Nato beats Gasly to pole despite red flag concerns

Norman Nato - Credit: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service

Norman Nato set the pace in qualifying for the Feature race at Silverstone, but question marks remain over whether the Frenchman set the lap under red flag conditions.

The Racing Engineering driver was approaching the end of the lap when the red flags flew to recover the stranded MP Motorsport machine of Oliver Rowland, but replays of the incident appear to show that Nato could have done anything different.

Should Nato have his time deleted, practice pacesetter Pierre Gasly will be the one to benefit, with the second of the three Frenchman in the field ending 0.225 seconds shy of the pace in qualifying for Prema Racing, while Nicholas Latifi was an impressive third for DAMS, showing his best performance since the season opening round in Spain back in May.

Championship leader Raffaele Marciello was fourth fastest for Russian Time, just ahead of Sergey Sirotkin of ART Grand Prix and Antonio Giovinazzi of Prema Racing.

Sirotkin is under investigation for missing the weighbridge during the session, and if found to be guilty, is likely to start the Feature race from the back of the grid.

Mitch Evans was seventh fastest for Campos Racing ahead of Jordan King of Racing Engineering, with the two winners from Austria set to start side by side on the grid.

Rapax’s Arthur Pic was ninth, while the top ten was completed by the troubled Rowland, who caused the second of the two red flag periods during the session after stopping on track at turn four.

The session was halted for the first time with nineteen minutes remaining when Nabil Jeffri came to a stop on the old pit straight on the way to Copse corner, with the Arden International driver ending the session down in twentieth.

At least he’ll start ahead of Luca Ghiotto, who stopped on track for the second time on the day in his Trident at Becketts without setting a lap time, although his car was able to be recovered with just a local yellow flag.

Silverstone Qualifying Result

13Norman NatoFRARacing Engineering1:38.216
221Pierre GaslyFRAPrema Racing1:38.441
36Nicholas LatifiCANDAMS1:38.797
49Raffaele MarcielloITARussian Time1:38.842
52Sergey SirotkinRUSART Grand Prix1:38.904
620Antonio GiovinazziITAPrema Racing1:38.912
77Mitch EvansNZLCampos Racing1:39.084
84Jordan KingGBRRacing Engineering1:39.123
912Arthur PicFRARapax1:39.160
1022Oliver RowlandGBRMP Motorsport1:39.192
1110Artem MarkelovRUSRussian Time1:39.370
121Nobuharu MatsushitaJAPART Grand Prix1:39.572
1319Marvin KirchhoferGERCarlin1:39.668
1418Sergio CanamasasESPCarlin1:39.749
158Sean GelaelINOCampos Racing1:39.750
1611Gustav MaljaSWERapax1:39.798
175Alex LynnGBRDAMS1:39.928
1823Daniel de JongNEDMP Motorsport1:40.459
1925Jimmy ErikssonSWEArden International1:40.838
2024Nabil JeffriMAYArden International1:41.160
2114Philo Paz ArmandINOTrident1:41.385
2215Luca GhiottoITATridentNo Time