McLaren development driver Stoffel Vandoorne has taken his second pole position in GP2 ahead of the feature race at Monza.
While dark ominous clouds surrounded the circuit, the threat of rain stayed clear as the session got underway. Arthur Pic, who was fastest in the practice session earlier, spent most of qualifying on provisional pole.
However, he was unable to improve on his best time as he was blocked on a flying lap by the Caterham of Rio Haryanto. He will line up second on the grid.
Mitch Evans and Jolyon Palmer were next in the order; both drivers showed excellent speed throughout the session and challenged Vandoorne for pole.
Palmer was another driver to have suffered from traffic, he was held up by a slow Johnny Cecotto Jr. Cecotto wasn’t on a flying lap and saw Palmer approaching fast yet still took a tight entry to the Parabolica, blocking the championship leader and forcing him onto the kerbs. The Venezuelan was rightly hit with a three-place grid penalty for his troubles.
The trouble wasn’t over for Palmer, who will potentially find himself battling with Cecotto in the Feature Race after he too was demoted to the back of the grid. The championship leader was disqualified of all his times after the FIA scrutineers were unable to extract the minimum fuel sample from his DAMS racer.
The decision has dramatic implications for the GP2 Series championshp honours, and no doubt Palmer’s rivals will be looking to capitalise and eat into the 32-point advantage the Briton currently enjoys on his nearest rival, Felipe Nasr.
Nasr. meanwhile, found himself qualifying eighth-fastest, leaving him with a lot of work to do in the feature race in order to make significant inroads on Palmer.
Daniël De Jong again attempted his flying lap while the rest of the field were in the pits midway through the session, although this time his team misjudged the time he had on circuit and that led to him getting caught up in traffic when the field started to return to the track. The Dutch driver qualified a lowly 18th-fastest.
2014 GP2 Series Race of Italy – Qualifying Results:
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Stoffel Vandoorne||ART Grand Prix||1:31.707||11|
|2.||Arthur Pic||Campos Racing||1:31.926||+ 0.219||11|
|3.||Mitch Evans||RT Russian Time||1:31.934||+ 0.227||13|
|4.||Jolyon Palmer*||DAMS||1:32.010||+ 0.303||11|
|5.||Raffaele Marciello||Racing Engineering||1:32.124||+ 0.417||11|
|6.||Simon Trummer||Rapax Team||1:32.137||+ 0.430||13|
|7.||Stéphane Richelmi||DAMS||1:32.150||+ 0.443||6|
|8.||Felipe Nasr||Carlin Motorsport||1:32.310||+ 0.603||12|
|9.||Julián Leal||Carlin Motorsport||1:32.343||+ 0.636||11|
|10.||Andre Negrão||Arden International||1:32.354||+ 0.647||14|
|11.||Rio Haryanto||EQ8 Caterham Racing||1:32.361||+ 0.654||11|
|12.||Daniel Abt||Hilmer Motorsport||1:32.385||+ 0.678||13|
|13.||Stefano Coletti||Racing Engineering||1:32.412||+ 0.705||12|
|14.||Kimiya Sato||Campos Racing||1:32.413||+ 0.706||12|
|15.||Marco Sørensen||MP Motorsport||1:32.419||+ 0.712||12|
|16.||Jon Lancaster||Hilmer Motorsport||1:32.422||+ 0.715||12|
|17.||Takuya Izawa||ART Grand Prix||1:32.435||+ 0.728||10|
|18.||Daniël de Jong||MP Motorsport||1:32.473||+ 0.766||11|
|19.||René Binder||Arden International||1:32.483||+ 0.776||10|
|20.||Adrian Quaife-Hobbs||Rapax Team||1:32.486||+ 0.779||12|
|21.||Johnny Cecotto Jr*||Trident Racing||1:32.533||+ 0.826||13|
|22.||Sergio Canamasas||Trident Racing||1:32.624||+ 0.917||12|
|23.||Pierre Gasly||EQ8 Caterham Racing||1:32.826||+ 1.119||10|
|24.||Artem Markelov||RT Russian Time||1:32.881||+ 1.174||11|
|25.||Nathanaël Berthon||Venezuela GP Lazarus||1:32.912||+ 1.205||11|
|26.||Sergio Campana||Venezuela GP Lazarus||1:33.409||+ 1.702||12|
* Palmer was disqualified from the session after being unable to produce the minimum required fuel sample; Cecotto was demoted three grid position for impeding Palmer during qualifying.
Images via GP2 Media