GP2: Title-chasing Gasly grabs crucial pole

GP2: Title-chasing Gasly grabs crucial pole

Formula 2

GP2: Title-chasing Gasly grabs crucial pole

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Red Bull Junior Pierre Gasly cut his deficit to Antonio Giovinazzi from seven points to three by claiming pole position for the GP2 finale at Yas Marina.

Gasly waited in the pitlane while everyone completed their first runs before taking his Prema Racing car onto the circuit during the mid-session lull, and decimating provisional polesitter Sergey Sirotkin’s time by a staggering 0.988 seconds.

Times looked set to tumble on the second runs, and Sirotkin was up on Gasly’s best after the first two sectors, but the ART Grand Prix driver fell 0.328s short. A yellow flag appeared during the final portion of Sirotkin’s lap, and the consequent momentary disabling of DRS may have made the difference.

Giovinazzi was second to Sirotkin after the first runs before Gasly’s extraordinary effort, and the Prema-run Italian star looked on for a good lap on the second runs. But he lost time when he got stuck behind Luca Ghiotto, and the lap was good enough only for sixth.

Giovinazzi went for another attack but, with his super-soft Pirellis fading fast, he fell just 0.001s short of his earlier effort. Meanwhile, Gasly’s attempt to put his pole further beyond reach ended with a spectacular lock-up at Turn 8, but his earlier effort was good enough to claim the four points for pole position.

Up to third at the end on his second lap on the tires was Artem Markelov, the Russian Time driver famed for his soft touch on his rubber.

ART’s Honda protege Nobuharu Matsushita spent all day in the mix toward the front and he will share the second row with Markelov. Fifth fastest, ahead of Giovinazzi, was MP Motorsport’s Oliver Rowland after a strong second run.

Seventh was Norman Nato (Racing Engineering), with Raffaele Marciello, who still has a distant mathematical shot at the title, eighth in his Russian Time car. Completing the top 10 were Alex Lynn for DAMS and Mitch Evans for Campos Racing.

Best of the two end-of-season GP2 debutants was Louis Deletraz in 20th with Carlin, with Emil Bernstorff bringing up the rear of the 22-car field in his Arden car.

QUALIFYING RESULTS:

Pos Driver Team Gap Laps
1 Pierre Gasly Prema Racing 1m47.476s 8
2 Sergey Sirotkin ART Grand Prix 0.328s 9
3 Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 0.425s 11
4 Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 0.521s 10
5 Oliver Rowland MP Motorsport 0.654s 10
6 Antonio Giovinazzi Prema Racing 0.812s 11
7 Norman Nato Racing Engineering 0.831s 10
8 Raffaele Marciello RUSSIAN TIME 0.892s 11
9 Alex Lynn DAMS 1.048s 10
10 Mitch Evans Pertamina Campos Racing 1.083s 10
11 Jordan King Racing Engineering 1.236s 10
12 Luca Ghiotto Trident 1.354s 11
13 Johnny Cecotto Jr. Rapax 1.500s 10
14 Nicholas Latifi DAMS 1.599s 9
15 Gustav Malja Rapax 1.730s 10
16 Sergio Canamasas Carlin 2.303s 11
17 Philo Paz Armand Trident 2.474s 11
18 Nabil Jeffri Arden International 2.659s 11
19 Sean Gelael Pertamina Campos Racing 2.757s 11
20 Louis Deletraz Carlin 2.758s 12
21 Daniel de Jong MP Motorsport 2.800s 11
22 Emil Bernstorff Arden International 2.994s 11

 

Originally on Autosport.com

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