McLaren tester leads ART Grand Prix front row at Spielberg
Once again on stellar form, Series leader Stoffel Vandoorne achieved a record today at the Red Bull Ring by snatching his seventh pole position, the most in GP2’s history. With a laptime of 1:14.174, he beat his teammate Nobuharu Matsushita by 0.089s. Just like in the first round of the season at Sakhir, it will be an all ART Grand Prix front row. Pierre Gasly completed the top three.
The sun appeared above the Austrian track as the pitlane opened and the drivers fed onto it on Supersoft Pirelli tyres. This morning’s fastest man Sergey Sirotkin was the early pace setter and the first stint of the session saw him and Vandoorne swapping places at the top of the standings. Both drivers even clocked in an identical laptime of 1.14.721 at one point. Just before the halfway mark, Sirotkin reclaimed provisional pole having lapped the track in a 1:14.966.
Most of the cars returned to the pits and Nick Yelloly could enjoy a clear track to move up to fourth. With ten minutes left on the clock, the action resumed and on a fresh set of rubber, most drivers improved but none bettered Sirotkin’s laptme. The Rapax man went even quicker and hoped that it was enough, but it wasn’t: Vandoorne put his head down and in a final effort set up a laptime two tenths better than the Russian driver.
In the dying minutes, Matsushita also found some extra pace to pip Sirotkin. Gasly was also able to improve and moved up to third at the chequered flag. Behind the top four, Rio Haryanto, Raffaele Marciello, Yelloly, Jordan King (who will lose three grid places following a penalty picked up in Monte Carlo Sprint Race), Arthur Pic and Alex Lynn completed the top ten.
Spielberg – Qualifying Session*
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Stoffel Vandoorne
ART Grand Prix
1:14.174
15
2.
Nobuharu Matsushita
ART Grand Prix
1:14.263
15
3.
Pierre Gasly
DAMS
1:14.300
15
4.
Sergey Sirotkin
Rapax
1:14.434
17
5.
Rio Haryanto
Campos Racing
1:14.481
15
6.
Raffaele Marciello
Trident
1:14.483
16
7.
Nick Yelloly
Hilmer Motorsport
1:14.538
17
8.
Jordan King
Racing Engineering
1:14.574
16
9.
Arthur Pic
Campos Racing
1:14.650
15
10.
Alex Lynn
DAMS
1:14.574
16
11.
Mitch Evans
RUSSIAN TIME
1:14.861
15
12.
Alexander Rossi
Racing Engineering
1:14.881
15
13.
Julian Leal
Carlin
1:14.893
15
14.
Richie Stanaway
Status Grand Prix
1:14.922
13
15.
Artem Markelov
RUSSIAN TIME
1:14.978
16
16.
Norman Nato
Arden International
1:14.996
16
17.
Rene Binder
Trident
1:15.030
15
18.
Daniel De Jong
MP Motorsport
1:15.207
16
19
Robert Visoiu
Rapax
1:15.396
17
20.
Marlon Stockinger
Status Grand Prix
1:15.434
14
21.
André Negrao
Arden International
1:15.537
13
22.
Nathanaël Berthon
Daiko Team Lazarus
1:15.750
15
23.
Marco Sorensen
Carlin
1:15.853
15
24.
Simon Trummer
Hilmer Motorsport
1:16.159
18
*Car #27 Zoel Amberg was unfit to take part in the qualifying session