Antonio Giovinazzi takes maiden pole in Baku

Antonio Giovinazzi
Antonio Giovinazzi

Rookie Antonio Giovinazzi has adapted quickly to the Baku City Circuit: P2 in the free practice session this morning, he emerged on top in a dramatic qualifying session this afternoon. The Italian set a blazing laptime of 1:51.752 denying Nobuharu Matsushita by 0.08s in the dying minutes. Sergey Sirotkin took P3.

The early evening session opened under grey skies and in windy conditions. The drivers fed onto the track on Pirelli Supersoft tires and it was Oliver Rowland who set the early pace in a 1:54.156 through heavy traffic, but his laptime was soon bettered by three tenths by Matsushita. Pierre Gasly then became the first man to dip under 1m53s.

Halfway thru the session, the yellow flags were out after Daniel de Jong and Philo Paz Armand went off at Turn 3. De Jong managed to re-join the track safely, but Armand did not which led to a red flag period. At the restart, Giovinazzi found a clear lap and some extra pace to sit pretty at the top with a laptime of 1:52.692.

In the closing stages, the majority of the drivers improved on their personal best. Sirotkin topped the timesheets in a 1:52.532 but Giovinazzi went quickest again in a 1:51.894. Matsushita improved on the Italian’s laptime and went P1. With three minutes left on the clock, Giovinazzi put his head down and reclaimed the top spot in a 1:51.752 – +0.08s better than Matsushita who returned to the pits.

At the checkered flag, Sirotkin took third ahead of Raffaele Marciello, Luca Ghiotto, Rowland, Marvin Kirchhofer, Gasly, Norman Nato and Sergio Canamasas.

Baku, Azerbaijan – Qualifying session

Pos

Driver

Team

Laptime

Laps

1.

Antonio Giovinazzi

PREMA Racing

1:51.752

12

2.

Nobuharu Matsushita

ART Grand Prix

1:51.841

10

3.

Sergey Sirotkin

ART Grand Prix

1:52.532

11

4.

Raffaele Marciello

RUSSIAN TIME

1:52.555

11

5.

Luca Ghiotto

Trident

1:52.691

13

6.

Oliver Rowland

MP Motorsport

1:52.739

11

7.

Marvin Kirchhöfer

Carlin

1:52.756

11

8.

Pierre Gasly

PREMA Racing

1:52.760

11

9.

Norman Nato

Racing Engineering

1:52.929

13

10.

Sergio Canamasas

Carlin

1:52.962

11

11.

Jordan King

Racing Engineering

1:52.962

11

12.

Artem Markelov

RUSSIAN TIME

1:53.040

13

13.

Alex Lynn

DAMS

1:53.092

10

14.

Nicholas Latifi

DAMS

1:53.226

11

15.

Mitch Evans

Pertamina Campos Racing

1:53.401

13

16.

Arthur Pic

Rapax

1:53.702

12

17.

Daniel de Jong

MP Motorsport

1:54.000

12

18.

Jimmy Eriksson

Arden International

1:54.034

12

19

Gustav Malja

Rapax

1:54.213

12

20.

Sean Gelael

Pertamina Campos Racing

1:54.717

11

21.

Nabil Jeffri

Arden International

1:55.333

14

22.

Philo Paz Armand

Trident

1:57.692

4

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