Stéphane Richelmi will head a DAMS one-two in qualifying for the second feature race of the GP2 Series season in Spain.
His teammate Jolyon Palmer threatened to snatch pole late in the session, until a mistake saw him abort his lap early and he headed into the pits knowing he couldn’t improve.
The session kicked off with majority of the field rushing to the track, all trying to find space among the 26-car field. The ART team, however, played a different strategy to the rest of the teams and stayed in the garage until the other drivers had all put in a lap.
Then Stoffel Vandoorne led team-mate Takuya Izawa out on to the track to become the sole drivers on the circuit, allowing them space to complete the perfect lap.
The strategy was good; the laps however, were not. Both drivers failed to make a top 5 appearance with their lap time. Vandoorne decided to stay out and put another lap in, although he didn’t improve.
With less than ten minutes left in the session, the rest of the field jumped back on track to complete their final runs of the session.
Despite celebrating a full-time deal for the GP Lazarus outfit, Conor Daly struggled to get to grips with the car and wasn’t able to elevate himself from last position. His cause wasn’t helped when he was apparently held up by Arden stand-in Tom Dillmann. Ultimately, the FIA stewards declared Dillmann had no case to answer.
Daly shares the last row of the grid with Artem Markelov, who had another disappointing qualifying session after a poor showing in Bahrain; teammate Mitch Evans was sandwiched between the two Carlin’s of Felipe Nasr and Julián Leal in sixth.
The balance of the top-ten saw some impressive performances.
Debutant Tio Ellinas impressed greatly for MP Motorsport, finishing ninth-fastest in his first GP2 qualifying session.
Alexander Rossi also improved a sizeable amount coming from practice where he could hardly find any pace; he will line up eighth on the grid for tomorrow’s feature race.
The GP2 Series Feature Race, held over 37 laps gets underway at 3:40pm local time (GMT +2) on Saturday.
2014 GP2 Series Race of Spain – Qualifying Results:
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|2.||Jolyon Palmer||DAMS||1:29.421||+ 0.128||9|
|3.||Stefano Coletti||Racing Engineering||1:29.514||+ 0.221||10|
|4.||Raffaele Marciello||Racing Engineering||1:29.650||+ 0.357||10|
|5.||Felipe Nasr||Carlin Motorsport||1:29.698||+ 0.405||11|
|6.||Mitch Evans||RT Russian Time||1:29.703||+ 0.410||9|
|7.||Julián Leal||Carlin Motorsport||1:29.841||+ 0.548||11|
|8.||Alexander Rossi||EQ8 Caterham Racing||1:29.893||+ 0.600||11|
|9.||Tio Ellinas||MP Motorsport||1:29.902||+ 0.609||11|
|10.||Stoffel Vandoorne||ART Grand Prix||1:29.963||+ 0.670||11|
|11.||Rio Haryanto||EQ8 Caterham Racing||1:29.983||+ 0.690||11|
|12.||Tom Dillmann||Arden International||1:30.289||+ 0.996||10|
|13.||Arthur Pic||Campos Racing||1:30.300||+ 1.007||11|
|14.||Daniel Abt||Hilmer Motorsport||1:30.412||+ 1.119||11|
|15.||Nathanaël Berthon||Venezuela GP Lazarus||1:30.470||+ 1.177||9|
|16.||Johnny Cecotto Jr||Trident Racing||1:30.496||+ 1.203||11|
|17.||Kimiya Sato||Campos Racing||1:30.510||+ 1.217||11|
|18.||René Binder||Arden International||1:30.553||+ 1.260||11|
|19.||Daniël de Jong||MP Motorsport||1:30.617||+ 1.324||9|
|20.||Sergio Canamasas||Trident Racing||1:30.737||+ 1.444||11|
|21.||Facu Regalia||Hilmer Motorsport||1:30.790||+ 1.497||11|
|22.||Andrew Quaife-Hobbs||Rapax Team||1:30.884||+ 1.591||11|
|23.||Takuya Izawa||ART Grand Prix||1:30.903||+ 1.610||11|
|24.||Simon Trummer||Rapax Team||1:30.923||+ 1.630||13|
|25.||Artem Markelov||RT Russian Time||1:31.336||+ 2.043||12|
|26.||Conor Daly||Venezuela GP Lazarus||1:31.558||+ 2.265||9|
Image via GP2 Series Media