Home Formula 2 Lynn beats Vandoorne to GP2 pole at wet Sochi

Lynn beats Vandoorne to GP2 pole at wet Sochi

by Peter Allen
Alex Lynn

Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service

Alex Lynn scored his second pole position in GP2 in a wet qualifying session at Sochi, beating champion-elect Stoffel Vandoorne after a rare error from the Belgian.

The leading order changed throughout the session as laptimes came down, with Vandoorne sitting second to Richie Stanaway with 10 minutes remaining after staying out longer on their first runs.

DAMS team-mates Pierre Gasly and Lynn went first and second after returning to the track, before Manor F1 racer Alexander Rossi took over top spot.

Vandoorne quickly bettered the American’s time but he in turn was immediately beaten by Lynn by 0.038 seconds.

Two minutes remained, but Vandoorne was held up on his next lap by Marlon Stockinger and another car and so slowed down through the final corners in order to give himself some space for a final lap.

He left it too late to get to the line though, with the clock reaching zero just before he crossed it. That allowed Lynn, who had pitted, to hold onto pole.

Vandoorne can wrap up the title in Saturday’s feature race if he outscores Rossi by six points but with the American qualifying third, that won’t happen if drivers finish the race where they start.

Rossi will share the second row with Gasly, who will be followed on the grid by fellow Frenchman Arthur Pic.

Three weeks after declaring his career over after failing to gain government support, Johnny Cecotto qualified in sixth place, beating his Trident team-mate Raffaele Marciello after the Ferrari protege was baulked badly by debutant Dean Stoneman at the end of his quickest lap.

Stanaway wound up eighth ahead of Norman Nato and Sergey Sirotkin, who marked his home race with his worst qualifying result since Barcelona in May after going off the road several times.

Stoneman matched his practice result of 19th, just one place behind a struggling Mitch Evans.

Qualifying results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Alex Lynn DAMS 2:01.840 11
2 Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 2:01.878 0.038 12
3 Alexander Rossi Racing Engineering 2:02.141 0.301 13
4 Pierre Gasly DAMS 2:02.385 0.545 11
5 Arthur Pic Campos Racing 2:02.450 0.610 12
6 Johnny Cecotto Trident 2:02.690 0.850 13
7 Raffaele Marciello Trident 2:02.709 0.869 12
8 Richie Stanaway Status Grand Prix 2:02.998 1.158 12
9 Norman Nato Arden International 2:03.133 1.293 14
10 Sergey Sirotkin Rapax 2:03.223 1.383 13
11 Andre Negrao Arden International 2:03.382 1.542 13
12 Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 2:03.519 1.679 12
13 Rio Haryanto Campos Racing 2:03.523 1.683 14
14 Jordan King Racing Engineering 2:03.622 1.782 13
15 Nicholas Latifi MP Motorsport 2:03.731 1.891 13
16 Marlon Stockinger Status Grand Prix 2:03.751 1.911 12
17 Artem Markelov Russian Time 2:04.004 2.164 13
18 Mitch Evans Russian Time 2:04.072 2.232 12
19 Dean Stoneman Carlin 2:04.093 2.253 12
20 Nathanael Berthon Team Lazarus 2:04.658 2.818 12
21 Rene Binder MP Motorsport 2:04.994 3.154 11
22 Sergio Canamasas Team Lazarus 2:04.998 3.158 13
23 Robert Visoiu Rapax 2:05.784 3.944 14
24 Sean Gelael Carlin 2:08.361 6.521 11