Giovinazzi takes first GP2 pole at Baku, Evans down in 15th

GP2 rookie Antonio Giovinazzi claimed a maiden series pole position on just his third appearance in the postponed Baku qualifying session.

The Prema driver, who previously displayed his street circuit prowess in Pau and Macau in Formula 3 last year, was the man to beat for most of the session, which had been moved to the end of the day due to the kerb issues earlier on.

Giovinazzi led the field after the first runs, which were cut short by a red flag after both Philo Paz Armand and Daniel de Jong went down the escape road at Turn 3 and the former was unable to get going again.

In the second runs, Sergey Sirotkin briefly took pole away from Giovinazzi, only for the Italian to respond with a lap that was six tenths of a second faster than the Russian.

Sirotkin’s ART Grand Prix team-mate Nobuharu Matsushita then took over top spot, but Giovinazzi was able to fight back with a lap of 1m51.752s, 0.089s quicker than the Japanese racer as most other drivers returned to the pits.

He may however face questions from the stewards after he appeared to impede Artem Markelov while on a cool-down lap prior to his pole-winning effort.

Sirotkin took third behind Matsushita, with Raffaele Marciello fourth.

Giovinazzi’s fellow Italian newcomer Luca Ghiotto also managed two flying laps on the second run to claim fifth, ahead of Oliver Rowland.

Marvin Kirchhofer was another quick rookie in seventh, forcing Pierre Gasly to settle for eighth, a second down on team-mate Giovinazzi.

But he will start one place higher than the championship leader Norman Nato, while Alex Lynn could only manage 13th place, behind Sergio Canamasas, Jordan King and Markelov.

QUALIFYING TIMES

PosDriverTeamTimeGap
1Antonio GiovinazziPrema Racing1m51.752s
2Nobuharu MatsushitaART Grand Prix1m51.841s0.089s
3Sergey SirotkinART Grand Prix1m52.532s0.780s
4Raffaele MarcielloRUSSIAN TIME1m52.555s0.803s
5Luca GhiottoTrident1m52.691s0.939s
6Oliver RowlandMP Motorsport1m52.739s0.987s
7Marvin KirchhoferCarlin1m52.756s1.004s
8Pierre GaslyPrema Racing1m52.760s1.008s
9Norman NatoRacing Engineering1m52.929s1.177s
10Sergio CanamasasCarlin1m52.962s1.210s
11Jordan KingRacing Engineering1m52.962s1.210s
12Artem MarkelovRUSSIAN TIME1m53.040s1.288s
13Alex LynnDAMS1m53.092s1.340s
14Nicholas LatifiDAMS1m53.226s1.474s
15Mitch EvansPertamina Campos Racing1m53.401s1.649s
16Arthur PicRapax1m53.702s1.950s
17Daniel de JongMP Motorsport1m54.000s2.248s
18Jimmy ErikssonArden International1m54.034s2.282s
19Gustav MaljaRapax1m54.213s2.461s
20Sean GelaelPertamina Campos Racing1m54.717s2.965s
21Nabil JeffriArden International1m55.333s3.581s
22Philo Paz ArmandTrident1m57.692s5.940s

Giovinazzi takes first GP2 pole at Baku, Evans down in 15th

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