Sakhir, Qual.: Pierre Gasly on pole

Red Bull protégé quickest in qualifying at Bahrain International Circuit

By Franck Drui

19 November 2015 - 13:20
Sakhir, Qual.: Pierre Gasly on pole

Pierre Gasly enjoyed his second pole position of the season in a thrilling qualifying session at Bahrain International Circuit. The Frenchman from DAMS set a laptime of 1:39.572, 0.040s better than 2015 GP2 Champion Stoffel Vandoorne. Ferrari academy driver Raffaele Marciello finished P3.

The session opened once again in high temperatures and under grey skies with 70% humidity. The twenty-four drivers fed onto the track on Pirelli soft tyres and it was Jordan King who set the early pace in a 1:40.217 with Gasly in tow (+0.182).

At the ten minute mark, Vandoorne dipped under 1m40s to go top. King improved but was unable to better the Belgian’s laptime. Norman Nato upset the British driver from Racing Engineering further by edging him out of P2.

Mid-session, the majority of the field returned to the pits for some fresh rubber and started to play the waiting game. One driver however was on a different strategy: Alexander Rossi found himself on a completely empty track with the sole mission to maximise the opportunity. Unfortunately for the American, he was not able to find the pace and ended his efforts with a fifth place.

With ten minutes left on the clock, as Rossi returned to the pits, the rest of the field exited. Marciello put his head down and lit sectors 1 and 2 in purple to claim the top spot, but Vandoorne would not let the Italian steal his thunder: he improved again and took provisional pole as Gasly also found some extra pace to move up to P2. Marciello went quickest again, but Gasly finally found the perfect lap to go top. His laptime of a 1:39.572 set three minutes before the end of the session was enough for pole today. Vandoorne improved one last time and edged Marciello out of P2.

At the chequered flag, behind the top 3, Alex Lynn took P4 ahead of King, Nato, Mitch Evans, Nobuharu Matsushita, Alexander Rossi and Arthur Pic.

1. Pierre Gasly DAMS 1:39.572 11
2. Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 1:39.612 11
3. Raffaele Marciello Trident 1:39.648 12
4. Alex Lynn DAMS 1:39.661 11
5. Jordan King Racing Engineering 1:39.902 11
6. Norman Nato Arden International 1:40.004 11
7. Mitch Evans RUSSIAN TIME 1:40.027 11
8. Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 1:40.079 12
9. Alexander Rossi Racing Engineering 1:40.141 11
10. Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1:40.176 11
11. Rio Haryanto Campos Racing 1:40.212 12
12. Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 1:40.354 11
13. Rene Binder MP Motorsport 1:40.367 11
14. Sergey Sirotkin Rapax 1:40.539 10
15. Nathanaël Berthon Daiko Team Lazarus 1:40.571 12
16. Sergio Canamasas Daiko Team Lazarus 1:40.588 12
17. Marlon Stockinger Status Grand Prix 1:40.650 11
18. Oliver Rowland Status Grand Prix 1:40.720 10
19. Dean Stoneman Carlin 1:41.106 11
20. Nicholas Latifi MP Motorsport 1:41.145 11
21. Daniiel De Jong Trident 1:41.208 12
22. André Negrao Arden International 1:41.432 11
23. Gustav Malja Rapax 1:41.775 11
24. Sean Gelael Carlin 1:42.840 11



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