Rossi claims wet Monte Carlo pole

Pole for American Alexander Rossi

Alexander Rossi has claimed pole position – the second of his GP2 career – in the streets of Monte Carlo in wet conditions. The American driver set a laptime of 1:37.019, half a second clear of his closest rival Arthur Pic in Group B. Quickest in Group A, Raffaele Marciello will start from the front row in tomorrow's feature race.

Group A – Odd numbered cars
Drops of rain started to fall as the thirteen cars of the first group lined up in the pitlane. Some opted for super soft tires (including Series leader Stoffel Vandoorne), whilst others more cautious decided to take to the track on wet tires. The latter option proved to be the best one as the drivers on slick tires struggled on a slippery track on their out-lap. They re-joined the pitlane to switch to wet compounds.

Richie Stanaway was the early pace-setter, but as the rubbers warmed up, laptimes tumbled down and it was Marciello who eventually went top. The treacherous track conditions saw Stanaway graze the barrier and damage his front wing. Marciello however was able to find some extra pace and posted a laptime of 1:40.357 with one minute left on the clock.

Any other final attempt was ruined with late yellow flags courtesy of Daniel de Jong who ran off track at Turn 5 and damaged his nose whilst Zoel Amberg had troubles at Turn 12 damaging his front wing and left rear tire. At the checkered flag, Marciello led Vandoorne, Julian Leal, Jordan King and de Jong.

From left, Marciello, Rossi and Pic

Group B – Even numbered cars
The track was still wet as drizzle fell. The other thirteen cars all started on wet tires with Rossi quick to set the pace lighting up sectors 1 and 2 in purple on every lap. Halfway through the session, the American dipped under 1m40s effectively making his group the quickest one. Whoever bettered his laptime would become the poleman of the day. Sergey Sirotkin and this morning's fastest man Arthur Pic were working hard toward that goal, but as they both improved, so did Rossi who broke under 1m39s.

On a drying track, Pic moved up to P2, two tenths slower than Rossi. The man from Racing Engineering was not done yet and improved on his next two laps, making it clear to Pic and all of his other rivals that it was his day to shine. On his last effort, Rossi clocked in a laptime of 1:37.019, half a second quicker than the Frenchman. Behind the pair, Sirotkin finished third ahead of Nick Yelloly and Sergio Canamasas.

Monte Carlo – Qualifying Session Group A

Pos Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Raffaele Marciello Trident 1:40.357 10
2. Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 1:41.124 9
3. Julian Leal Carlin 1:41.655 9
4. Jordan King Racing Engineering 1:41.895 9
5. Daniel de Jong MP Motorsport 1:42.150 8
6. Pierre Gasly DAMS 1:42.248 9
7. Richie Stanaway Status Grand Prix 1:42.425 7
8. Zoel Amberg Lazarus 1:42.539 8
9. Mitch Evans RUSSIAN TIME 1:42.804 9
10. Rio Haryanto Campos Racing 1:42.913 9
11. Johnny Cecotto Hilmer Motorsport 1:43.386 8
12. Norman Nato Arden International 1:44.286 8
13. Robert Visoiu Rapax 1:44.475 9

Monte Carlo – Qualifying Session Group B

Pos Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Alexander Rossi Racing Engineering 1:37.019 11
2. Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1:37.617 10
3. Sergey Sirotkin Rapax 1:38.391 11
4. Nick Yelloly Hilmer Motorsport 1:38.618 10
5. Sergio Canamasas MP Motorsport 1:38.691 10
6. Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 1:39.020 10
7. Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 1:39.073 10
8. Andre Negrao Arden International 1:39.142 10
9. Alex Lynn DAMS 1:39.186 10
10. Marco Sorensen Carlin 1:39.532 10
11. Rene Binder Trident 1:39.539 10
12. Nathanael Berthon Lazarus 1:40.101 10
13. Marlon Stockinger Status Grand Prix 1:41.503 10

Starting Lineup

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Alexander Rossi Racing Engineering 1m37.019s
2 Raffaele Marciello Trident 1m40.357s
3 Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1m37.617s
4 Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 1m41.124s
5 Sergey Sirotkin Rapax 1m38.391s
6 Julian Leal Carlin 1m41.655s
7 Nick Yelloly Hilmer Motorsport 1m38.618s
8 Jordan King Racing Engineering 1m41.895s
9 Sergio Canamasas MP Motorsport 1m38.691s
10 Daniel de Jong MP Motorsport 1m42.150s
11 Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 1m39.020s
12 Pierre Gasly DAMS 1m42.248s
13 Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 1m39.073s
14 Richie Stanaway Status Grand Prix 1m42.425s
15 Andre Negrao Arden International 1m39.142s
16 Zoel Amberg Lazarus 1m42.539s
17 Alex Lynn DAMS 1m39.186s
18 Mitchell Evans RUSSIAN TIME 1m42.804s
19 Marco Sorensen Carlin 1m39.532s
20 Rio Haryanto Campos Racing 1m42.913s
21 Rene Binder Trident 1m39.539s
22 Johnny Cecotto Jr. Hilmer Motorsport 1m43.386s
23 Nathanael Berthon Lazarus 1m40.101s
24 Norman Nato Arden International 1m44.286s
25 Marlon Stockinger Status Grand Prix 1m41.503s
26 Robert Visoiu Rapax 1m44.475s

(split qualifying – odd-numbered positions from Group B, evens from Group A)

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