Grey clouds and cooler temperatures welcomed GP2 to Qualifying at Monza this afternoon. Arthur Pic started the weekend off in style with the fastest time in Practice ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne.
With the threat of rain looming overhead, each and every driver lined up at the pit lane exit to get out as soon as the session began. Arthur Pic had the fastest time after everyone had completed a lap. The Frenchman had a healthy tow from Adrian Quaife-Hobbs in the final sector which allowed him to set a time of 1:31.926.
Felipe Nasr set a very fast first sector time but was balked immediately after the Della Roggia chicane by Marco Sørensen who was very slow on the racing line – the Brazilian gesticulated madly. Simon Trummer was able to go P5 after a commendable effort in the Rapax.
25 drivers were within one second of Pic’s session topping time at the halfway point – Sergio Campana being the only man outside the one second barrier. Jolyon Palmer, Stoffel Vandoorne, Mitch Evans and Simon Trummer rounded out the top five with 15 minutes to go. Daniël de Jong attempted a lap during the mid session lull for the fourth weekend in a row and was joined by Stoffel Vandoorne in the ART Grand Prix car and René Binder in the Arden International machine. All three drivers failed to make any gains on their times they had set previously in the session.
Mitch Evans exploited the final sector where Arthur Pic was slow and moved into P2 just 0.002 behind the Campos driver. Stoffel Vandoorne’s effort was a little more fruitful and he took top spot for himself. Jolyon Palmer was able to take a couple of hundredths of a second off his banked lap time but didn’t improve from P4. In another try Palmer struggled to get past Johnny Cecotto on track and resorted to jumping on top of the kerbs on the entrance to Parabolica but the Briton didn’t improve.
Raffaele Marciello improved from P9 on the grid to P5 in the final few seconds while his team mate Stefano Coletti moved up 12 positions to P13 with seconds to spare. Johnny Cecotto was having a very surprisingly bad day; the Venezuelan languishing down in 21st place.
Stoffel Vandoorne’s time of 1:31.707 went unbeaten by his rivals and the Belgian secured his second pole position in a row ahead of Arthur Pic. Mitch Evans and Jolyon Palmer complete the second row of the grid while Marciello and Trummer will share the third row of the Feature Race starting grid.
|1||Vandoorne||ART Grand Prix||1:31.707|
|3||Evans||RT RUSSIAN TIME||0.227|
|17||Izawa||ART Grand Prix||0.728|
|18||De Jong||MP Motorsport||0.766|
|24||Markelov||RT RUSSIAN TIME||1.174|
|25||Berthon||Venezuela GP Lazarus||1.205|
|26||Campana||Venezuela GP Lazarus||1.702|