GP2 Malaysia: Antonio Giovinazzi takes championship lead with win

Antonio Giovinazzi beat ART's Sergey Sirotkin to win the GP2 feature race at Sepang and seize the championship lead from Prema Racing teammate Pierre Gasly

GP2 Malaysia: Antonio Giovinazzi takes championship lead with win

At the start, which was delayed by two extra formation laps needed to recover Artem Markelov's stricken Russian Time car from the back straight, polesitter Gasly made a poor getaway and was jumped by Raffaele Marciello and Giovinazzi.

Marciello led into the first corner but he locked up and slid wide at the apex of Turn 2, which opened the door for Giovinazzi to steal first place.

The Prema driver came under attack from Marciello at Turn 3 but he firmly cemented his lead by sweeping ahead of his fellow Italian at Turn 4, which allowed Sirotkin to bump the Russian Time driver to third at the next corner, while Gasly tumbled dropped to ninth by the end of lap one.

Giovinazzi slowly edged away from Sirotkin and led by 1.6 seconds when the ART driver dived into the pits on lap eight of the 29-lap race to make the switch onto the hard Pirelli tyres.

Prema elected to keep Giovinazzi out for a further three laps, which allowed Sirotkin to use the advantage of his fresh rubber to move into the de facto lead of the race at the start of lap 12.

From there, it seemed Sirotkin would keep Giovinazzi at bay but the rookie driver kept his tyres alive and retook the lead with a thrilling move around the outside of Turn 1 late in the race.

As Giovinazzi took his fifth win of the season by 5.8s, Norman Nato completed the podium for Racing Engineering, 2.1s adrift of Sirotkin.

Alex Lynn finished fourth for DAMS ahead of the battling Jordan King and Marciello, who fell out of contention for the race win due to a long pitstop.

Gasly, who was the first driver to switch from medium to hard tyres early in the race, could not find the pace to make up for his poor getaway.

The Red Bull junior driver did not close in on King during the middle section of the race and he fell into the clutches of the drivers who had started on the harder rubber.

Trident's Luca Ghiotto, who led the race while running long on the hard tyres, emerged from his stop in front of Gasly and went on to finish seventh.

Campos Racing's Mitch Evans and Rapax's Gustav Malja used their fresher medium tyres to get past Gasly and they finished eighth and ninth, as Sergio Canamasas rounded out the top 10 for Carlin.

Gasly came home 11th, prevailing in a charge to the line with MP Motorsport's Oliver Rowland, who had dropped out of the points with a spin at Turn 13 on the final lap.

Giovinazzi's win puts him 11 points clear of Gasly at the top of the championship, with three races of the season remaining.

RESULTS:

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Time Gap
1 Antonio Giovinazzi Prema Racing Dallara/Renault 29 52m18.049s -
2 Sergey Sirotkin ART Grand Prix Dallara/Renault 29 52m23.907s 5.858s
3 Norman Nato Racing Engineering Dallara/Renault 29 52m26.064s 8.015s
4 Alex Lynn DAMS Dallara/Renault 29 52m34.263s 16.214s
5 Jordan King Racing Engineering Dallara/Renault 29 52m36.791s 18.742s
6 Raffaele Marciello RUSSIAN TIME Dallara/Renault 29 52m38.743s 20.694s
7 Luca Ghiotto Trident Dallara/Renault 29 52m43.013s 24.964s
8 Mitch Evans Pertamina Campos Racing Dallara/Renault 29 52m46.599s 28.550s
9 Gustav Malja Rapax Dallara/Renault 29 52m46.790s 28.741s
10 Sergio Canamasas Carlin Dallara/Renault 29 52m51.258s 33.209s
11 Pierre Gasly Prema Racing Dallara/Renault 29 52m53.587s 35.538s
12 Oliver Rowland MP Motorsport Dallara/Renault 29 52m53.599s 35.550s
13 Johnny Cecotto Jr. Rapax Dallara/Renault 29 52m53.752s 35.703s
14 Nicholas Latifi DAMS Dallara/Renault 29 52m59.218s 41.169s
15 Marvin Kirchhofer Carlin Dallara/Renault 29 52m59.337s 41.288s
16 Sean Gelael Pertamina Campos Racing Dallara/Renault 29 53m01.018s 42.969s
17 Daniel de Jong MP Motorsport Dallara/Renault 29 53m05.257s 47.208s
18 Nabil Jeffri Arden International Dallara/Renault 29 53m21.118s 1m03.069s
19 Philo Paz Armand Trident Dallara/Renault 29 53m24.513s 1m06.464s
- Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix Dallara/Renault 22 49m47.426s Retirement
- Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME Dallara/Renault 0 - Not started

