard setter the following time around.

On the final lap Giovinazzi launched himself over the Turn 1 curbs, meaning the Prema team will need to check the car for damage.

“I had a lot of traffic, but I tried to push as much as possible and the car was fantastic,” said Giovinazzi, who took his first European Formula 3 win at this track in 2014. “I put the whole lap together and got the time, but now we have to do the job in qualifying.”

Gasly briefly went top in the final two minutes, only for Giovinazzi to further lower the target time.

King’s effort ended up good enough for third, which was a good result after he lost the early stages due to a rough-sounding engine in his Racing Engineering car.

“I don’t know what it was, but the GP2 guys came over and I was back out within 10 minutes,” said the Briton.

Raffaele Marciello moved up to fourth on the final lap in his Russian Time entry, narrowly pipping championship-leading teammate Artem Markelov, who was third until the final few minutes.

Sergey Sirotkin (ART Grand Prix) was within a few thousandths of Markelov’s time, while a last-lap effort from Oliver Rowland allowed the MP Motorsport driver to leapfrog his ex-Formula Renault UK rival Alex Lynn’s DAMS machine for seventh.

Another final-lap improver was Luca Ghiotto, the Trident man putting himself ninth, while Carlin’s Marvin Kirchhofer rounded out the top 10.

Other incidents included a spin for Nicholas Latifi at Turn 8 that caused an FCY early in the session, although the Canadian eventually got going again, and a red flag just over halfway through the session after Gustav Malja’s battery exploded and stranded the Rapax machine on the track at Turn 3.


Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Antonio Giovinazzi Prema Racing 1m13.922ss 1m13.922s 20
2 Pierre Gasly Prema Racing 1m14.212ss 0.290s 22
3 Jordan King Racing Engineering 1m14.241ss 0.319s 19
4 Raffaele Marciello RUSSIAN TIME 1m14.444ss 0.522s 19
5 Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 1m14.471ss 0.549s 19
6 Sergey Sirotkin ART Grand Prix 1m14.476ss 0.554s 19
7 Oliver Rowland MP Motorsport 1m14.645ss 0.723s 19
8 Alex Lynn DAMS 1m14.649ss 0.727s 23
9 Luca Ghiotto Trident 1m14.687ss 0.765s 21
10 Marvin Kirchhofer Carlin 1m14.736ss 0.814s 22
11 Rene Binder ART Grand Prix 1m14.799ss 0.877s 22
12 Sergio Canamasas Carlin 1m14.870ss 0.948s 22
13 Sean Gelael Pertamina Campos Racing 1m14.923ss 1.001s 21
14 Norman Nato Racing Engineering 1m14.965ss 1.043s 21
15 Nabil Jeffri Arden International 1m14.999ss 1.077s 22
16 Daniel de Jong MP Motorsport 1m15.110ss 1.188s 21
17 Mitch Evans Pertamina Campos Racing 1m15.134ss 1.212s 16
18 Arthur Pic Rapax 1m15.296ss 1.374s 23
19 Nicholas Latifi DAMS 1m15.367ss 1.445s 15
20 Gustav Malja Rapax 1m15.731ss 1.809s 14
21 Jimmy Eriksson Arden International 1m15.822ss 1.900s 20
22 Philo Paz Armand Trident 1m17.194ss 3.272s 21


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