Sochi GP2: Vandoorne takes pole for ART as Pic equals his time

Stoffel Vandoorne scored his third GP2 pole position on the trot at Sochi in Russia on Friday afternoon, but by no margin at all as Arthur Pic equalled his time

Sochi GP2: Vandoorne takes pole for ART as Pic equals his time

After an amazingly close session, ART Grand Prix's Vandoorne set his 1m45.402s just as the chequered flag came out.

Moments later, Pic crossed the line in his Campos Racing car with exactly the same laptime but, having set it later than the Belgian, will have to settle for a place on the front row rather than the four points for pole.

Another shock arrived in the pace of Takuya Izawa, the 30-year-old Japanese driver who was third fastest in the second ART entry, just over a quarter of a second off pole.

Points leader Jolyon Palmer will start fourth for DAMS, but was baulked massively at the final corner by an MP Motorsport car after he has set the fastest second sector time.

Palmer had set the pace in free practice, and will no doubt feel aggrieved that he should be higher than the second row.

Palmer will start six places ahead of title rival Felipe Nasr, who had an action-packed session. After running wide at the final corner while opening his first qualifying run, Nasr was then punted into a spin by Stefano Coletti in the same place a lap later.

UPDATE: Nasr gets grid penalty

Coletti recovered to qualify eighth, but Nasr could only manage 10th.

Racing Engineering's Raffaele Marciello qualified fifth, ahead of Mitch Evans, who twice went off on laps that could have put him right at the front in his Russian Time machine.

Evans twice topped the times in the session, only to slip backwards each time.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 1m45.402s - 13
2 Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1m45.402s 0.000s 11
3 Takuya Izawa ART Grand Prix 1m45.675s 0.273s 12
4 Jolyon Palmer DAMS 1m45.685s 0.283s 12
5 Raffaele Marciello Racing Engineering 1m45.772s 0.370s 14
6 Mitch Evans RT RUSSIAN TIME 1m45.813s 0.411s 13
7 Kimiya Sato Campos Racing 1m46.102s 0.700s 13
8 Stefano Coletti Racing Engineering 1m46.120s 0.718s 12
9 Andre Negrao Arden International 1m46.173s 0.771s 13
10 Felipe Nasr Carlin 1m46.210s 0.808s 13
11 Pierre Gasly Caterham Racing 1m46.377s 0.975s 14
12 Sergio Canamasas Trident 1m46.411s 1.009s 13
13 Nathanael Berthon Venezuela GP Lazarus 1m46.497s 1.095s 12
14 Daniel Abt Hilmer Motorsport 1m46.554s 1.152s 15
15 Rio Haryanto Caterham Racing 1m46.560s 1.158s 12
16 Marco Sorensen MP Motorsport 1m46.628s 1.226s 13
17 Jon Lancaster Hilmer Motorsport 1m46.651s 1.249s 13
18 Johnny Cecotto Jr. Trident 1m46.788s 1.386s 13
19 Julian Leal Carlin 1m46.995s 1.593s 10
20 Tio Ellinas Rapax 1m47.006s 1.604s 13
21 Stephane Richelmi DAMS 1m47.025s 1.623s 13
22 Rene Binder Arden International 1m47.091s 1.689s 10
23 Artem Markelov RT RUSSIAN TIME 1m47.386s 1.984s 13
24 Simon Trummer Rapax 1m47.550s 2.148s 13
25 Daniel de Jong MP Motorsport 1m47.611s 2.209s 11
26 Sergio Campana Venezuela GP Lazarus 1m47.795s 2.393s 13

Nasr will start 12th due to two-place penalty

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Series FIA F2
Author Charles Bradley
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