GP2 Series championship frontrunner Pierre Gasly has increased his points’ lead to 21 by beating his teammate and chief title rival Antonio Giovinazzi in qualifying for the PREMA Racing team’s home event at Monza.
Gasly, who reckons he has a chance to claim the rare feat of winning both races in a single weekend, dominated much of the session. The Frenchman ultimately clocked a lap time of 1:31.199, but Giovinazzi pushed on and narrowly missed out on toppling him by just 0.054 seconds.
Russian Time’s Artem Markelov was third fastest, three-tenths of a second off the lead pair. Aside from Giovinazzi, it wasn’t a good qualifying for the Italians; Markelov’s teammate and local hero Raffaele Marciello lined up thirteenth-fastest, while fellow Italian and rookie Luca Ghiotto was only two places better in eleventh.
Arthur Pic will start from fourth ahead of Mitch Evans in fifth, Jordan King in sixth and Alex Lynn seventh. The Arden team surprised with Nabil Jeffri qualifying eighth.
Sergey Sirotkin’s run of bad form continued as he qualified a lowly ninth place with Norman Nato also struggling to regain his early season form with the tenth-fastest time.
The 30-lap Feature Race takes place on Saturday at 15:40 local time (GMT +2).
|2016 GP2 Series Italy – Provisional Qualifying Results|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap|
|1.||Pierre Gasly||PREMA Racing||1:31.199|
|2.||Antonio Giovinazzi||PREMA Racing||1:31.253||+ 0.054|
|3.||Artem Markelov||RUSSIAN TIME||1:31.548||+ 0.349|
|4.||Arthur Pic||Rapax||1:31.617||+ 0.418|
|5.||Mitch Evans||Pertamina Campos Racing||1:31.666||+ 0.467|
|6.||Jordan King||Racing Engineering||1:31.710||+ 0.511|
|7.||Alex Lynn||DAMS||1:31.775||+ 0.576|
|8.||Nabil Jeffri||Arden International||1:31.795||+ 0.596|
|9.||Sergey Sirotkin||ART Grand Prix||1:31.816||+ 0.617|
|10.||Norman Nato||Racing Engineering||1:31.845||+ 0.646|
|11.||Luca Ghiotto||Trident||1:31.855||+ 0.656|
|12.||Oliver Rowland||MP Motorsport||1:31.864||+ 0.665|
|13.||Raffaele Marciello||RUSSIAN TIME||1:31.986||+ 0.787|
|14.||Nobuharu Matsushita||ART Grand Prix||1:32.037||+ 0.838|
|15.||Marvin Kirchhöfer||Carlin||1:32.172||+ 0.973|
|16.||Nicholas Latifi||DAMS||1:32.192||+ 0.993|
|17.||Sergio Canamasas||Carlin||1:32.196||+ 0.997|
|18.||Gustav Malja||Rapax||1:32.215||+ 1.016|
|19.||Sean Gelael||Pertamina Campos Racing||1:32.481||+ 1.282|
|20.||Daniël de Jong||MP Motorsport||1:33.071||+ 1.872|
|21.||Philo Paz Armand||Trident||1:33.269||+ 2.070|
|22.||Jimmy Eriksson||Arden International||1:33.929||+ 2.730|
Image via GP2 Series Media