Abu Dhabi GP2: Gasly heads Lynn, Giovinazzi in final practice

GP2 title contender Pierre Gasly led Alex Lynn and points leader Antonio Giovinazzi in the final practice of the season at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

Gasly, regarded by many as a Yas Marina specialist, topped the timesheets with a 1m50.940s lap, ending up some three seconds off his 2015 pole benchmark as practice running was limited to the medium tyre.

The lead in the session early on belonged to ART's Nobuharu Matsushita, the Japanese driver recording three session-best times and eventually ending up at 1m51.149s.

But it was Gasly who reigned heading into the halfway point of the 45-minute session, the Red Bull junior stringing together a 1m51.096s.

After making a visit to pitlane, neither Gasly, nor Matsushita could improve on their earlier times right away, with Giovinazzi overhauling both, the championship leader moving up at 1m51.096s.

He returned to the pits, as did Matsushita, whereas Gasly stayed out for another push lap, clocking in a 1m50.940s with 10 minutes left on the clock.

Having reclaimed the top spot, Gasly opted against a flying lap run in the dying minutes of the session. Giovinazzi had two more push laps late on, but was two tenths off on both occasions – and was demoted to third place by Gasly's former teammate Alex Lynn, who came up just 0.062s short of the pacesetter's best lap.

Matsushita rounded out an ultra-close top four – and was a full half a second up on fifth-placed Norman Nato.

Oliver Rowland and Nato's teammate Jordan King followed, ahead of GP2's most experienced driver Johnny Cecotto, Sergey Sirotkin and Nicholas Latifi.

Raffaele Marciello, the only driver besides Gasly and Giovinazzi with a mathematical shot at the title, was 11th.

Of the debutants, Emil Bernstorff was 1.8s off in 16th, leading his Arden teammate, while Louis Deletraz was 21st.

Albeit many a driver explored the various run-off areas of the track, it was a fairly incident-free session otherwise, the only exceptions coming with Mitch Evans pulling over out of Turn 7 early on and Sergio Canamasas avoiding a stray cat in the closing minutes.

Practice results

1 21 Pierre Gasly Prema Powerteam 16 1'50.940  
2 5 Alex Lynn DAMS 18 1'51.002 0.062
3 20 Antonio Giovinazzi Prema Powerteam 19 1'51.067 0.127
4 1 Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 19 1'51.149 0.209
5 3 Norman Nato Racing Engineering 17 1'51.687 0.747
6 22 Oliver Rowland MP Motorsport 18 1'51.700 0.760
7 4 Jordan King Racing Engineering 16 1'51.795 0.855
8 12 Johnny Cecotto Rapax 18 1'51.873 0.933
9 2 Sergey Sirotkin ART Grand Prix 17 1'51.892 0.952
10 6 Nicholas Latifi DAMS 18 1'51.964 1.024
11 9 Raffaele Marciello RUSSIAN TIME 17 1'52.005 1.065
12 10 Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 17 1'52.281 1.341
13 18 Sergio Canamasas Carlin 17 1'52.385 1.445
14 7 Mitch Evans Campos Racing 7 1'52.477 1.537
15 15 Luca Ghiotto Trident 17 1'52.664 1.724
16 25   Emil Bernstorff Arden International 20 1'52.751 1.811
17 11 Gustav Malja Rapax 19 1'52.762 1.822
18 23 Daniel de Jong MP Motorsport 17 1'52.987 2.047
19 8 Sean Gelael Campos Racing 15 1'53.077 2.137
20 24 Nabil Jeffri Arden International 16 1'53.185 2.245
21 19   Louis Deletraz Carlin 17 1'53.650 2.710
22 14 Philo Paz Armand Trident 18 1'53.808 2.868


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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Alex Lynn , Antonio Giovinazzi , Pierre Gasly
Article type Practice report