GP2 Monaco: Arthur Pic sets the early pace in free practice

Campos Racing driver Arthur Pic looks like the man to beat as he led the way in Thursday’s GP2 practice session in Monaco.

Pic set a time of 1m20.556s – which incidentally was less than two seconds off the Lewis Hamilton’s best time in Formula 1 practice one.

The Frenchman’s time put him 0.219s clear of closest challenger Alexander Rossi and 0.253 ahead of third place man Pierre Gasly.

Gasly, who briefly topped the timesheets, was closely followed by Championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne in fourth.

MP Motorsport driver Sergio Canamasas finished the session fifth ahead of Ferrari junior Raffaele Marciello – who like Gasly had also previously set best times.

Status GP driver Richie Stanaway ended up in seventh after leading much of the session, but as the track rubbered-in the times began to fall and the New Zealander fell down the order.

Andre Negrao, Bahrain sprint-race winner Rio Haryanto and Norman Nato rounded out the top ten.

Mitch Evans started the weekend where his Barcelona sprint-race began, grinding to a halt on his out-lap.

The luckless Russian Time driver stopped on track at Massenet causing a red flag period before any lap times had been set.

Marco Sorensen luckily avoided a Michael Schumacher-esque incident at Rascasse. The Dane had to reverse out of the corner after out-braking himself at the tight corner.

The only other real casualty from the session was Daniel de Jong who stopped at the chicane with mechanical problems.