Stoffel Vandoorne edges Jolyon Palmer to pole after session-long battle in Abu Dhabi
McLaren junior tops qualifying for fourth consecutive weekend
By William Esler
Last Updated: 25/11/14 5:37pm
Stoffel Vandoorne took his fourth consecutive GP2 pole position after a session-long battle with 2014 Champion Jolyon Palmer.
Less than a tenth of a second separated the pair as the chequered flag fell on the session under the floodlights in Abu Dhabi, but it was the McLaren junior who emerged ahead and picked up the four points on offer for pole.
The haul means the Belgian has cut the gap to just four points to Felipe Nasr in the battle for runners-up spot and the Sauber-bound driver will only start fifth.
Worringly for Vandoorne, however, he has only converted one of his previous three poles into victory, at Monza, having finished second at Spa and fifth in Sochi.
Stephane Richelmi produced his best qualifying performance since Monaco and will line-up third in the second DAMS car. He is joined on the second-row by Russian Time’s Mitch Evans.
In his third outing for Caterham Pierre Gasly appeared noticeably more comfortable in the car and completes the third row just behind Nasr.
Arthur Pic, Raffaele Marciello, Stefano Coletti and Rio Haryanto completed the top ten.
GP2 Qualifying – Abu Dhabi
1) Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) – ART Grand Prix – 1:48.088
2) Jolyon Palmer (GBR) – DAMS - +0.099
3) Stephane Richelmi (MON) – DAMS - +0.286
4) Mitch Evans (NZL) – Russian Time - +0.621
5) Felipe Nasr (BRA) – Carlin - +0.785
6) Pierre Gasly (FRA) – Caterham Racing - +0.885
7) Arthur Pic (FRA) – Campos Racing - +0.897
8) Raffaele Marciello (ITA) – Racing Engineering - +0.935
9) Stefano Coletti (MON) – Racing Engineering - +1.238
10) Rio Jaryanto (INA) – Caterham Racing - +1.250
24) Jon Lancaster (GBR) – Hilmer Motorsport - +1.797
1) Jolyon Palmer – 256
2) Felipe Nasr – 200
3) Stoffel Vandoorne – 196
4) Mitch Evans – 151
5) Johnny Cecotto - 128