Charles Pic claimed his maiden GP2 pole position at Abu Dhabi ahead of tomorrow’s feature race, with Oliver Turvey starting alongside the Frenchman on the front row.

3rd placed man Davide Valsecchi led for most of the session until Pic jumped ahead, and Turvey was just a fraction away from pole, by just two hundredths of a second.

But despite claiming his first ever pole, Pic was in a reflective mood after the session.

“This was easier than the last time I drove here,” he said. “Back in November I had to learn the car and the track, but today I felt more comfortable. I had a few problems at the start last time we were here, but I will do my best tomorrow. I'm confident we can find a good race set-up and after that it will be down to me.”

Jules Bianchi, part of the Ferrari young driver development team, qualified 4th for ART, and Alexander Rossi had qualified in 5th, but has been moved to the back of the grid after stewards deemed his front wing illegal – one side had been adjusted higher than the other. A team statement said it had been caused by “a simple human error”. His Meritus team had a bad day – team-mate Luca Filippi had a problem with his gearbox that meant he only managed 20th.

It was even worse still for some. Coloni had a nightmare qualifying session – Alberto Valerio didn’t even start the session after damaging his car in practise, while Will Bratt spun and got stuck on a high kerb – unable to get moving again. His only time was 10 seconds slower than Pic’s, and even 5 seconds slower than Bulgarian businessman Plamen Kralev, the definition of pay-driver. Expect to see him at USF1 soon.

Pos  Driver                Team        Time       Gap
 1.  Charles Pic           Arden       1m52.497s
 2.  Oliver Turvey         iSport      1m52.517s  + 0.020s
 3.  Davide Valsecchi      iSport      1m52.603s  + 0.106s
 4.  Jules Bianchi         ART         1m52.842s  + 0.345s
 5.  Javier Villa          Arden       1m52.979s  + 0.482s
 6.  Sam Bird              ART         1m53.003s  + 0.506s
 7.  Edoardo Piscopo       DAMS        1m53.086s  + 0.589s
 8.  Giacomo Ricci         DPR         1m53.134s  + 0.637s
 9.  Christian Vietoris    DAMS        1m53.183s  + 0.686s
10.  Sergio Perez          Addax       1m53.407s  + 0.910s
11.  Daniel Zampieri       Rapax       1m53.491s  + 0.994s
12.  Giedo van der Garde   Addax       1m53.509s  + 1.012s
13.  Fabio Leimer          Ocean       1m53.611s  + 1.114s
14.  Josef Kral            Super Nova  1m53.685s  + 1.188s
15.  Vladimir Arabadzhiev  Rapax       1m53.687s  + 1.190s
16.  Dani Clos             Trident     1m53.982s  + 1.485s
17.  Max Chilton           Ocean       1m54.036s  + 1.539s
18.  Michael Herck         DPR         1m54.074s  + 1.577s
19.  Luca Filippi          Meritus     1m54.121s  + 1.624s
20.  Marcus Ericsson       Super Nova  1m54.723s  + 2.226s
21.  Plamen Kralev         Trident     1m58.274s  + 5.777s
22.  Will Bratt            Coloni      2m02.517s  + 10.020s
23.  Alberto Valerio       Coloni      No Time
24.  Alexander Rossi       Meritus     DSQ