Charles Pic denied Luca Filippi a pole position upon his switch to Scuderia Coloni by beating him to top spot in qualifying at the Nurburgring by just 0.078 seconds.

It was Addax driver Pic who led the train of cars out of the pits at the beginning of the session, and the Frenchman took advantage of the clear track to set the early pace. Sam Bird soon took top spot though with his first competitive time.

Esteban Gutierrez went fastest on his next lap, just before Romain Grosjean moved ahead by nearly four tenths. Pic and Jules Bianchi then moved into second and third behind their compatriot to make it a French 1-2-3.

As most of the field returned to the pits in the middle of the session Luca Filippi, who switched from Super Nova to Coloni prior to this weekend, took top spot by going 0.011s quicker than Grosjean.

When the drivers returned to the track for the final ten minutes it looked like Filippi might hold on, but Pic went fastest by a tenth as the session moved into the last five minutes. Filippi improved his time before the checkered flag, but it was not quite enough to steal pole away from Pic and he remained second.

Grosjean and Bianchi held on to third and fourth places, with Giedo van der Garde taking fifth place. Fabio Leimer was sixth, just ahead of Alvaro Parente and Gutierrez, as positions four to six were covered by just over six hundredths of a second.

Marcus Ericsson was ninth with Luiz Razia tenth. Bird could only manage a disappointing 11th in the end. Despite strong sector times he was unable to string a good lap together. Adam Carroll qualified in 15th place upon his GP2 return with Super Nova, while Max Chilton will start from the back after a session disrupted by technical issues.

Qualifying results:

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Charles Pic Barwa Addax Team 1:40.317   12
2 Luca Filippi Scuderia Coloni 1:40.393 0.076 11
3 Romain Grosjean DAMS 1:40.431 0.114 13
4 Jules Bianchi Lotus ART 1:40.755 0.438 13
5 Giedo van der Garde Barwa Addax Team 1:40.781 0.464 13
6 Fabio Leimer Rapax 1:40.794 0.477 15
7 Alvaro Parente Carlin 1:40.803 0.486 14
8 Esteban Gutierrez Lotus ART 1:40.817 0.500 13
9 Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:40.859 0.542 12
10 Luiz Razia Caterham Team AirAsia 1:40.968 0.651 14
11 Sam Bird iSport International 1:40.970 0.653 12
12 Dani Clos Racing Engineering 1:40.998 0.681 12
13 Michael Herck Scuderia Coloni 1:41.059 0.742 12
14 Christian Vietoris Racing Engineering 1:41.101 0.784 12
15 Adam Carroll Super Nova Racing 1:41.141 0.824 12
16 Stefano Coletti Trident Racing 1:41.166 0.849 13
17 Kevin Mirocha Ocean Racing Technology 1:41.268 0.951 13
18 Davide Valsecchi Caterham Team AirAsia 1:41.354 1.037 11
19 Josef Kral Arden International 1:41.356 1.039 12
20 Rodolfo Gonzalez Trident Racing 1:41.489 1.172 14
21 Johnny Cecotto Ocean Racing Technology 1:41.489 1.172 14
22 Jolyon Palmer Arden International 1:41.594 1.277 13
23 Pal Varhaug DAMS 1:41.633 1.316 13
24 Julian Leal Rapax 1:41.894 1.577 15
25 Fairuz Fauzy Super Nova Racing 1:41.966 1.649 15
26 Max Chilton Carlin 1:42.783 2.466 9