Gasly secures important pole in Abu Dhabi

by Paul Hensby

Pierre Gasly will start Saturday’s Feature race at the Yas Marina Circuit from pole position, with the four points moving him closer to Antonio Giovinazzi at the head of the championship standings.

The Prema Racing driver set a best time of 1:46.476 to take his fifth pole position of the season to move to within three points of team-mate Giovinazzi, who could only qualify sixth.

Sergey Sirotkin will join Gasly on the front row, but the ART Grand Prix driver was 0.328 seconds down on the Frenchman, while Artem Markelov enjoyed one of his strongest qualifying performances of the season to take third place on the grid for Russian Time.

The second ART machine of Nobuharu Matsushita completed a good session for the French outfit by taking fourth on the grid, ahead of MP Motorsport’s Oliver Rowland and ahead of Giovinazzi, who was 0.812 seconds down on his pole position taking team-mate.

Norman Nato was the best of the Racing Engineering drivers in seventh ahead of Raffaele Marciello of Russian Time, who has a mathematical chance of the title but needs a near perfect weekend and both Gasly and Giovinazzi to fail to score in either race.

Alex Lynn will start ninth for DAMS as he heads into his final GP2 race weekend after admitting he will not be back for 2017 earlier this season, while Mitch Evans, who is also likely to be in his final GP2 event, completed the top ten for Campos Racing.

Both Trident drivers will take three place grid penalties after being found guilty of impeding other drivers during the session, meaning Luca Ghiotto and Patric Paz Armand will fall from twelfth and seventeenth to fifteenth and twentieth respectively.

Debutants Louis Delétraz and Emil Bernstorff will start nineteenth and twenty-second respectively for Carlin and Arden International.

Yas Marina Circuit Qualifying Result

121Pierre GaslyFRAPrema Racing1:47.476
22Sergey SirotkinRUSART Grand Prix1:47.804
310Artem MarkelovRUSRussian Time1:47.901
41Nobuharu MatsushitaJAPART Grand Prix1:47.997
522Oliver RowlandGBRMP Motorsport1:48.130
620Antonio GiovinazziITAPrema Racing1:48.288
73Norman NatoFRARacing Engineering1:48.307
89Raffaele MarcielloITARussian Time1:48.368
95Alex LynnGBRDAMS1:48.524
107Mitch EvansNZLCampos Racing1:48.559
114Jordan KingGBRRacing Engineering1:48.712
1215Luca GhiottoITATrident1:48.830
1312Johnny Cecotto JrVENRapax1:48.976
146Nicholas LatifiCANDAMS1:49.075
1511Gustav MaljaSWERapax1:49.206
1618Sergio CanamasasESPCarlin1:49.779
1714Philo Paz ArmandINOTrident1:49.950
1824Nabil JeffriMAYArden International1:50.135
198Sean GelaelINOCampos Racing1:50.233
2019Louis DeletrazSWICarlin1:50.234
2123Daniel de JongNEDMP Motorsport1:50.276
2225Emil BernstorffGBRArden International1:50.470

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