Sepang GP2: Ghiotto victorious, Gasly beats Giovinazzi to podium finish

Rookie Luca Ghiotto scored his maiden GP2 victory in the sprint race at Sepang as title contenders Pierre Gasly and Antonio Giovinazzi recovered to third and fourth respectively.

Sepang GP2: Ghiotto victorious, Gasly beats Giovinazzi to podium finish

Ghiotto had a better getaway than pole-sitter Mitch Evans to take the lead from the Campos driver following the opening sequence of corners.

The safety car was out on Lap 2 after a collision between Racing Engineering duo Norman Nato and Jordan King.

The Frenchman just passed his teammate for fourth at Turn 1 but ended up being spun out by King a corner later, which left his car stranded.

While Ghiotto had a good restart, Evans lost another spot to Raffaele Marciello.

Ghiotto maintained a lead bigger than a second for most of the race and, despite a late charge from Marciello, he took the checkered flag first.

Further behind, neither Antonio Giovinazzi nor Pierre Gasly managed to gain significantly after the start as they were seventh and ninth behind the safety car respectively.

Gasly got right behind his teammate by passing Sergio Canamasas, the Prema duo then arriving to the back of Oliver Rowland, who was attacking King's damaged machinery.

Giovinazzi took the initiative by attempting to pass Rowland on the outside of Turn 4 but the Italian ended up going on the grass, nearly avoiding spinning out but falling behind Gasly.

Both Gasly and Giovinazzi then made quick work of passing King and Rowland to run in fifth and sixth with the Frenchman now ahead.

They managed to get ahead of the struggling Evans and Gustav Malja as well, the Swede running wide right in front of the Prema duo.

With just a handful of laps left, Giovinazzi started putting pressure on Gasly but as he was never close enough on the main straight, he didn't risk his fourth place.

Malja took his sixth consecutive pointscoring position in fifth followed by Evans, who finished narrowly ahead of Nobuharu Matsushita.

Rowland scored one point in eighth ahead of Johnny Cecotto and Nicholas Latifi.

Finishing right ahead, Gasly is now nine points behind Giovinazzi in the standings.

Marciello is third in the standings with a 39-point deficit as Sergey Sirotkin fell out of title contention after he retired in the pits with a gearbox problem.

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