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Bianchi bags Barcelona pole
Jules Bianchi
Jules Bianchi put himself back in the hunt with a storming drive to pole position in this afternoon's qualify session in Barcelona, taking full advantage of the track conditions by being the first man onto the circuit and taking the top spot early in the session, ahead of Giedo van der Garde and Sam Bird.

The Dutchman looked to have pole wrapped up on his second flying lap, but his French rival pipped him just seconds later with a lap of 1:30.369, a mere one tenth ahead of the men in P2 and P3, while their rivals struggled to match the times as the clock ticked down.

Fabio Leimer slowed his rivals down on the first flying lap as he crawled around the first sector before leaving the circuit at turn six, the unfortunate victim of some type of gremlin: Bianchi was on a good lap but had to back off after finding the resultant traffic, but his next trip around made up for lost time.

With so many cars on track at the same time there was little chance for improvement: Romain Grosjean looked to be close to setting the pace before pulling up in the final sector, and it wasn't long before most of the field were back in the pits, with Ocean Racing the only team to run an alternative plan, going out as they rivals came in.

Most of the field looked to be trying to hold on to a set of tires, but when a couple of cars went out late in the session the floodgates opened and most of grid were forced back out. There was effectively no change in the order, however, as Charles Pic, Grosjean, Davide Valsecchi, Dani Clos, Marcus Ericsson, Stefano Coletti and Luca Filippi will line up behind the top three on the grid tomorrow. With 12 drivers within a second of pole, and tires more critical than ever, the feature race promises more excitement than ever.

Barcelona – Qualifying Session

Pos Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Jules Bianchi Lotus ART 1:30.369 8
2. Giedo van der Garde Barwa Addax Team 1:30.473 6
3. Sam Bird iSport International 1:30.488 10
4. Charles Pic Barwa Addax Team 1:30.616 11
5. Romain Grosjean Dams 1:30.807 12
6. Davide Valsecchi Team AirAsia 1:30.820 11
7. Dani Clos Racing Engineering 1:30.927 12
8. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:30.935 10
9. Stefano Coletti Trident Racing 1:30.974 11
10. Luca Filippi Super Nova Racing 1:31.084 12
11. Max Chilton Carlin 1:31.192 12
12. Josef Kral Arden International 1:31.447 12
13. Luiz Razia Team AirAsia 1:31.513 11
14. Michael Herck Scuderia Coloni 1:31.527 13
15. Alvaro Parente Racing Engineering 1:31.636 12
16. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus ART 1:31.645 11
17. Kevin Ceccon Scuderia Coloni 1:31.670 13
18. Rodolfo Gonzalez Trident Racing 1:31.694 13
19 Kevin Mirocha Ocean Racing Technology 1:31.757 6
20. Pal Varhaug Dams 1:31.779 11
21. Fairuz Fauzy Super Nova Racing 1:31.821 12
22. Jolyon Palmer Arden International 1:31.822 12
23. Mikhail Aleshin Carlin 1:31.977 12
24. Julian Leal Rapax 1:32.934 8
25. Johnny Cecotto Ocean Racing Technology 1:33.246 7
26. Fabio Leimer Rapax -- 1
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