ART driver Sergey Sirotkin has collected his second pole position of the 2016 GP2 Series season, edging out practice pace-setter Antonio Giovinazzi by just 0.006 seconds at the Red Bull Ring.
After a downpour during the Formula 1’s second free practice session, the weather had cleared and the drivers went out on a dry track with Pierre Gasly setting the early pace halfway through. As the drivers changed to fresh rubber, Alex Lynn took the top spot before Sirotkin set a lap of 1:13.663, almost a second faster than last year’s pole set by Stoffel Vandoorne.
Having dominated in Baku, series rookie Antonio Giovinazzi looked set to carry his momentum to pole when he set a purple first sector. However, running wide at the last corner proved costly as he was just short of Sirotkin’s time, lining himself up second on tomorrow’s Feature Race starting grid.
Giovinazzi’s PREMA teammate, Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly was also set to challenge for pole but was blocked by Nicholas Latifi towards the end of his lap and will line up in third, while the other Italian rookie Luca Ghiotto found an extra gear to post an impressive fourth fastest time of the session, his best start in the Series so far.
Series leader Artem Markelov managed fifth best and will line up ahead of his teammate Raffael Marciello who will start sixth.
Oliver Rowland and Alex Lynn will form an all-British fourth row as they start seventh and eighth respectively.
Norman Nato and Mitch Evans completed the top 10, while Series returnee René Binder only managed 16th-fastest in the ART in front of his home crowd.
The session ended under yellow flags as Arden’s Jimmy Eriksson stopped at Turn 7.
The Feature Race will start tomorrow, Saturday at 15:40 local time (GMT +2)
|2016 GP2 Series Austria – Qualifying Results|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap|
|1.||Sergey Sirotkin||ART Grand Prix||1:13.663|
|2.||Antonio Giovinazzi||PREMA Racing||1:13.669||+ 0.006|
|3.||Pierre Gasly||PREMA Racing||1:13.803||+ 0.140|
|4.||Luca Ghiotto||Trident||1:14.091||+ 0.428|
|5.||Artem Markelov||RUSSIAN TIME||1:14.099||+ 0.436|
|6.||Raffaele Marciello||RUSSIAN TIME||1:14.184||+ 0.521|
|7.||Oliver Rowland||MP Motorsport||1:14.316||+ 0.653|
|8.||Alex Lynn||DAMS||1:14.387||+ 0.724|
|9.||Norman Nato||Racing Engineering||1:14.456||+ 0.793|
|10.||Mitch Evans||Pertamina Campos Racing||1:14.574||+ 0.911|
|11.||Nabil Jeffri*||Arden International||1:14.626||+ 0.963|
|12.||Marvin Kirchhöfer||Carlin||1:14.647||+ 0.984|
|13.||Arthur Pic||Rapax||1:14.688||+ 1.025|
|14.||Jordan King||Racing Engineering||1:14.815||+ 1.152|
|15.||Sergio Canamasas*||Carlin||1:14.832||+ 1.169|
|16.||René Binder||ART Grand Prix||1:14.886||+ 1.223|
|17.||Nicholas Latifi*||DAMS||1:14.958||+ 1.295|
|18.||Gustav Malja||Rapax||1:15.020||+ 1.357|
|19.||Sean Gelael||Pertamina Campos Racing||1:15.122||+ 1.449|
|20.||Daniël de Jong||MP Motorsport||1:15.307||+ 1.644|
|21.||Jimmy Eriksson*||Arden International||1:15.531||+ 1.868|
|22.||Philo Paz Armand||Trident||1:15.675||+ 2.012|
* Post-Qualifying grid penalties:
Nabil Jeffri – who providisionally qualified 11th-fastest – will serve a three-place grid penalty for failing to slow sufficiently through a yellow flag zone. He will start the Feature Race from P14.
Sergio Canamasas – who provisionally qualified 15th-fastest – will serve a three-place grid penalty for impeding Arthur Pic during qualifying. He will start the Feature Race from P17.
Nicholas Latifi – who provisionally qualified 17th-fastest – will serve a three-place grid penalty for impeding Pierre Gasly during qualifying. He will start the Feature Race from P20.
Jimmy Eriksson – who provisionally qualified 21st-fastest – will serve a three-place grid penalty for causing an avoidable collision with Jordan King in the Baku Sprint Race. As he is unable to serve the full grid penalty, he will start the Feature Race from the pit lane.
Image via GP2 Series Media