Alex Lynn has secured his second pole position in the GP2 series by narrowly edging out championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne for the top spot.
The Briton registered a lap time of 2:01.840, just 0.038 seconds quicker than Vandoorne’s best effort. Alexander Rossi was three-tenths of a second behind in third position.
The qualifying session started with the entire field taking to a wet track on the full wet tyres, and although conditions were tricky the drivers did well to keep their cars out of the wall and mostly on the track.
Sergey Sirotkin and Richie Stanaway were early pace setters along with Andre Negrão while the lap times were beginning to fall. Then Rossi finally put a lap together to make an appearance at the top of the timesheets after running wide and braking too deep in previous attempts to post a flying lap.
As the track continued to evolve and a more consistent racing line appeared, the lap times started tumbling down from the mid 2:07s to 2:03s before the mid-session break.
Quite a few drivers opted to stay out during the break and continue posting fastest laps. Vandoorne was one of them, and he went to the top after breaking into the 2:02s.
Times continued to fall and the number of drivers occupying the top spot increased, with more than a quarter of the field having spent time on provisional pole.
Towards the end of the session Rossi put his Racing Engineering briefly in P1 until it was taken away by rival Vandoorne. The four points awarded to the driver who wins pole position could have almost sealed Vandoorne’s GP2 Series championship. Although Lynn was able to demoted the Belgian driver to second position with an impressively controlled lap.
His team-mate Pierre Gasly had to settle for fourth position after spending most of the session fighting for pole position. He will line up on the grid tomorrow ahead of fellow countrymen Arthur Pic, Johnny Cecotto, Raffaele Marciello and Stanaway in eighth.
The 30-lap Feature Race takes place at 16:40 local time (GMT +3).
|2015 GP2 Series Russia – Qualifying Results|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap|
|2.||Stoffel Vandoorne||ART Grand Prix||2:01.878||+ 0.038|
|3.||Alexander Rossi||Racing Engineering||2:02.141||+ 0.301|
|4.||Pierre Gasly||DAMS||2:02.385||+ 0.545|
|5.||Arthur Pic||Campos Racing||2:02.450||+ 0.610|
|6.||Johnny Cecotto Jr||Trident||2:02.690||+ 0.850|
|7.||Raffaele Marciello||Trident||2:02.709||+ 0.869|
|8.||Richie Stanaway||Status Grand Prix||2:02.998||+ 1.158|
|9.||Norman Nato||Arden International||2:03.133||+ 1.293|
|10.||Sergey Sirotkin||Rapax||2:03.223||+ 1.383|
|11.||André Negrão||Arden International||2:03.382||+ 1.542|
|12.||Nobuharu Matsushita||ART Grand Prix||2:03.519||+ 1.679|
|13.||Rio Haryanto||Campos Racing||2:03.523||+ 1.683|
|14.||Jordan King*||Racing Engineering||2:03.622||+ 1.782|
|15.||Nicholas Latifi||MP Motorsport||2:03.731||+ 1.891|
|16.||Marlon Stöckinger||Status Grand Prix||2:03.751||+ 1.911|
|17.||Artem Markelov||Russian Time||2:04.004||+ 2.164|
|18.||Mitch Evans||Russian Time||2:04.072||+ 2.232|
|19.||Dean Stoneman||Carlin||2:04.093||+ 2.253|
|20.||Nathanael Berthon||Daiko Team Lazarus||2:04.658||+ 2.818|
|21.||René Binder||MP Motorsport||2:04.994||+ 3.154|
|22.||Sergio Canamasas||Daiko Team Lazarus||2:04.998||+ 3.158|
|23.||Robert Vișoiu*||Rapax||2:05.784||+ 3.944|
|24.||Sean Galeal||Carlin||2:08.361||+ 6.521|
* Post-Qualifying grid penalties:
Jordan King, who provisionally qualified fourteenth-fastest, will serve a five-place grid penalty as punishment for causing an avoidable collision with Norman Nato during the Sprint Race at Monza.
Robert Vișoiu, who provisionally qualified 23rd-fastest, will serve a five-place grid penalty as punishment for causing an avoidable collision with Alexander Rossi during the Sprint Race at Monza. As he is unable to serve the full grid penalty, it is expected that he will start the Feature Race from the pit lane.
Images via GP2 Series Media