Gawky tops opening GP2 PRACTICE AT Monza

Pierre Gasly has picked up where he left off by setting the pace in this morning's Free Practice session in Monza, claiming the top spot despite a probable fuel issue halfway through the session halting his track time early, ahead of Artem Markelov and PREMA Racing teammate Antonio Giovinazzi.

The Red Bull tester stopped the clocks at 1:31.990 in a session which saw three VSC periods for on track incidents, including the top two drivers stopping early. The session got underway under hot and sunny conditions, with Arthur Pic setting the early pace before Jimmy Eriksson stopped at the Rettifilo exit, prompting the first VSC period just 6 minutes in.

The session got back underway 2 minutes later as the teams restarted their programs: Jordan King, Luca Ghiotto, Pic, Markelov and Giovinazzi all sat on the top of the timesheets for a while before Gasly trumped them at the 16 minute mark: his rivals tried in vain to topple the Frenchman before Gasly and Markelov both stopped on the approach to the Parabolica after likely running out of fuel as Nabil Jeffri spun behind them at Ascari before returning, prompting the second VSC period as most of the field returned to the pits for fresh rubber.

With the teams working on race pace in the second half of the session there was little improvement in times, although Mitch Evans was the notable exception as he grabbed P4 at the restart, and the session briefly slowed once more for a VSC as a spin off the curbs at Lesmo saw Philo Paz Armand find the wall, before the remainder of the grid ran to the flag from the restart without further incident.

Behind the top three Evans, King, Oliver Rowland, Ghiotto, Marvin Kirchhöfer, Pic and Alex Lynn ran within a second of the top spot and will all fancy their chances in this afternoon's Qualifying session, where the pace on track will look to replicate the heat surrounding the circuit.

Results

Pos Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Pierre Gasly PREMA Racing 1:31.990 9
2. Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 1:32.142 9
3. Antonio Giovinazzi PREMA Racing 1:32.225 18
4. Mitch Evans Pertamina Campos Racing 1:32.413 16
5. Jordan King Racing Engineering 1:32.514 18
6. Oliver Rowland MP Motorsport 1:32.604 18
7. Luca Ghiotto Trident 1:32.666 19
8. Marvin Kirchhofer Carlin 1:32.718 16
9. Arthur Pic Rapax 1:32.772 18
10. Alex Lynn DAMS 1:32.794 18
11. Sergey Sirotkin ART Grand Prix 1:32.809 17
12. Nicholas Latifi DAMS 1:32.939 19
13. Norman Nato Racing Engineering 1:33.068 18
14. Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 1:33.121 18
15. Sean Gelael Pertamina Campos Racing 1:33.340 17
16. Sergio Canamasas Carlin 1:33.341 14
17. Gustav Malja Rapax 1:33.421 20
18. Nabil Jeffri Arden International 1:33.502 19
19 Raffaele Marciello RUSSIAN TIME 1:33.525 16
20. Daniel de Jong MP Motorsport 1:33.942 18
21. Philo Paz Armand Trident 1:34.021 13
22. Jimmy Eriksson Arden International 2

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