Yas Marina, Qual.: Gasly lights up Abu Dhabi qualifying

Frenchman soars to final 2015 pole

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By Olivier Ferret

27 November 2015 - 17:00
Yas Marina, Qual.: Gasly lights up (...)

Pierre Gasly repeated his storming free practice performance by dominating this evening’s qualifying session in Abu Dhabi, denying 2015 champion Stoffel Vandoorne a final pole position for the season as the pair topped the timesheets ahead of Mitch Evans.

The Red Bull test driver annexed the top spot with a lap of 1:47.769, although Vandoorne closed to within a tenth in a frenetic session which saw the top four drivers bring home times under the McLaren tester’s 2014 pole as the weekend hangs onto the cooler than usual temperatures.

The session started with the usual jockeying for position when the lights went green, but Gasly ignored them all and set the pace right from the start: Vandoorne, Evans and Alexander Rossi all briefly put themselves on top but the Frenchman broke their hearts with a 48.0 lap at the seven minute mark, to take the lead back to the pits, and then went faster again when he returned to the track to drive the point home.

His rivals were still determined to put up a challenge: teammate Alex Lynn jumped Vandoorne for P2 on his first flyer on his second set, but the Belgian stole it back a minute later to at least start from the front row. The pair (and Gasly) returned to the pits with a minute remaining: Rossi tried to push forward but made a small mistake in sector 1 to put paid to his efforts, while Evans’ last ditch attempt paid off with P3 for tomorrow.

Lynn leads the rest of the field, ahead of Raffaele Marciello, Rio Haryanto (who will be delighted to outqualify his rival Sergey Sirotkin for third in championship), Rossi, Jordan King, Nobuharu Matsushita and Artem Markelov, who all qualified within a second of pole and will be looking for more rewards in tomorrow’s feature race.

PosDriverTeamTimeLaps
1. Pierre Gasly DAMS 1:47.769 10
2. Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 1:47.866 9
3. Mitch Evans RUSSIAN TIME 1:48.014 11
4. Alex Lynn DAMS 1:48.049 10
5. Raffaele Marciello Trident 1:48.419 11
6. Rio Haryanto Campos Racing 1:48.429 11
7. Alexander Rossi Racing Engineering 1:48.598 12
8. Jordan King Racing Engineering 1:48.632 11
9. Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 1:48.699 10
10. Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 1:48.743 11
11. André Negrao Arden International 1:48.822 11
12. Sergey Sirotkin Rapax 1:48.981 11
13. Norman Nato Arden International 1:49.105 11
14. Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1:49.110 11
15. Sergio Canamasas Daiko Team Lazarus 1:49.146 11
16. Dean Stoneman Carlin 1:49.166 11
17. Nicholas Latifi MP Motorsport 1:49.350 11
18. Oliver Rowland Status Grand Prix 1:49.374 11
19. Rene Binder MP Motorsport 1:49.661 12
20. Daniiel De Jong Trident 1:49.727 12
21. Nathanaël Berthon Daiko Team Lazarus 1:49.779 11
22. Marlon Stockinger Status Grand Prix 1:49.839 11
23. Gustav Malja Rapax 1:50.543 11
24. Sean Gelael Carlin 1:51.604 11

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