Red Bull Ring GP2: Giovinazzi leads Prema 1-2 in practice

GP2 rookie Antonio Giovinazzi carried on with his rich run of form by leading a Prema Racing 1-2 in practice at the Red Bull Ring.

Red Bull Ring GP2: Giovinazzi leads Prema 1-2 in practice

A late lap from the Italian, who had stolen headlines by sweeping the previous round of the championship in Baku, demoted teammate and Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly to second, the new track surface allowing Giovinazzi to shatter Stoffel Vandoorne's GP2/11 track record from qualifying in 2015.

While the early pace in the session was set by DAMS driver Nicholas Latifi, his teammate Alex Lynn was the one to clock in the first sub-1m15s lap, before Gasly established himself out front with a 1m14.592s.

Shortly thereafter, Sergey Sirotkin made the benchmark a 1m14.476s - and any attempt of an immediate response from his rivals was scuppered by Latifi spinning out at Turn 8, which brought out the Virtual Safety Car.

After that brief disruption, Gasly was back out front with a 1m14.457s, but, as the session approached halfway, Racing Engineering's Jordan King comfortably cleared that lap with a 1m14.241s effort.

Soon after that, the red flags made for a seven-minute stoppage as Gustav Malja pulled over to the side of the track, with smoke bellowing out of his GP2/11.

King's benchmark looked set to fall when Giovinazzi picked up the pace in the closing minutes, running one tenth up after two sectors.

But the Italian had to abandon his lap at the very end because of another VSC appearance, with Mitch Evans and Nabil Jeffri spinning at Turn 1 in rapid succession.

Giovinazzi was undeterred, however, putting in a 1m13.922s lap at the last second to demote teammate Gasly, who had just surpassed King's best lap.

King settled for third, with Raffaele Marciello passing teammate Artem Markelov for fourth at the chequered flag.

Sirotkin had to do with sixth, ahead of Oliver Rowland, Lynn and rookie duo Luca Ghiotto and Marvin Kirchhofer.

Rene Binder, driving for ART Grand Prix at his home track in place of the suspended Nobuharu Matsushita, took 11th.

Practice results

Pos.#DriverTeamLapsTimeGapMph
1 20 Antonio Giovinazzi Prema Powerteam 20 1'13.922   210.676
2 21 Pierre Gasly Prema Powerteam 22 1'14.212 0.290 209.852
3 4 Jordan King Racing Engineering 19 1'14.241 0.319 209.770
4 9 Raffaele Marciello RUSSIAN TIME 19 1'14.444 0.522 209.198
5 10 Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 19 1'14.471 0.549 209.123
6 2 Sergey Sirotkin ART Grand Prix 19 1'14.476 0.554 209.108
7 22 Oliver Rowland MP Motorsport 19 1'14.645 0.723 208.635
8 5 Alex Lynn DAMS 23 1'14.649 0.727 208.624
9 15 Luca Ghiotto Trident 21 1'14.687 0.765 208.518
10 19 Marvin Kirchhofer Carlin 22 1'14.736 0.814 208.381
11 1 Rene Binder ART Grand Prix 22 1'14.799 0.877 208.205
12 18 Sergio Canamasas Carlin 22 1'14.870 0.948 208.008
13 8 Sean Gelael Campos Racing 21 1'14.923 1.001 207.861
14 3 Norman Nato Racing Engineering 21 1'14.965 1.043 207.744
15 24 Nabil Jeffri Arden International 22 1'14.999 1.077 207.650
16 23 Daniel de Jong MP Motorsport 21 1'15.110 1.188 207.343
17 7 Mitch Evans Campos Racing 16 1'15.134 1.212 207.277
18 12 Arthur Pic Rapax 23 1'15.296 1.374 206.831
19 6 Nicholas Latifi DAMS 15 1'15.367 1.445 206.636
20 11 Gustav Malja Rapax 14 1'15.731 1.809 205.643
21 25 Jimmy Eriksson Arden International 20 1'15.822 1.900 205.396
22 14 Philo Paz Armand Trident 21 1'17.194 3.272 201.746

 

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