Pierre Gasly has surged to the top of the GP2 Series standings after breaking his victory duck in style with a comprehensive performance in the Silverstone feature race.

The Frenchman started on the front row and ran second during the early stages of the race behind countryman Norman Nato, but an alternative strategy to pit early would prove inspired as he bided his time against the opposition.

Indeed, with the Prema driver pitting on lap seven of 29, he would spend much of the race lapping faster than the lead pack - headed up by Nato from Jordan King, Nicholas Latifi, Artem Markelov and Mitch Evans - going long on their set of tyres.

When the front runners eventually dived for the pit lane between lap 21 and 23, they would all emerge back on track well adrift of those that had stopped far earlier.

It meant Gasly would ease home seven seconds clear of team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi and Oliver Rowland, the trio all making their strategies work to perfection to lock out the podium.

The win marks the Red Bull Junior's first win in GP2 and a first in motorsport since he won the 2013 Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup. It also means he has moved up into the lead of the standings from Giovinazzi, the Italian lauded for a brave last lap pass on Rowland for second on the outside of Luffield.

Evans was the best of the drivers to pit late, the Kiwi making vast gains in the closing stages to jump from eighth to fourth, ahead of Luca Ghiotto, who demonstrated the sheer advantage of stopping early by going from last on the grid to fifth, and Nobuharu Matsushita, back in action after his race ban.

Long-time leader Nato had to make do with seventh, ahead of King, the two Racing Engineering drivers locking out the front row for the sprint race. Erstwhile championship leader Raffaele Marciello and his Russian Time team-mate Artem Markelov completed the points.

Elsewhere, Alex Lynn was delayed on the opening lap and never recovered, the DAMS driver down in 16th at the finish.

 

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