Sepang GP2: Gasly survives early spin, tops red-flagged qualifying

Pierre Gasly maintained Prema's dominance in GP2 qualifying sessions as of late as the Frenchman claimed the team's sixth pole of the season at Sepang, with teammate Antonio Giovinazzi taking second.

Sepang GP2: Gasly survives early spin, tops red-flagged qualifying
Pierre Gasly, PREMA Racing
Pierre Gasly, PREMA Racing
Pierre Gasly, PREMA Racing
Antonio Giovinazzi, PREMA Racing
Antonio Giovinazzi, PREMA Racing
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Gasly took the lead with his first flyer, setting a 1m42.181s, and then narrowly avoided an early exit from the session after a spin at Turn 12.

He slid into the gravel but managed to rejoin the track without getting beached.

As the field started its second stint following the usual pitstops, Mitch Evans crashed out due to a brake failure, bringing out the red flag before anyone could have improved.

The session was restarted with a bit more than three minutes left on the clock but most of the late flyers were ruined due to Nobuharu Matsushita going off into the gravel and bringing out yellow flags.

Giovinazzi, who set personal best first and second sectors before having to slow down, had to settle for second, eight hundredths behind Gasly.

Prema's main title rivals Raffaele Marciello and Sergey Sirotkin will fill the second row ahead of Matsushita.

DAMS driver Alex Lynn and Racing Engineering duo Norman Nato and Jordan King completed the top eight ahead of Oliver Rowland and Artem Markelov.

GP2 returnee Johnny Cecotto took 15th, 1.2s slower than Gasly.

Qualifying results

ClaDriverTeamTimeGap
1  Pierre Gasly   Prema Powerteam 1'42.181  
2  Antonio Giovinazzi   Prema Powerteam 1'42.263 0.082
3  Raffaele Marciello   RUSSIAN TIME 1'42.526 0.345
4  Sergey Sirotkin   ART Grand Prix 1'42.528 0.347
5  Nobuharu Matsushita   ART Grand Prix 1'42.623 0.442
6  Alex Lynn   DAMS 1'42.775 0.594
7  Norman Nato   Racing Engineering 1'42.800 0.619
8  Jordan King   Racing Engineering 1'42.851 0.670
9  Oliver Rowland   MP Motorsport 1'42.902 0.721
10  Artem Markelov   RUSSIAN TIME 1'42.934 0.753
11  Luca Ghiotto   Trident 1'42.934 0.753
12  Nicholas Latifi   DAMS 1'43.130 0.949
13  Gustav Malja   Rapax 1'43.224 1.043
14  Marvin Kirchhofer   Carlin 1'43.290 1.109
15  Johnny Cecotto   Rapax 1'43.385 1.204
16  Mitch Evans   Campos Racing 1'43.606 1.425
17  Nabil Jeffri   Arden International 1'43.761 1.580
18  Daniel de Jong   MP Motorsport 1'43.965 1.784
19  Sergio Canamasas   Carlin 1'43.977 1.796
20  Sean Gelael   Campos Racing 1'44.087 1.906
21  Philo Paz Armand   Trident 1'44.578 2.397
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