Silverstone GP2: Gasly ends losing streak with feature race win

Red Bull junior driver Pierre Gasly finally ended a three-year losing streak with a perfectly judged drive to victory in the GP2 feature race at Silverstone.

Silverstone GP2: Gasly ends losing streak with feature race win
Pierre Gasly, Prema Racing
Pierre Gasly, Prema Racing
Pierre Gasly, Prema Racing
Pierre Gasly, Prema Racing
Antonio Giovinazzi, Prema Racing
Antonio Giovinazzi, Prema Racing
Antonio Giovinazzi, Prema Racing
Oliver Rowland, MP Motorsport
Oliver Rowland, MP Motorsport

The Frenchman's first win in any category since his last Formula Renault 2.0 win in 2013 came as a result of picking the optimum tyre strategy - option/prime - where the majority of the frontrunners went for the exact opposite.

It was Norman Nato who led for most of the way, the Racing Engineering man building a cushion up front after a flying start from pole, while Gasly, who started second, quickly dropped back into the pack on his option tyres.

Gasly, along with Oliver Rowland, Antonio Giovinazzi and others, therefore chose to pit early, but quickly began to make up lost ground to the leaders on primes.

Nato at this stage led from teammate Jordan King, Nicholas Latifi, Raffaele Marciello and Mitch Evans, his advantage out front generally hovering around the two second mark.

But the gap between Nato and Gasly, who made light work of the slower prime-shod cars, plummeted to just 13 seconds by the time the former came into the pits on Lap 21.

Gasly therefore found himself with a handsome advantage of six seconds over Rowland when Artem Markelov, the last man to make a stop, finally came in for options, and the Prema driver duly reeled off the remaining laps to finally seal a maiden GP2 win on his 37th attempt.

Rowland lost out in the battle for second to Giovinazzi, who bagged the runner-up spot after executing a superb outside pass on the Briton at Luffield to make it a Prema 1-2.

Behind Rowland, Evans - the quickest man in the closing stages and the best of those to start on primes - made his way up to fourth ahead of Luca Ghiotto (up from P21 on the grid) and Nobuharu Matsushita.

Nato, who had been passed by Evans some lap before, ran out of laps to clear Ghiotto and Matsushita and had to settle for seventh place, followed by King - who suffered from a slow pitstop - Marciello and Markelov.

Latifi finished just outside the points in 11th, but his DAMS teammate Alex Lynn suffered a race to forget as he was forced off the road at the start as he avoided a collision between Sean Gelael and Gustav Malja. The Briton ended up 16th.

Sergey Sirotkin also had a dismal time starting from the pitlane, suffering a puncture early on and eventually finishing down in 18th.

Race results:

ClaDriverTeamLapsTimeGap
1  Pierre Gasly   Prema Powerteam 29 51'39.383  
2  Antonio Giovinazzi   Prema Powerteam 29 51'48.805 9.422
3  Oliver Rowland   MP Motorsport 29 51'50.473 11.090
4  Mitch Evans   Campos Racing 29 52'01.050 21.667
5  Luca Ghiotto   Trident 29 52'03.974 24.591
6  Nobuharu Matsushita   ART Grand Prix 29 52'04.548 25.165
7  Norman Nato   Racing Engineering 29 52'04.857 25.474
8  Jordan King   Racing Engineering 29 52'05.034 25.651
9  Raffaele Marciello   RUSSIAN TIME 29 52'11.140 31.757
10  Artem Markelov   RUSSIAN TIME 29 52'12.498 33.115
11  Nicholas Latifi   DAMS 29 52'13.603 34.220
12  Marvin Kirchhofer   Carlin 29 52'13.792 34.409
13  Sergio Canamasas   Carlin 29 52'17.281 37.898
14  Arthur Pic   Rapax 29 52'21.993 42.610
15  Jimmy Eriksson   Arden International 29 52'34.588 55.205
16  Alex Lynn   DAMS 29 52'35.987 56.604
17  Nabil Jeffri   Arden International 29 52'36.873 57.490
18  Sergey Sirotkin   ART Grand Prix 29 52'41.479 1'02.096
19  Daniel de Jong   MP Motorsport 29 53'03.044 1'23.661
20  Philo Paz Armand   Trident 29 53'19.147 1'39.764
21  Sean Gelael   Campos Racing 28 52'39.053 1 Lap
22  Gustav Malja   Rapax 28 53'20.967 1 Lap
 
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