shares
comments
GP2 Malaysia: Red Bull's Pierre Gasly takes another pole position

Previous article

GP2 Malaysia: Red Bull's Pierre Gasly takes another pole position

Next article

GP2 Sepang: Luca Ghiotto takes maiden victory in race two

GP2 Sepang: Luca Ghiotto takes maiden victory in race two
Load comments

About this article

Series FIA F2
Was Formula 2’s radical format switch a success? Plus

Was Formula 2’s radical format switch a success?

Going into the 2021 Formula 2 season the biggest talking point wasn’t about any drivers or teams, but the new race weekend format. Created partly out of financial necessity but also to spice up the action, the Bahrain opener provided a snapshot of the positives and negatives to come

FIA F2
Apr 4, 2021
Why 2021 is make-or-break for the driver F1 needs Plus

Why 2021 is make-or-break for the driver F1 needs

He was tipped for glory in FIA Formula 2 last year, but was hampered by reliability woes at inopportune moments. Guanyu Zhou knows he won't get too many more chances if he is to become China's first F1 driver, with fierce competition within the ranks of Alpine's junior stable

FIA F2
Mar 25, 2021
How Schumacher Jr earned his Haas F1 chance Plus

How Schumacher Jr earned his Haas F1 chance

Michael Schumacher may have won seven Formula 1 titles, but he didn't even compete for a crown at the second tier. Son Mick put that right in 2020, and proved to Ferrari that he was deserving of a shot at motorsport's elite category in 2021

FIA F2
Jan 9, 2021
The quintet giving Ferrari a tough decision to make Plus

The quintet giving Ferrari a tough decision to make

The Ferrari Driver Academy earned a podium sweep in the first Formula 2 race of the new decade in Austria last weekend. The battle between 'the FDA five' is set to be one of the major subplots of the season, but who has the best F1 prospects for 2021?

FIA F2
Jul 8, 2020
The Williams junior determined to prove Red Bull wrong Plus

The Williams junior determined to prove Red Bull wrong

Dropped by his team in Japan and by Red Bull, Dan Ticktum's single-seater career seemed to be over last summer. But now he's on the Formula 2 grid with the reigning champion team, and he's a new protege of Williams. How did that happen?

FIA F2
Mar 20, 2020
The controversial weekend that ended an American's dream in Europe Plus

The controversial weekend that ended an American's dream in Europe

OPINION: In the latest in our series of features looking back the recently concluded 2010s, we recall one of the many sagas of the 2018 Formula 2 season, which featured unusual fines and an unsavoury clash between team-mates

FIA F2
Jan 3, 2020
The year Leclerc fully revealed his star status Plus

The year Leclerc fully revealed his star status

In the latest feature in our series looking back on the 2010s, we revisit Charles Leclerc's sensational Formula 2 season - where he strode among on-track highs and lows, as well as tragedy away from motorsport, to earn a place on the Formula 1 grid

FIA F2
Dec 26, 2019
Why F1 is no longer ignoring its feeder series Plus

Why F1 is no longer ignoring its feeder series

After the MotoGP-style Formula 1 support ladder was fully united for 2019, Bruno Michel and Ross Brawn share their views on the current state of Formula 2 and FIA Formula 3 and explain why investment at junior levels should boost the top tier

FIA F2
Dec 13, 2019