Giovinazzi storms to maiden GP2 pole in Baku

Antonio Giovinazzi - Credit: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service

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

120Antonio GiovinazziITAPrema Racing1:51.752
21Nobuharu MatsushitaJAPART Grand Prix1:51.841
32Sergey SirotkinRUSART Grand Prix1:52.532
49Raffaele MarcielloITARussian Time1:52.555
515Luca GhiottoITATrident1:52.691
622Oliver RowlandGBRMP Motorsport1:52.739
719Marvin KirchhoferGERCarlin1:52.756
821Pierre GaslyFRAPrema Racing1:52.760
93Norman NatoFRARacing Engineering1:52.929
1018Sergio CanamasasESPCarlin1:52.962
114Jordan KingGBRRacing Engineering1:52.962
1210Artem MarkelovRUSRussian Time1:53.040
135Alex LynnGBRDAMS1:53.092
146Nicholas LatifiCANDAMS1:53.226
157Mitch EvansNZLCampos Racing1:53.401
1612Arthur PicFRARapax1:53.702
1723Daniel de JongNEDMP Motorsport1:54.000
1825Jimmy ErikssonSWEArden International1:54.034
1911Gustav MaljaSWERapax1:54.213
208Sean GelaelINOCampos Racing1:54.717
2124Nabil JeffriMAYArden International1:55.333
2214Philo Paz ArmandINOTrident1:57.692