Reigning GP3 Series Champion Alex Lynn took his first GP2 pole position in today’s qualifying session at Budapest. The Briton set the fastest laptime of the day in a 1:28.022 pipping Series leader Stoffel Vandoorne from the top spot by 0.019s. Arthur Pic completed the top three.
The pitlane opened once again in scorching temperatures. The drivers fed onto the track eager to put their Soft Pirelli tyres to good use. Raffaele Marciello seemed on a mission as he was the first man to dip under 1m29s on his first push lap, but Vandoorne went quicker and moved up to P1. Behind the battling pair, Pic was also working hard to be featured at the top of the standings. As most drivers returned to the pits for fresh rubber, the Frenchman was able to find a clear lap to improve on his laptime, but it was still not enough and he remained P3 as he too returned to the pits.
The DAMS duo were the first ones to re-join the track and Lynn took full advantage of this strategy: on a traffic-free circuit, he found some extra pace to clock in a laptime a hairsbreadth better than Vandoorne. With nine minutes left on the clock, the rest of the pack returned to the track and despite his best efforts, the Belgian driver was unable to improve as Lynn watched Vandoorne’s failed attempts from the DAMS’ pitwall. Another threat came from Marciello as the Italian went green in sector 1 and then purple in sector 2, but lost precious time in the final sector. At the chequered flag, Pic put his head down on his last try and was able to better Marciello’s time to take P3.
But no one smiled wider than Lynn who celebrated his maiden pole with his team. Behind the top three, Marciello, Pierre Gasly, Jordan King, Rio Haryanto, Mitch Evans, Sergey Sirotkin and Nick Yelloly rounded up the top ten whilst title contender Alexander Rossi had to settle for eleventh and will have to fight hard to close the distance with his rivals.
Qualifying (Top 5)
1.Alex Lynn DAMS 1:28.022
2.Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 1:28.041
3.Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1:28.154
4.Raffaele Marciello Trident 1:28.272
5.Pierre Gasly DAMS 1:28.361
8.Mitch Evans RUSSIAN TIME 1:28.608
14.Richie Stanaway Status Grand Prix 1:29.038