Jules Bianchi topped qualifying for the second round of the GP2 Series season at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya, only to be penalised for ignoring yellow flags and handing pole position to Giedo van der Garde.
The ART driver took the top spot early in the session from van der Garde and nobody would be able to beat the Frenchman's time. Van der Garde's time remained good enough for second place as well, but he would go on to inherit pole when Bianchi was penalised.
Fabio Leimer slowed due to mechanical problems, briefly bringing out the yellow flags, and Bianchi was found by the stewards to have improved his time under the yellow flags. He was handed a ten place grid penalty which dropped him to 11th.
Joint points leader Sam Bird qualified third, and will now join van der Garde on the front row of the grid. The iSport driver therefore got himself ahead of the man with whom he shares the top spot in the standings, Romain Grosjean. The DAMS racer could only manage fifth, just behind van der Garde's Addax teammate Charles Pic.
Davide Valsecchi will line up fifth for Team AirAsia, with Dani Clos sixth for Racing Engineering. Marcus Ericsson (iSport), Stefano Coletti (Trident) and Luca Filippi (Super Nova) rounded out the top ten in the session, with Max Chilton sneaking into tenth place for Carlin after Bianchi's penalty.
Qualifying session results:
|1||Jules Bianchi||Lotus ART||1:30.369*|
|2||Giedo van der Garde||Barwa Addax Team||1:30.473||0.104|
|3||Sam Bird||iSport International||1:30.488||0.119|
|4||Charles Pic||Barwa Addax Team||1:30.616||0.247|
|6||Davide Valsecchi||Team AirAsia||1:30.820||0.451|
|7||Dani Clos||Racing Engineering||1:30.927||0.558|
|8||Marcus Ericsson||iSport International||1:30.935||0.566|
|9||Stefano Coletti||Trident Racing||1:30.974||0.605|
|10||Luca Filippi||Super Nova Racing||1:31.084||0.715|
|12||Josef Kral||Arden International||1:31.447||1.078|
|13||Luiz Razia||Team AirAsia||1:31.513||1.144|
|14||Michael Herck||Scuderia Coloni||1:31.527||1.158|
|15||Alvaro Parente||Racing Engineering||1:31.636||1.267|
|16||Esteban Gutierrez||Lotus ART||1:31.645||1.276|
|17||Kevin Ceccon||Scuderia Coloni||1:31.670||1.301|
|18||Rodolfo Gonzalez||Trident Racing||1:31.694||1.325|
|19||Kevin Mirocha||Ocean Racing Technology||1:31.757||1.388|
|21||Fairuz Fauzy||Super Nova Racing||1:31.821||1.452|
|22||Jolyon Palmer||Arden International||1:31.822||1.453|
|25||Johnny Cecotto||Ocean Racing Technology||1:33.246||2.877|
* 10-place grid penalty for ignoring yellow flags.