GP2 Bahrain: Vandoorne takes fifth consecutive pole position

GP2 title favourite Stoffel Vandoorne made the best possible start to his 2015 campaign by taking his fifth consecutive pole position.

Vandoorne led an ART Grand Prix 1-2 with team-mate Nobuharu Matsushita qualifying second, only 0.308 behind the Belgian.

Qualifying was held in much cooler conditions than in free practice which allowed for much faster lap times on the soft Pirelli tyres.

Vandoorne took advantage of the cool temperatures early on in the session, setting the pace early on with Arthur Pic his closest challenger.

But with new tyres fitted the Mclaren junior went even faster to cement himself at the top of the field, picking up where he left off in 2014, on pole.

Williams F1 development driver Alex Lynn had been running second but Honda-backed rookie Matsushita got the better of Lynn by the smallest of margins.

Vandoorne’s early challenger Pic ended the session fourth fastest for Campos Racing, 0.031 behind the DAMS of Lynn.

Raffaele Marciello and Trident overcame early mechanical trouble to get back out on track and snatch fifth place on the grid away from practice session pace-setter, Jordan King.

King’s Racing Engineering team-mate Alexander Rossi couldn’t replicate his morning practice pace and had to settle for eighth on the grid, just behind the late charging Arden of Norman Nato in seventh.

Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly finished the session ninth ahead of former Sauber F1 development driver Sergey Sirotkin, who rounded out the top ten.

Russian Time and Carlin both struggled in qualifying and will hope to do better in race conditions. Artem Markelov and Mitch Evans finished the session 11th and 13th respectively, while Julian Leal and Marco Sorensen finished in 16th and 18th.

15S. VandoorneART Grand Prix111:39.237
26N. MatsushitaART Grand Prix111:39.5450.308
32A. LynnDAMS111:39.5990.3620.054
414A. PicCampos Racing111:39.6300.3930.031
511R. MarcielloTrident81:39.6450.4080.015
67J. King
Racing Engineering
721N. Nato
Arden International
88A. Rossi
Racing Engineering
91P. GaslyDAMS121:39.8770.640.005
1018S. SirotkinRapax121:39.8870.650.01
1110A. MarkelovRUSSIAN TIME111:39.9550.7180.068
1215R. HaryantoCampos Racing101:39.9610.7240.006
139M. EvansRUSSIAN TIME111:39.9990.7620.038
1419R. VisoiuRapax121:40.1280.8910.129
1523R. Stanaway
Status Grand Prix
163J. LealCarlin121:40.3531.1160.102
1716S. CanamasasMP Motorsport121:40.4341.1970.081
184M. SørensenCarlin121:40.4441.2070.01
1920A. Negrão
Arden International
2017D. De JongMP Motorsport111:40.6531.4160.019
2126N. BerthonLazarus111:40.6541.4170.001
2212R. BinderTrident101:40.7731.5360.119
2322M. Stöckinger
Status Grand Prix
2427Z. AmbergLazarus111:41.6902.4530.695