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

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

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

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 tyres was Artem Markelov, the Russian Time driver famed for his soft touch on his rubber.

ART's Honda protege Nobuharu Matsushita has spent all day in the mix towards 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 RESULT

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 Louis Deletraz Carlin 2.758s 12
20 Daniel de Jong MP Motorsport 2.800s 11
21 Emil Bernstorff Arden International 2.994s 11
22 Sean Gelael Pertamina Campos Racing 3.351s 11

shares
comments
Abu Dhabi GP2: Red Bull's Gasly tops practice for finale

Previous article

Abu Dhabi GP2: Red Bull's Gasly tops practice for finale

Next article

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

Abu Dhabi GP2: Gasly wins to take points lead from Giovinazzi
Load comments
The Red Bull F1 junior aiming to defy geographical odds Plus

The Red Bull F1 junior aiming to defy geographical odds

It's a long way from Pukekohe New Zealand to Milton Keynes, but Red Bull's Kiwi protege Liam Lawson has defied plenty of odds to reach the rung below F1. He's endured disappointment since winning on his F2 debut in Bahrain, but is determined to turn his season around and prove himself worthy of a place in F1

How Red Bull's next F1 hopeful turned around his season Plus

How Red Bull's next F1 hopeful turned around his season

Having impressed in Formula 3, Juri Vips looked to be next cab off the rank in Red Bull's prestigious Junior Team before his 2020 schedule was dealt a heavy blow by the COVID-19 pandemic. After a tough start to life in Formula 2, Vips is showing signs of a recovery - could he be the first Estonian to reach Formula 1?

FIA F2
Jun 14, 2021
The making of an F1 hopeful re-writing the F2 record books Plus

The making of an F1 hopeful re-writing the F2 record books

He'd marked himself out as a star of the future in last year's FIA Formula 3 championship, but 17-year-old Theo Pourchaire underlined his credentials by winning his first Formula 2 race in the Monaco feature. Sauber junior status gives him a clear route to the top, but with wisdom beyond his years, he's not getting caught up in his own hype

FIA F2
Jun 3, 2021
The 10 greatest F2 races contested by F1 drivers Plus

The 10 greatest F2 races contested by F1 drivers

Formula 2 used to be about more than providing a stepping stone to F1. For three decades it often provided another setting for the world’s best to fight it out. Autosport picks out the very best races

FIA F2
May 16, 2021
The F1 hopeful living two lives to keep his dream alive Plus

The F1 hopeful living two lives to keep his dream alive

Having lost his backing from Red Bull, Richard Verschoor has had to graft to continue his ascent up the single-seater ladder. An impressive Formula 2 debut in Bahrain, despite the lateness of his deal, shows his unorthodox approach is paying dividends

FIA F2
Apr 22, 2021
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