Drivers made their way to the end of the pitlane for the start of the 20-minute qualifying session. The air temperature for the session was 34 degrees and track temperature sitting as high as 52 degrees
Early on in the session the championship leader Pierre Gasly spun his car after making a mistake, luckily the car was brought back to the track in one piece allowing the Frenchman to continues in the session. Antonio Giovinazzi first lap saw him placed in provisional pole position ahead of Feature race. Seconds later Giovanni’s time was bettered by his PREMA Teammate Pierre Gasly who bettered the Italians time by 3 tenths of a second to take provisional pole position from his teammate.
In previous rounds it seemed Sergey Sirotkin had lost his form from the early round. In Malaysia the Russian’s formed had come back as he took P4 from teammate Matsushita putting the ART Team in P4 & P5 with less than 5 minutes left in the session. Alex Lynn put the disappointment from the last 2 rounds behind him and shot right back up the field going P6 Whilst teammate Mitch Evans who was down in P16 was nearly a second slower than the Brit. At Racing Engineering the battle was separated by the Smallest of margins between their drivers Norman Nato and Jordan King who were separated by just +0.051 with both cars P7 & P8.
At Rapax Johnny Cecotto Jr. took over driving duties from Artur Pic in round 10, but only saw the Venezuelan set a time good enough for 15th Place and a further 1.2 seconds slower than Pole Sitter Pierre Gasly.
All of the drivers returned to the pitlane to fit new rubber to their car for the final run in qualifying in a bid to steal Pole Position. Back out on the track for the final runs. Mitch Evans made a mistake that sent his car wide and making contact with the barrier. There was no injuries or discomfort for Mitch Evans who was able to jump out of the Campos Racing car unaided. The session was Red Flagged to allow the Marshals to remove the car and debris from the track. After 7 minutes the session restarted with everyone in a mad dash to get out on the track in a bid to take Pole Position from Pierre Gasly. Giovinazzi was going strong and was showing great pace on his final lap. Up ahead the ART of Matsushita had spun bringing out the yellow flags meaning Antonio Giovinazzi had to back off his lap and slow through the yellow flag zone. Gasly hangs on to Pole Position and a PREMA front row again this season as Giovinazzi lines up P2 after losing out the chance to take Pole Position after the spin from Matsushita in the dying seconds of the session.
Gasly out qualified his teammate by +0.082 seconds with the next competitor of Marciello in the Russian Time Car was +0.345 tenths away from the Frenchman on a mighty role. The end of the session also saw Latifi jump up to P12 after improving on his time just before the yellow flags were seen on track.
Photo Via: GP2 Multimedia