Bahrain GP2: Gasly grabs pole from Vandoorne in tight duel

Pierre Gasly scored his second pole position of the GP2 season at Bahrain on Thursday, the DAMS driver beating newly-crowned champion Stoffel Vandoorne by 0.04s.

Gasly set the pace initially, taking the top spot on 1m40.399s, but he was quickly toppled from the head of the times by Racing Engineering’s Jordan King on 1m40.217s.

Vandoorne was third quickest for ART Grand Prix with a lap of 1m40.720s, ahead of Alex Lynn (DAMS) and Nobuharu Matsushita (ART).

Vandoorne then surged to the top of the times after a cool-down lap, setting 1m39.357s on his second flying lap. Norman Nato did likewise to rise to P2, beating King’s time by 0.022s.

Practice pacesetter Alexander Rossi of Racing Engineering was down in 16th after the first run. He went out early for his second attempt, rising to fifth on his new tyres – but the top times would fall yet further.

Marciello went P1 with four minutes remaining with a lap of 1m39.648s, quickly beaten by Gasly on 1m39.572s, which would stand as the fastest lap of the session.

Vandoorne went P2 on 1m39.612s, as Marciello slipped to third – just 0.076s off pole.

Lynn improved to fourth, 0.013s off Marciello, ahead of King and Nato, with Mitch Evans and Matsushita also improving on his second run to demote Rossi – who was over half a second off the pace – down to ninth.

Qualifying results:

Pos. Driver Team Time Gap
 Pierre Gasly DAMS 1'39.572  
 Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 1'39.612 0.040
 Raffaele Marciello Trident 1'39.648 0.076
 Alex Lynn DAMS 1'39.661 0.089
 Jordan King Racing Engineering 1'39.902 0.330
 Norman Nato Arden International 1'40.004 0.432
 Mitch Evans RUSSIAN TIME 1'40.027 0.455
 Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 1'40.079 0.507
 Alexander Rossi Racing Engineering 1'40.141 0.569
10   Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1'40.176 0.604
11   Rio Haryanto Campos Racing 1'40.212 0.640
12   Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 1'40.354 0.782
13   Rene Binder MP Motorsport 1'40.367 0.795
14   Sergey Sirotkin Rapax 1'40.539 0.967
15   Nathanael Berthon Daiko Team Lazarus 1'40.571 0.999
16   Sergio Canamasas Daiko Team Lazarus 1'40.588 1.016
17   Marlon Stockinger Status Grand Prix 1'40.650 1.078
18   Oliver Rowland Status Grand Prix 1'40.720 1.148
19   Dean Stoneman Carlin 1'41.106 1.534
20   Nicholas Latifi MP Motorsport 1'41.145 1.573
21   Daniel de Jong Trident 1'41.208 1.636
22   Andre Negrao Arden International 1'41.432 1.860
23   Gustav Malja Rapax 1'41.775 2.203
24   Sean Gelael Carlin 1'42.840 3.268

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About this article
Series FIA F2
Drivers Raffaele Marciello , Stoffel Vandoorne , Pierre Gasly
Teams DAMS
Article type Qualifying report