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