RUSSIAN TIME‘s Sam Bird has scored his second consecutive GP2 pole position at a scorching Monza by the slimmest of slim margins.
The Brit, clocking a 1:31.788, just squeezed past Racing Engineering‘s Fabio Leimer and Carlin’s Jolyon Palmer in the final five minutes of the GP2 qualifying session – both men trailing in Bird’s wake clocked a time in the very low 1:31.8s.
At the start of the session, no one waited to see who would be first to jump, with the pit lane clearing the minute the lights went green. Series leader Stefano Coletti fired the early warning shots but eventually had to settle for sixth place – just 0.22 seconds behind Sam Bird, a testament to how tightly contested this GP2 field is.
One man who would have hoped to do better, was Force India tester James Calado – having jumped into the ART from the F1 machine he set a time only good enough for eighth place on the grid. That said, he is still in a perfect position to capitalise on any mistakes that may befall the front runners.
Indeed, if the feature race is anything like qualifying then some may fall foul of Monza’s high speed nature. Taking a trip through the gravel after spins at the Parabolica were both Sergio Canamasas and Vittorio Ghirelli who both brought so much gravel back onto the track with them that the red flag came out to allow marshals to sweep the track clean.
After the green flag flew following the delay, Carlin‘s Mitch Evans set a time good enough for fourth and Bird’s car team mate Tom Dillmann scored fifth,
Tomorrow’s GP2 feature race takes place at 14:40 live on Sky Sports F1 HD.