|2016 Kuala Lumpur Feature Race|
The Sepang International Circuit with added DRS.
|Date||1 October 2016|
|Event||2016 Malaysian Grand Prix|
|Location||Sepang International Circuit Sepang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia|
|Lap length||5.543 km (3.444 mi)|
|Distance||29 laps / 160.747 km (99.884 mi)|
|Pole Sitter||Pierre Gasly|
|Team||ART Grand Prix|
|Time||1:45.791 on lap 10|
|Antonio Giovinazzi||Sergey Sirotkin||Norman Nato|
|Winner Team||Prema Racing|
|2016 Monza Sprint Race||2016 Sepang Sprint Race|
The 2016 Sepang Feature Race, otherwise officially known as the 2016 Kuala Lumpur Race 1, was the nineteenth race of the 2016 FIA GP2 Series, staged on the 1 October 2016 at the Sepang International Circuit. The race, held in support of the 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix, would see Antonio Giovinazzi secure victory and the lead in the Championship.
Pierre Gasly would, however, start the race from both pole and the Championship lead, edging out teammate Giovinazzi in a red flagged session. The cause of said red flag would be Mitch Evans, who put himself into the barriers after a rear axle lock-up, while a late yellow flag ended any hopes of beating Gasly's early effort.
However, it would be a miserable start to the race for Gasly, with the Frenchman getting overtaken by both Giovinazzi and Raffaele Marciello. Indeed, it proved to be a barnstorming start from Marciello, with the Italian blasting past the two Premas to claim the lead, although it was not to last.
Marciello would run wide at the first corner, allowing Giovinazzi and Sergey Sirotkin, who had elbowed Gasly out wide too, to slip inside for first and second. Those two duly sprinted clear during the early stages, with Sirotkin briefly able to keep in DRS range before Giovinazzi pulled away with a series of fastest laps.
After their early burst would come a slow trickle of stops, with Sirotkin the first to swap his medium Pirelli tyres for hards on lap eight. Marciello was in on the next lap, only for a gun issue to drop him down the order, while Giovinazzi came in on lap eleven, rejoining behind Sirotkin.
Those two would run nose-to-tail for the rest of the afternoon, re-inheriting the lead once Luca Ghiotto and Mitch Evans headed into the pits on the alternative strategy. Sirotkin and Giovinazzi then duelled for victory, with the Italian finally making a move stick around the outside of turn two on the penultimate tour.
With that the race was run, with Giovinazzi building a small gap over Sirotkin as he secured his fifth victory of the campaign. Behind second placed Sirotkin would come Norman Nato, while Gasly dropped out of the points completely after his awful start.
The Sepang International Circuit hosted the tenth round of the 2016 FIA GP2 Series, serving as the only Asian based round on the calendar. The Sepang circuit itself remained unchanged from GP2's last visit in 2013, although there were two DRS zones added on the front and back straights. In terms of the entry list there would be a couple of changes, with Johnny Cecotto, Jr. joining Rapax in place of Arthur Pic, while Jimmy Eriksson dropped out of his seat at Arden International with a severe lack of money.
Into the Championship and Pierre Gasly had ended the weekend in Monza at the head of the pack, although his lead had been cut to ten points by teammate Antonio Giovinazzi. Furthermore, despite the fact that there were still 98 points left to fight for, the form of the two Prema Racing drivers suggested it was now a two horse race for the title with four races to go. Indeed, Raffaele Marciello had slipped 36 points off the leader in Monza, with Sergey Sirotkin almost out of the fight in fourth with 115.
In the Teams' Championship it seemed as if it was Prema's crown to lose, despite the fact that the Italian squad were in their maiden GP2 season. Indeed, with a 99 point advantage the virgin GP2 effort could afford to miss an entire weekend and still retain the lead with two weekends to go, meaning they were set to take the title in Malaysia. Behind, Racing Engineering had moved a point ahead of Russian Time to grab second in Italy, while ART Grand Prix had lost a lot of ground in fourth.
The full entry list for the 2016 Sepang Feature Race is displayed below:
The final qualifying result for the 2016 Sepang Feature Race are outlined below:
|2016 Sepang Feature Race Qualifying Result|
|1st||21||Pierre Gasly||Prema Racing||1:42.181||—||1|
|2nd||20||Antonio Giovinazzi||Prema Racing||1:42.263||+0.082s||2|
|3rd||9||Raffaele Marciello||Russian Time||1:42.526||+0.345s||3|
|4th||2||Sergey Sirotkin||ART Grand Prix||1:42.528||+0.347s||4|
|5th||1||Nobuharu Matsushita||ART Grand Prix||1:42.623||+0.442s||5|
|7th||3||Norman Nato||Racing Engineering||1:42.800||+0.619s||7|
|8th||4||Jordan King||Racing Engineering||1:42.851||+0.670s||8|
|9th||22||Oliver Rowland||MP Motorsport||1:42.902||+0.721s||9|
|10th||10||Artem Markelov||Russian Time||1:42.934||+0.753s||10|
|15th||12||Johnny Cecotto, Jr.||Carlin||1:43.385||+1.204s||15|
|16th||7||Mitch Evans||Pertamina Campos Racing||1:43.606||+1.425s||16|
|17th||24||Nabil Jeffri||Arden International||1:43.761||+1.580s||17|
|18th||23||Daniël de Jong||MP Motorsport||1:43.965||+1.784s||18|
|20th||8||Sean Gelael||Pertamina Campos Racing||1:44.087||+1.906s||20|
|21st||14||Philo Paz Armand||Trident||1:44.578||+2.397s||21|
|107% Time: 1:49.333|
|WD*||25||Jimmy Eriksson||Arden International||Withdrawn|
- * Eriksson was withdrawn from the weekend after failing to secure funds for his race seat.
