ABU DHABI – McLaren junior driver Stoffel Vandoorne will start the final race of the 2014 GP2 Series season on pole position after edging out championship winner Jolyon Palmer in Abu Dhabi on Friday evening.
For the first time in GP2 history, a driver has secured four consecutive pole positions, with Vandoorne continuing his strong finish to the 2014 season at Yas Marina. His lap of 1:48.088 was good enough to secure him top spot on the timesheets, and allowed the ART driver to pit on his final flyer as the result was already secure.
Off the back of his title win in Russia, Palmer could only finish second, falling 0.099 seconds short of Vandoorne’s time. He will start ahead of DAMS teammate Stephane Richelmi and Russian Time’s Mitch Evans, who qualified in third and fourth place respectively.
Carlin’s Felipe Nasr ran well to qualify fifth in Abu Dhabi, but after losing out on the championship to Palmer in Russia, he now looks resigned to third place in the standings with Vandoorne just four points behind heading into tomorrow’s race.
Red Bull junior driver and Toro Rosso candidate Pierre Gasly enjoyed a strong result on Friday, qualifying sixth in Caterham Racing’s final race before its rebrand as Status Grand Prix for 2015. Arthur Pic starts seventh ahead of Raffaele Marciello and Stefano Coletti, with Rio Haryanto rounding out the top ten.
American driver Conor Daly returns for this weekend’s round in Abu Dhabi for Venezuela GP Lazarus, and will start from P20, having finished just three-tenths of a second shy of a top ten grid slot.