GP2: Pic & Rossi top free practice

Frenchman Arthur Pic set the fastest laptime of this morning’s free practice session. He lapped the narrow streets of Monte Carlo in a 1:20.556 in the closing stages, two tenths quicker than Alexander Rossi and Pierre Gasly.

The session opened in cool conditions and under grey skies with Rossi being the first man to feed onto the track. However, before anyone could complete a lap, Mitch Evans stopped between turns 2 and 3 with what seemed to be electrical gremlins. The red flags were out and the cars returned to the pits briefly. When the track was live again, Rossi wasted no time to top the timesheet.

As usual on this short circuit, the traffic was heavy, but Julian Leal managed to find some clean air to improve on the American’s laptime while Rossi was back into the pits. The clock kept on ticking and it was then Richie Stanaway’s turn to find some extra pace, driving to the limit and lighting all three sectors in purple to dip under 1m22s, with Series leader Stoffel Vandoorne second quickest.

In the final fifteen minutes of the session, most drivers switched from soft to super soft Pirelli tires. Raffaele Marciello was the first man to beat Stanaway’s laptime by four tenths, but it was Gasly who broke the 1m21s barrier first. Vandoorne was up next, but remained P2. With five minutes left on the clock, Pic put his head down and claimed the top spot clocking in a laptime two tenths better than his fellow countryman at DAMS. In the closing stages, Rossi moved up to second on his final attempt, demoting Gasly to third. Vandoorne eventually finished fourth ahead of Sergio Canamasas, Marciello, Stanaway, André Negrao, Rio Haryanto and Norman Nato.

With the weather forecast still uncertain and the possibility of a wet qualifying session, no one can predict which driver will claim pole position later today. Group A is made up of odd numbered cars and they will take to the track first at 16.15 local time in a qualifying session split into two groups.

Monte Carlo – Free Practice

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1:20.556 24
2. Alexander Rossi Racing Engineering 1:20.775 21
3. Pierre Gasly DAMS 1:20.809 26
4. Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 1:20.902 24
5. Sergio Canamasas MP Motorsport 1:21.033 21
6. Raffaele Marciello Trident 1:21.034 26
7. Richie Stanaway Status Grand Prix 1:21.123 23
8. André Negrao Arden International 1:21.634 22
9. Rio Haryanto Campos Racing 1:21.426 24
10. Norman Nato Arden International 1:21.468 25
11. Julian Leal Carlin 1:21.573 22
12. Sergey Sirotkin Rapax 1:21.806 23
13. Nick Yelloly Hilmer Motorsport 1:21.864 26
14. Rene Binder Trident 1:21.953 25
15. Nathanael Berthon Lazarus 1:21.989 24
16. Jordan King Racing Engineering 1:22.101 24
17. Marco Sorensen Carlin 1:22.147 22
18. Johnny Cecotto Hilmer Motorsport 1:22.293 23
19 Robert Visoiu Rapax 1:22.359 26
20. Alex Lynn DAMS 1:22.388 26
21. Zoel Amberg Lazarus 1:22.678 21
22. Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 1:23.131 24
23. Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 1:23.284 25
24. Marlon Stockinger Status Grand Prix 1:23.746 23
25. Daniel De Jong MP Motorsport 124.909 8
26. Mitch Evans RUSSIAN TIME 1

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