GP2 title favourite Stoffel Vandoorne made the best possible start to his 2015 campaign by taking his fifth consecutive pole position.
Vandoorne led an ART Grand Prix 1-2 with team-mate Nobuharu Matsushita qualifying second, only 0.308 behind the Belgian.
Qualifying was held in much cooler conditions than in free practice which allowed for much faster lap times on the soft Pirelli tyres.
Vandoorne took advantage of the cool temperatures early on in the session, setting the pace early on with Arthur Pic his closest challenger.
But with new tyres fitted the Mclaren junior went even faster to cement himself at the top of the field, picking up where he left off in 2014, on pole.
Williams F1 development driver Alex Lynn had been running second but Honda-backed rookie Matsushita got the better of Lynn by the smallest of margins.
Vandoorne’s early challenger Pic ended the session fourth fastest for Campos Racing, 0.031 behind the DAMS of Lynn.
Raffaele Marciello and Trident overcame early mechanical trouble to get back out on track and snatch fifth place on the grid away from practice session pace-setter, Jordan King.
King’s Racing Engineering team-mate Alexander Rossi couldn’t replicate his morning practice pace and had to settle for eighth on the grid, just behind the late charging Arden of Norman Nato in seventh.
Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly finished the session ninth ahead of former Sauber F1 development driver Sergey Sirotkin, who rounded out the top ten.
Russian Time and Carlin both struggled in qualifying and will hope to do better in race conditions. Artem Markelov and Mitch Evans finished the session 11th and 13th respectively, while Julian Leal and Marco Sorensen finished in 16th and 18th.
|1||5||S. Vandoorne||ART Grand Prix||11||1:39.237|
|2||6||N. Matsushita||ART Grand Prix||11||1:39.545||0.308|
|4||14||A. Pic||Campos Racing||11||1:39.630||0.393||0.031|
|11||10||A. Markelov||RUSSIAN TIME||11||1:39.955||0.718||0.068|
|12||15||R. Haryanto||Campos Racing||10||1:39.961||0.724||0.006|
|13||9||M. Evans||RUSSIAN TIME||11||1:39.999||0.762||0.038|
Status Grand Prix
|17||16||S. Canamasas||MP Motorsport||12||1:40.434||1.197||0.081|
|20||17||D. De Jong||MP Motorsport||11||1:40.653||1.416||0.019|
Status Grand Prix