GP2: Grosjean fastest in free practice Romain Grosjean has set the pace in free practice at his home circuit of Magny-Cours this morning, taking the top spot by less that two tenths from Andreas Zuber and Javier Villa.
The Frenchman's best lap time of 1:22.676 was set just after changing to his second set of tires, with his rivals unable to match his pace for the remainder of the session or, indeed, Villa's time, which was set in the opening minutes before he put his car into the wall at turn 3, putting him out of the session on the spot.
The session took place under ominously heavy clouds, but the top drivers were immediately on the pace and setting faster times than last year. Andy Soucek, Giorgio Pantano and Zuber were the early pacesetters, but further back a number of drivers were pushing over the limit: Pastor Maldonado had a number of off track excursions, along with Alberto Valerio and Villa, who at least set a fast time before finding the wall.
After running baseline laps on his first set of tires Grosjean made the change and was instantly on the pace, claiming the top spot with 12 minutes remaining and just as Soucek spun into retirement at turn 12. Bruno Senna was determined to catch his rival but spun off the last curb and briefly stopped just ahead of the finish line, putting paid to his chances, while teammate Karun Chandhok and Giorgio Pantano also spun at the close of the session as they looked to improve their times.
Rounding out the top ten were Pantano, Maldonado, Vitaly Petrov, Roldan Rodriguez, Lucas di Grassi, Soucek and Senna. With 17 drivers within a second of Grosjean's best time, there promises to be even more excitement to come in qualifying later this afternoon.
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