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.

Jolyon Palmer

Palmer was stripped of his qualifying times and will start from the back of 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 dk 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 es 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

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