Giedo van der Garde has shown that Addax are the team to beat in Monza, heading this morning’s practice session at the fabled Italian circuit ahead of teammate Sergio Perez and local hero Luca Filippi.
The Dutchman led for most of the session, and was in contention throughout: his best time of 1:30.654 was set just 12 minutes in when he reclaimed the top spot with a lap that was not to be bettered.
Series leader Pastor Maldonado set the first competitive time of the day, but his lap was soon under scrutiny as he had missed the first chicane: the Venezuelan was uncharacteristically messy throughout the session as he struggled to keep his car under control, cutting the second chicane a number of times to record a best lap that was only good enough for 21st position.
At the top of the timesheets, however, Romain Grosjean, Perez, Sam Bird, Oliver Turvey and Dani Clos all momentarily set quickest laps but van der Garde was not to be denied, setting the pace on his second flying lap and securing it a few minutes later.
There were a number of missed braking points and wide runs throughout the field over the session, but most managed to contain the damage. Charles Pic, however, was unable to hold his car off the wall at the Parabolica, bringing his session to an early finish, while Michael Herck and newcomer Edoardo Piscopo will make a visit the stewards after their collision at the second chicane on their outlap later in the session.
Behind the top three on the timesheets were Bird, Clos, Grosjean, Alvaro Parente, Turvey, Jerome d’Ambrosio and Christian Vietoris: with most of the field within a second of the fastest lap, this afternoon’s qualifying session is bound to be fast and frantic.
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