After starting from pole position, it was Red Bull Junior driver Pierre Gasly who was victorious in Abu Dhabi in the GP2 Feature Race, taking the lead in the drivers championship by 12 points.
Pierre Gasly takes championship lead after Abu Dhabi GP2 Feature Race win
In what was a strategy influenced race around the Yas Marina circuit, it was Pierre Gasly who took his fourth victory of 2016 for Prema Racing. Starting the race from pole position, Gasly led the Feature Race from the outset. After starting on the super-soft tyre, Gasly pitted early in the race onto the medium tyre, marking his only pit stop of the race. Putting in strong performances on the medium tyre, Gasly managed to regain the lead after the drivers leading the race on the alternate strategy pitted, leading to the Frenchman securing the win. ART Grand Prix’ Nobuharu Matsushita finished in second place despite closing in on Gasly in the final stages of the race while racing on the super-soft tyre. Artem Markelov finished in third place for Russian Time, rounding out the podium positions.
Finishing in fourth place was Sergey Sirotkin for ART Grand Prix after starting the race in third place.
Antonio Giovinazzi finished in fifth place for Prema Racing after starting in sixth. In the early stages of the race, Giovinazzi struggled with heavy tyre wear, meaning that the Italian rookie dropped down the field in the early stages of the race. However, after pitting onto the medium tyres, Giovinazzi managed to recover. Despite crossing the line in sixth place, Giovinazzi was promoted to fifth place through a five second time penalty that had been awarded to Norman Nato for speeding in the pit lane. Nato finished in sixth place.
Johnny Cecotto finished in seventh place, followed by Alex Lynn who finished eighth. Lynn experienced a very difficult race, particularly in the case of tyre wear, informing his team that the rear tyres on his car were heavily worn and that he would need to pit. Despite this, DAMS refused to pit Lynn, meaning that the British driver dropped down the field, with a slow pit stop not assisting driver.
Nicholas Latifi finished in ninth place for DAMS, followed by Raffaele Marciello who finished in tenth place. Due to this poor finishing position, it has become mathematically impossible for Marciello to win the drivers championship, leaving only two drivers able to win the GP2 title with one race to go.
By winning the race, Pierre Gasly has taken the lead in the drivers champoinship, leading his team mate, Antonio Giovinazzi, by 12 points in what was once a 7 point lead in Giovinazzi’s favor. This means that the championship will be decided in the final race of the season that will be held tomorrow around the Yas Marina circuit. In the Sprint Race, Giovinazzi will start from third place while Gasly will start from eighth. With there being 17 points on offer in the race (15 from the win and 2 from the fastest lap), Giovinazzi will be looking to cross the line in first position, maximizing the points that he can score inn the final race of the 2016 season.
Results from the Abu Dhabi GP2 Feature Race
- Pierre Gasly, Prema Racing, 25 points
- Nobuharu Matsushita, ART Grand Prix, 18 points
- Artem Markelov, Russian Time, 15 points
- Sergey Sirotkin, ART Grand Prix, 12 points
- Antonio Giovinazzi, Prema Racing, 10 points
- Norman Nato, Racing Engineering, 8 points
- Johnny Cecotto, Rapax, 6 points
- Alex Lynn, DAMS, 4 points
- Nicholas Latifi, DAMS, 2 points
- Raffaele Marciello, Russian Time, 1 point
- Luca Ghiotto, Trident, 0 points
- Sergio Canamasas, Carlin, 0 points
- Jordan King, Racing Engineering, 0 points
- Daniel De Jong, MP Motorsport, 0 points
- Mitch Evans, PERTAMINA Campos Racing, 0 points
- Philo Armand, Trident, 0 points
- Emil Bernstorff, Arden International, 0 points
- Louis Deletraz, Carlin, Ret
- Sean Gelael, PERTAMINA Campos Racing, Ret
- Oliver Rowland, MP Motorsport, Ret
- Gustav Malja, Rapax, Ret
- Nabil Jeffri, Arden International, Ret