PREMA’s Pierre Gasly has done his championship chances a big favour as he took a seemingly easy feature race victory at the Belgian GP.Gasly maintained his second place at the start as he and third-placed Gustav Malja jumped Giovinazzi’s pole-starting PREMA off the line. Malja was able to lead the first few laps before Gasly dispatched him with ease round the outside at Les Combes.
As Gasly pitted for Primes, Jordan King was able to steal the lead but Gasly made light work of him and went on to build an 11.2-second lead at the chequered flag.
King maintained second place narrowly ahead of Racing Engineering team mate Norman Nato but the Frenchman’s woes continued as his car stopped at the exit of the Bus Stop chicane in the closing laps.
This left Alex Lynn to take third while behind him, Raffaele Marciello was just able to beat his Russian Time team mate Artem Markelov as they finished fourth and fifth, the Russian running an opposite, Prime/Option strategy and impressively making his way through the bottom half of the top 10 after his stop.
Antonio Giovinazzi’s slow start cost him dearly as he went on to finish sixth from a pole position start ahead of countryman Luca Ghiotto in seventh while Malja’s impressive early run didn’t yield any more than an eighth-place finish.
Sergey Sirotkin’s race was always going to be difficult starting 13th and indeed it was as he only finished ninth after a frantic scrap for the final points with Oliver Rowland and Series returnee Sergio Canamasas.
The trio made contact into the final chicane and Sirotkin escaped to finish ninth while Rowland grabbed the final point in 10th leaving Canamasas to be overtaken for 11th by Nobuharu Matsushita on the run to the finish line.
With this victory, Gasly opens a 23-point lead over Sergey Sirotkin with whom he was on level points before the race while Raffaele Marciello moves to third, two points ahead of Giovinazzi and just one point behind Sirotkin.
GP2 continues on Sunday with the Sprint race starting at 10:25 local time (GMT +2)
Image via GP2 Series Media