Abu Dhabi GP2: Gasly wins to take points lead from Giovinazzi

Red Bull Junior Pierre Gasly takes a 12-point lead into Sunday's GP2 season finale after winning the Yas Marina feature race to overturn Prema Racing team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi's pre-weekend advantage

Abu Dhabi GP2: Gasly wins to take points lead from Giovinazzi

Frenchman Gasly dominated the race, while Giovinazzi was classified fifth after a tough race for the Italian.

Gasly converted his pole position into a clear lead, while a fast-starting Nobuharu Matsushita moved up to third to run on the tail of ART Grand Prix team-mate Sergey Sirotkin.

Matsushita was the highest placed of the drivers on medium Pirellis during the early laps, and as usual in Abu Dhabi it was a struggle for those starting on super-softs to get to the opening of the pit window at the end of lap six.

Japanese Matsushita passed Sirotkin on lap five, and by the time Gasly peeled off into the pitlane the Japanese Honda protege had slashed the gap to 3.5 seconds.

That handed Matsushita a lead of more than seven seconds over Alex Lynn, with Gasly leading the early stoppers, just over half a minute adrift.

But Gasly made no mistakes passing the slower, long-running cars ahead of him, and had brought the gap to Matsushita down to just below 27s when Matsushita made his stop for fresh super-softs with five laps remaining.

Russian Time driver Artem Markelov had jumped compatriot Sirotkin during the early pitstop cycle and moved up to second once the late stoppers had pitted, but Matsushita was not far adrift.

With four laps to go Matsushita made a late-braking pass on Markelov into Turn 8, and in the process set fastest lap, but the gap was too great to Gasly, who crossed the line 6.737s in front.

Markelov was third from Sirotkin, while Giovinazzi was promoted above Norman Nato for fifth in the results when the Racing Engineering driver was given a five-second penalty for speeding in the pitlane.

Giovinazzi ran sixth in the early laps, but had to stay out a lap longer on his super-soft tyres to avoid being stacked in the Prema pitbox behind Gasly and subsequently dropped behind four cars on medium tyres on his additional lap, before recovering to fifth.

Johnny Cecotto Jr put in a great performance on his latest GP2 comeback to take seventh for Rapax ahead of the DAMS pair of Lynn and Nicholas Latifi, Lynn earning pole for the reversed-grid finale.

Raffaele Marciello finally fell out of title contention with 10th place in a rough-sounding Russian Time car.

Oliver Rowland ran fourth in the early laps, but retired on his out-lap after his pitstop with a puncture.

RESULT - 31 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Pierre Gasly Prema Racing 59m14.764s
2 Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 6.737s
3 Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 11.309s
4 Sergey Sirotkin ART Grand Prix 14.111s
5 Antonio Giovinazzi Prema Racing 20.172s
6 Norman Nato Racing Engineering 23.686s
7 Johnny Cecotto Jr. Rapax 26.630s
8 Alex Lynn DAMS 35.974s
9 Nicholas Latifi DAMS 39.007s
10 Raffaele Marciello RUSSIAN TIME 41.589s
11 Luca Ghiotto Trident 43.486s
12 Sergio Canamasas Carlin 43.960s
13 Jordan King Racing Engineering 46.090s
14 Daniel de Jong MP Motorsport 1m04.814s
15 Mitch Evans Pertamina Campos Racing 1m26.008s
16 Philo Paz Armand Trident 1m27.892s
17 Emil Bernstorff Arden International 1m42.538s
- Louis Deletraz Carlin Retirement
- Oliver Rowland MP Motorsport Retirement
- Sean Gelael Pertamina Campos Racing Retirement
- Gustav Malja Rapax Retirement
- Nabil Jeffri Arden International Retirement


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Pierre Gasly grabs crucial GP2 pole position for title-deciding weekend
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