GP2 teams received the message they all dreaded at the start of today’s qualifying session: “Rain expected halfway through session.”
With that driver’s hit the track in a mad dash to set the fastest time before the rain would stop almost any remaining track time to try and push for faster times.
In the event there was only 2.1 seconds separating first from last with DAMS driver Marcus Ericsson taking pole position with a time of 1:40.716 – a GP2 record with the Pirelli tyres and on the new Silverstone layout.
The unfortunate driver propping up the grid was MP Motorsport driver Daniel De Jong who went and span on his fast lap meaning any improvements were immediately rendered useless – he managed to recover to the pit lane.
RUSSIAN TIME driver and Monaco race winner Sam Bird grabbed second with a time three tenths off pole but only six hundredths of a second ahead of Carlin driver Felipe Nasr who all set their times on the optional (medium) tyres.
After the rush to set times before the scheduled rain fell, which it did exactly when forecast, there was an anti-climax of an ending as the rain fell harder still and led to the entire field sitting pretty in the pit lane until the chequered flag fell.
At the end of the session Stefano Coletti finished fourth and Ericsson’s DAMS team mate Stéphane Richelmi finishing fifth seven tenths down on the Swede.
Tomorrow’s feature race sees the teams have access to two sets of prime tyres as well as a used and a new set of options meaning strategies for the race could be varied with many lower down the grid taking a gamble.
The Feature Race takes place after the F1 qualifying at 14:40 with the Sprint race taking place on Sunday at 9:35.