Norman Nato has topped a dramatic qualifying session in the British GP to claim his maiden pole position in GP2 ahead of countryman Pierre Gasly.
Nato’s pole position remained provisional while the stewards investigated whether he set his fastest time under red flags, as the session was stopped towards the end to recover Oliver Rowland’s stranded car. Nato’s time was however upheld as the stewards were satisfied his time was set just before the track was under caution.
The session was held in a sunny Silverstone circuit and all the drivers were eager to get out early which was unfortunate for Luca Ghiotto, whose car ground to a halt on Turn 13 on his out lap.
Nato, Gasly and Rowland traded the quickest time for seven minutes, until the session was stopped to recover Nabil Jeffri’s car.
With about five minutes remaining, Nato and Gasly were both on a flyer, but it was Nato who managed to finish his lap, as investigations showed, just before the red flags were shown because of Oliver Rowland’s stranded MP Motorsports, while Gasly had to back off.
When the session restarted, Gasly managed to improve a little but not enough to pip Nato, making it an all-French front row for tomorrow’s feature race.
Nicholas Latifi was third fastest in the DAMS ahead of Raffaele Marciello and Sergey Sirotkin who was under investigation for missing a call to the weighbridge.
Antonio Giovinazzi was 6th in the other PREMA, ahead of Mitch Evans in the Campos and Jordan King in the Racing Engineering.
Arthur Pic put his Rapax in ninth while MP Motorsports’ Oliver Rowland rounded up the top ten.
Norman Nato gains four points from pole and moves up the standings into second, behind Raffaele Marciello.
Sergio Canamasas qualified 14th but receives a three-place grid drop for having shown “unsporting behaviour towards Oliver Rowland” during practice.
Image via GP2 Series Media