Antonio Giovinazzi upset the established runners as the GP2 Series rookie took his maiden pole position around the Baku Street Circuit during the delayed qualifying session on Friday.
The session had been delayed until after the second Formula 1 practice as track officials worked on fixing issues with the kerbs after a number of cut tyres during the first Formula 1 practice.
Giovinazzi took his Prema Racing machine to the top of the time sheets early in the session, and was ahead when the red flag was shown when Patric Paz Armand stopped his Trident in the turn three run-off.
Despite losing top spot to ART Grand Prix’s Nobuharu Matsushita, Giovinazzi came back once more to take pole position with a lap of 1:51.752, and secure his first points of the season as a result.
Matsushita will start alongside the Italian on the front row, falling just 0.089 seconds shy of taking the pole, while Sergey Sirotkin made it two ART cars inside the top three, albeit 0.780 seconds down on Giovinazzi.
Raffaele Marciello secured a second row grid slot for Russian Time, 0.023 seconds behind Sirotkin, while Luca Ghiotto was fifth fastest for Trident ahead of Oliver Rowland of MP Motorsport.
Marvin Kirchhöfer will start seventh for Carlin alongside Red Bull-backed Pierre Gasly, who was 1.008 seconds slower than his pole winning team-mate Giovinazzi, while the top ten was completed by championship leader Norman Nato of Racing Engineering and by Carlin’s Sergio Canamasas.
It was a disappointing day for Alex Lynn and DAMS, who found themselves outside the top ten in thirteenth, just behind Monaco Feature race winner Artem Markelov.
Baku Street Circuit Qualifying Result
|1||20||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Prema Racing||1:51.752|
|2||1||Nobuharu Matsushita||JAP||ART Grand Prix||1:51.841|
|3||2||Sergey Sirotkin||RUS||ART Grand Prix||1:52.532|
|4||9||Raffaele Marciello||ITA||Russian Time||1:52.555|
|6||22||Oliver Rowland||GBR||MP Motorsport||1:52.739|
|8||21||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Prema Racing||1:52.760|
|9||3||Norman Nato||FRA||Racing Engineering||1:52.929|
|11||4||Jordan King||GBR||Racing Engineering||1:52.962|
|12||10||Artem Markelov||RUS||Russian Time||1:53.040|
|15||7||Mitch Evans||NZL||Campos Racing||1:53.401|
|17||23||Daniel de Jong||NED||MP Motorsport||1:54.000|
|18||25||Jimmy Eriksson||SWE||Arden International||1:54.034|
|20||8||Sean Gelael||INO||Campos Racing||1:54.717|
|21||24||Nabil Jeffri||MAY||Arden International||1:55.333|
|22||14||Philo Paz Armand||INO||Trident||1:57.692|