Frenchman Pierre Gasly claimed his fourth pole position of the 2016 GP2 Series season ahead of his PREMA Racing team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi and Russian Time‘s Raffaele Marciello.
Racing Engineering‘s Norman Nato led the session early on, being the first man to dip under the 1m43s before ART Grand Prix‘s Nobuharu Matsushita followed suit and took over in P1. Gasly, not wanting to hang about flew to the top of the timings on his first flying lap – with a time of 1m42.181 – which was not bettered before the chequered flag dropped.
Giovinazzi tried his hardest to match his team-mate but fell two tenths adrift of the Frenchman. However, it was not all plain sailing for the championship leader who brought out the yellow flags after running wide at Turn 12 and spinning into the gravel bed but was able to rejoin and carry on. Giovinazzi used this time to bring the gap to Gasly down to just 0.082s.
With four minutes left on the clock the red flag was brought out after the Pertamina Campos Racing car of Mitch Evans ended up in the barriers after the Kiwi’s brakes failed.
At the re-start the drivers were looking to make an improvement on their times, however their efforts were ruined seconds before the flag dropped as a result of Matsushita spinning to a stop at Turn 14 and bringing out the yellow flags once again.
The drivers next take to track for the Feature Race at 11.50 local time on Saturday, with Gasly lining up on pole followed by Giovinazzi, Marciello, Sergey Sirotkin, Matsushita, Alex Lynn, Nato, Jordan King, Oliver Rowland and Artem Markelov.
Sepang International Circuit Qualifying Results
|1||21||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Prema Racing||1m42.181|
|2||20||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Prema Racing||1m42.263|
|3||9||Raffaele Marciello||ITA||Russian Time||1m42.526|
|4||2||Sergey Sirotkin||RUS||ART Grand Prix||1m42.528|
|5||1||Nobuharu Matsushita||JPN||ART Grand Prix||1m42.623|
|7||3||Norman Nato||FRA||Racing Engineering||1m42.800|
|8||4||Jordan King||GBR||Racing Engineering||1m42.851|
|9||22||Oliver Rowland||GBR||MP Motorsport||1m42.902|
|10||10||Artem Markelov||RUS||Russian Time||1m42.934|
|16||7||Mitch Evans||NZL||Pertamina Campos Racing||1m43.606|
|17||24||Nabil Jeffri||MAS||Arden International||1m43.761|
|18||23||Daniël de Jong||NED||MP Motorsport||1m43.965|
|20||8||Sean Gelael||INA||Pertamina Campos Racing||1m44.087|
|21||14||Philo Paz Armand||INA||Trident||1m44.578|