GP2 Silverstone: Red Bull's Gasly fastest in tight practice session

Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly topped GP2 free practice at Silverstone in his Prema Racing machine

GP2 Silverstone: Red Bull's Gasly fastest in tight practice session

The Frenchman had the best of the first runs, before there were hardly any improvements in the second half of the session as tyres faded, even with everyone using the hard-compound Pirelli rubber and with relatively cool temperatures.

Gasly was 0.155 seconds ahead of Sergey Sirotkin on the opening runs, and that's how it stayed for the rest of the session.

"The session has been good," said Gasly.

"Now we need to concentrate on qually because the gaps are small, but it's a good beginning.

"The front tyres were a little bit difficult to get up to temperature, and then after there was quite a lot of degradation, but already the pace is good."

Gasly's point about the times being close came after Sirotkin's ART Grand Prix car finished the session as the fastest of 12 rivals who were all within a second of the pace.

Third was Rapax driver Arthur Pic, while the second Prema entry of Antonio Giovinazzi was fourth on the Italian's first trip to Silverstone in anything more potent than a Formula 3 or LMP2 car.

Williams development driver Alex Lynn led the British trio, fifth for DAMS, with his fellow Barcelona winner Norman Nato leading the Racing Engineering charge in sixth.

Oliver Rowland, back at the scene of his eye-opening GP2 debut last year, finished up seventh with MP Motorsport, with Red Bull Ring sprint-race victor Jordan King (Racing Engineering) in eighth.

Back after missing the last round due to being banned for his safety-car fails in Baku, Nobuharu Matsushita put his ART car ninth, with Artem Markelov completing the top 10 in his Russian Time machine.

Markelov's team-mate Raffaele Marciello, who leads the standings, was down in 13th and was the last man within a second of Gasly.

He trailed Red Bull Ring feature-race winner Mitch Evans and Luca Ghiotto - the Italian's car triggered a virtual safety car half an hour into the session when it was parked just off the track at Village.

PRACTICE RESULTS:

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Pierre Gasly Prema Racing 1m39.890s - 18
2 Sergey Sirotkin ART Grand Prix 1m40.045s 0.155s 17
3 Arthur Pic Rapax 1m40.154s 0.264s 20
4 Antonio Giovinazzi Prema Racing 1m40.217s 0.327s 19
5 Alex Lynn DAMS 1m40.227s 0.337s 20
6 Norman Nato Racing Engineering 1m40.249s 0.359s 17
7 Oliver Rowland MP Motorsport 1m40.365s 0.475s 16
8 Jordan King Racing Engineering 1m40.507s 0.617s 19
9 Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 1m40.647s 0.757s 19
10 Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 1m40.671s 0.781s 19
11 Mitch Evans Pertamina Campos Racing 1m40.704s 0.814s 18
12 Luca Ghiotto Trident 1m40.760s 0.870s 10
13 Raffaele Marciello RUSSIAN TIME 1m40.888s 0.998s 17
14 Marvin Kirchhofer Carlin 1m40.959s 1.069s 17
15 Sergio Canamasas Carlin 1m41.111s 1.221s 18
16 Nicholas Latifi DAMS 1m41.215s 1.325s 19
17 Nabil Jeffri Arden International 1m41.696s 1.806s 18
18 Gustav Malja Rapax 1m41.705s 1.815s 21
19 Daniel de Jong MP Motorsport 1m42.426s 2.536s 18
20 Sean Gelael Pertamina Campos Racing 1m42.594s 2.704s 21
21 Philo Paz Armand Trident 1m42.685s 2.795s 20
22 Jimmy Eriksson Arden International 1m43.034s 3.144s 18

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