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 ru ART Grand Prix 1:13.663
2. Antonio Giovinazzi it PREMA Racing 1:13.669 + 0.006
3. Pierre Gasly fr PREMA Racing 1:13.803 + 0.140
4. Luca Ghiotto it Trident 1:14.091 + 0.428
5. Artem Markelov ru RUSSIAN TIME 1:14.099 + 0.436
6. Raffaele Marciello it RUSSIAN TIME 1:14.184 + 0.521
7. Oliver Rowland uk MP Motorsport 1:14.316 + 0.653
8. Alex Lynn uk DAMS 1:14.387 + 0.724
9. Norman Nato fr Racing Engineering 1:14.456 + 0.793
10. Mitch Evans nz Pertamina Campos Racing 1:14.574 + 0.911
11. Nabil Jeffri* my Arden International 1:14.626 + 0.963
12. Marvin Kirchhöfer de Carlin 1:14.647 + 0.984
13. Arthur Pic fr Rapax 1:14.688 + 1.025
14. Jordan King uk Racing Engineering 1:14.815 + 1.152
15. Sergio Canamasas* es Carlin 1:14.832 + 1.169
16. René Binder at ART Grand Prix 1:14.886 + 1.223
17. Nicholas Latifi* ca DAMS 1:14.958 + 1.295
18. Gustav Malja se Rapax 1:15.020 + 1.357
19. Sean Gelael id Pertamina Campos Racing 1:15.122 + 1.449
20. Daniël de Jong nl MP Motorsport 1:15.307 + 1.644
21. Jimmy Eriksson* se Arden International 1:15.531 + 1.868
22. Philo Paz Armand id 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

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Ahmad Shallouf

Contributing Writer at MotorsportM8