|16||Johnny Cecotto, Jr.|
|Daniël de Jong||______________|
|22||Philo Paz Armand|
The final classification of the 2016 Sepang Feature Race is displayed below:
|2016 Sepang Feature Race Race Result|
|Pos.||No.||Name||Team||Laps||Race Time||Fastest lap||Pts.|
|1st||20||Antonio Giovinazzi||Prema Racing||29||0:52:18.049||1:46.060||25|
|2nd||2||Sergey Sirotkin||ART Grand Prix||29||+5.858s||1:45.791||20|
|3rd||3||Norman Nato||Racing Engineering||29||+8.015s||1:46.289||15|
|5th||4||Jordan King||Racing Engineering||29||+18.742s||1:46.458||10|
|6th||9||Raffaele Marciello||Russian Time||29||+20.694s||1:46.679||8|
|8th||7||Mitch Evans||Pertamina Campos Racing||29||+28.550s||1:46.049||4|
|11th||21||Pierre Gasly||Prema Racing||29||+35.538s||1:46.675||4|
|12th||22||Oliver Rowland||MP Motorsport||29||+35.550s||1:46.301|
|13th||12||Johnny Cecotto, Jr.||Rapax||29||+35.703s||1:46.708|
|16th||8||Sean Gelael||Pertamina Campos Racing||29||+42.969s||1:46.771|
|17th||23||Daniël de Jong||MP Motorsport||29||+47.208s||1:47.201|
|18th||24||Nabil Jeffri||Arden International||29||+1:03.069||1:47.479|
|19th||14||Philo Paz Armand||Trident||29||+1:06.464||1:47.706|
|Ret*||1||Nobuharu Matsushita||ART Grand Prix||22||Retired||1:45.417|
|DNS†||10||Artem Markelov||Russian Time||—|
|WD||25||Jimmy Eriksson||Arden International||—|
- Bold indicates a driver started from pole.
- Italics indicate that a driver set fastest lap.
- * Matsushita recorded the fastest lap but was ineligible to score points as he finished outside of the top ten.
- † Markelov was unable to start due to a technical issue on the grid.
- Prema Racing declared as the 2016 FIA GP2 Series Teams Champions.
- First GP2 race to be staged in Malaysia since 2013
- First GP2 start for Johnny Cecotto, Jr. since the 2015 Sochi Sprint Race.
- Fifth and final GP2 victory for Antonio Giovinazzi.
- Also the Italian's eighth and final podium visit.
- Prema Racing secured their eighth victory in GP2 as an entrant.
- Norman Nato claimed his fifth podium finish.
Victory propelled Antonio Giovinazzi to the top of the Championship with three races to go, overtaking teammate Pierre Gasly. Indeed, a ten point advantage for the latter had been converted into an eleven point lead for the former after the first race in Sepang, with a huge gap back to pack behind. Indeed, with 65 points left in play it was now effectively a two-horse race for the title, with Raffaele Marciello 32 points off Gasly.
In contrast it was all over in the Teams' Championship, with Prema Racing moving 123 points clear of their pursuers, with just 107 left to fight for. That left Racing Engineering and Russian Time to fight for second, with eighteen points between the Spaniards in second and the Russian squad in third. They were still mathematically fighting ART Grand Prix for the runner-up spot, while DAMS were realistically too far back to challenge.
Only point scoring drivers and teams are shown.
Images and Videos:
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 'GP2 confirms 11-race calendar for 2016', f1destinations.com, (F1 Destinations, 04/03/2016), https://f1destinations.com/gp2-series-2016-calendar/, (Accessed 10/10/2018)
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Archived, 'GIOVINAZZI GLOWS IN SEPANG', gp2series.com, (GP2 Series, 01/10/2016), https://web.archive.org/web/20161002124844/http://www.gp2series.com/News-Room/News/2016/10_October/Giovinazzi-glows-in-Sepang/, (Accessed 25/10/2018) - Original
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Archived, 'PIERRE GASLY GRABS FOURTH POLE', gp2series.com, (GP2 Series, 30/09/2016), https://web.archive.org/web/20161001154402/http://www.gp2series.com/News-Room/News/2016/09_September/Pierre-Gasly-grabs-fourth-pole-/, (Accessed 25/10/2018) - Original
- ↑ Valentin Khorounzhiy, 'Cecotto replaces Pic for Sepang GP2 round', motorsport.com, (Motorsport, 26/09/2016), https://www.motorsport.com/fia-f2/news/cecotto-replaces-pic-for-sepang-gp2-round-830330/830330/, (Accessed 25/10/2018)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Archived, 'GP2 Series 2016 Results: Autodromo Nazionale Monza', gp2series.com, (GP2 Series, 2016), https://web.archive.org/web/20161122074016/http://www.gp2series.com:80/Results/?raceid=970&seasonid=173, (Accessed 25/10/2018) - Original