Russian claims maiden pole
Sergey Sirotkin defied his lack of experience at the Silverstone circuit by claiming pole position for tomorrow’s feature race on his first visit to the track, setting two laps quick enough to take the top spot and denying McLaren tester Stoffel Vandoorne and an impressively quick Richie Stanaway the glory in this afternoon’s qualifying session.
The Russian stopped the clocks at 1:39.949 on his final lap, marginally improving his earlier time to solidify his first GP2 pole position as Vandoorne pushed too hard in pursuit, running slightly wide at Becketts as the clock rolled down to zero, while Stanaway pipped Alexander Rossi on his last lap for P3.
Once again the session took place under gloriously sunny conditions, with Vandoorne starting as he meant to go on by claiming the top spot on his first flying lap, using his Pirelli medium tyres to great effect as Sirotkin, Alex Lynn and Sergio Canamasas tried to get on song with the Belgian, with debutant Oliver Rowland managing to find an early P3 on his last flying lap.
Halfway through the session and everyone was in the pits except Rio Haryanto, who had been delayed by some last minute fettling and was looking to make full use once again of a clear track. Unfortunately for the Indonesian it didn’t work as well in qualifying as it did this morning: as his rivals re-emerged he had only managed to find P6.
As the clock wound down the pace on track was red hot: Sirotkin was setting fastest sector times and took the top spot with four minutes remaining, while Rossi briefly held P3 on his last lap until Stanaway stole it away a few seconds later, Nick Yelloly was on a quick lap but found traffic, Vandoorne was slightly loose into Becketts before missing the next corner, and then Sirotkin ran faster again, closing any arguments as the chequered flag waved for them all.
Behind the top 3 was a disappointed Rossi, Arthur Pic, Pierre Gasly, Nobuharu Matsushita, an impressive Rowland in P9 for his first time in a GP2 car, and Julian Leal were all within a second of pole: tomorrow’s feature race promises the usual fireworks as they all look to move back ahead of their rivals at the front.
Silverstone – Qualifying session
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Sergey Sirotkin
Rapax
1:39.949
11
2.
Stoffel Vandoorne
ART Grand Prix
1:40.134
11
3.
Richie Stanaway
Status Grand Prix
1:40.378
11
4.
Alexander Rossi
Racing Engineering
1:40.419
11
5.
Arthur Pic
Campos Racing
1:40.434
10
6.
Pierre Gasly
DAMS
1:40.498
11
7.
Nobuharu Matsushita
ART Grand Prix
1:40.520
11
8.
Raffaele Marciello
Trident
1:40.533
11
9.
Oliver Rowland
MP Motorsport
1:40.537
11
10.
Julian Leal
Carlin
1:40.547
11
11.
Nick Yelloly
Hilmer Motorsport
1:40.697
12
12.
Alex Lynn
DAMS
1:40.708
11
13.
Jordan King
Racing Engineering
1:40.765
11
14.
Sergio Canamasas
Daiko Team Lazarus
1:40.789
10
15.
Rio Haryanto
Campos Racing
1:40.793
10
16.
André Negrao
Arden International
1:41.039
13
17.
Nathanaël Berthon
Daiko Team Lazarus
1:41.046
12
18.
Johnny Cecotto
Carlin
1:41.064
11
19
Robert Visoiu
Rapax
1:41.118
11
20.
Norman Nato
Arden International
1:41.252
11
21.
Mitch Evans
RUSSIAN TIME
1:41.275
11
22.
Daniel De Jong
MP Motorsport
1:41.542
10
23.
Rene Binder
Trident
1:41.762
11
24.
Marlon Stockinger
Status Grand Prix
1:41.802
12
25.
Artem Markelov
RUSSIAN TIME
1:41.805
12