Pierre Gasly kicked off Prema Racing’s first home race weekend in the GP2 Series by heading up a front-row lock-out for the Italian team at Monza on Friday afternoon.
Red Bull junior driver Gasly arrived in Italy leading the GP2 standings by 17 points from teammate Antonio Giovinazzi with three rounds remaining.
Gasly and Giovinazzi entered battle in qualifying at Monza on Saturday, separated by just one-tenth of a second following their initial efforts.
Gasly opened the gap up to three-tenths with a fast lap, but was unable to improve on his final run, opening the door for Giovinazzi.
A slow middle sector proved costly for Giovinazzi as he missed out on a home pole position by just 0.054 seconds, handing P1 and four precious bonus points to Gasly.
Artem Markelov impressed en route to third place for Russian Time ahead of Arthur Pic and Mitch Evans, while Jordan King qualified sixth for Racing Engineering.
Williams youngster Alex Lynn was seventh-fastest ahead of Nabil Jeffri, while Sergey Sirotkin’s title aspirations took another hit as he could only finish ninth. Norman Nato rounded out the top 10.