Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly has increased his GP2 championship lead to 14 points after beating his PREMA team mate and title rival Antonio Giovinazzi to pole position at the Malaysian GP.
Gasly set a time of 1:42.181 on his first attempt, just 0.082s ahead of Giovinazzi which eventually proved fast enough for pole position after spinning out at Turn 12 on his second attempt.
The session saw many drivers getting caught out by the repaved circuit and was red-flagged with two and a half minutes to go after Mitch Evans spun into the barriers at Turn 1 due to a brake failure. The pause meant that drivers who went out for their second run after the session was resumed weren’t able to generate enough heat into their tyres and hence, unable to improve.
Their fortune wasn’t helped when Nobuharu Matsushita’s spun out of the circuit at Turn 13, bringing out the yellow flags, as Giovinazzi found out on his last run.
The Italian timed his lap perfectly and was due to be the last driver to finish his lap. After setting personal best times in sectors one and two he had to slow down as he arrived at the yellow flag area, causing him to run wide and abort his attempt, having to settle for second behind Gasly.
Raffaele Marciello was third for Russian Time, fractionally ahead of the ART pair of Sergey Sirotkin and Nobuharu Matsushita in fourth and fifth.
Alex Lynn will line up sixth in the DAMS ahead of Norman Nato and Jordan King in the Racing Engineering. While Oliver Rowland and Artem Markelov rounded up the top ten.
Local driver Nabil Jeffri qualified 17th in the only Arden after Jimmy Eriksson announced he will be dropping out of the final two rounds of the series.
The GP2 Feature Race will start Saturday at 11:50 local time (GMT +8)
Image via GP2 Series Media