Going from pole to win in the feature race of the 2016 season finale at Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi, Pierre Gasly delivered Prema with another outstanding result in the last round of the GP2 Series. The Frenchman, part of the Red Bull Junior program, put together an amazing performance between qualifying and race 1, cruising to the championship lead in the process and setting a new track record in qualifying. In race 1, held in night conditions with artificial light, Gasly performed straight away, retaining the lead at the start and quickly increasing the margin on his contenders. On lap 6, he stopped for his tire change moving from soft to medium rubber and then kept pushing until lap 25, when he fought back to the lead when the drivers who had opted for late changes eventually made their way to the pits. Gasly has now a 12-point advantage on team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi. The Italian started from sixth place after a traffic mishap in qualifying, and pitted one lap later than Gasly. He pushed as hard as he could to recover but had to settle for fifth place. Race 2, scheduled for tomorrow, will see the Prema drivers line-up for their final championship battle.
# 20 - Antonio Giovinazzi
“I was off to an okay start but then it was just a big mess with the extra lap I did before the pit-stop. I lost so much time there from the car I had in front. In the end I finished P5 with Pierre winning, congrats to him but the championship is still open and I will never give up until the checkered flag falls tomorrow.”
# 21 - Pierre Gasly
“Today it was a fantastic day. The car was really quick from the first lap and we also had a very good strategy with the team. In addition, tire degradation wasn’t too bad. Everything went smoothly. We lost a bit of time at the pit-stop because the pitlane was really busy but in the end it didn’t affect us too much. I just tried to push as much as I could while saving the tires in the end to make sure I could keep Matsushita at bay when he had moved to supersofts. I pulled a bit of a gap but the race wasn’t easy. Overall I’m really happy to have won the last feature race in GP2 this season but now we must focus on tomorrow because the most important part of the job is yet to come. I will keep pushing and give everything I can to win the title.”