The message on the screens flashed before the opening of the pitlane: rain expected at 16.10 hence putting pressure on the drivers to set their best time within the first half of the qualifying session. Enjoying a dry track for the first time today and having opted for Option tires (Medium) like the majority of the rest of the field, Robin Frijns was quick to set the early pace, but his lap time was later bettered first by Rio Haryanto and then by Bird.
Everyone was taking their car to the limits on their push lap which ended with a bit of a scare for Daniel De Jong who went too wide in the final corner and span, but could rejoin the pitlane without any harm. Jake Rosenzweig and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs also went too wide but recovered the track safely.
Ten minutes into the session, Ericsson found a clear lap and the extra pace to set a record lap time of 1:40.716 (best lap time on this layout and on Pirelli tires), three tenths ahead of Bird. Behind the pair, Nasr moved up to third edging Series leader Stefano Coletti out of the top three. As scheduled, rain drops started to fall on some parts of the track making it a challenge for the drivers to improve their lap times.
The rain picked up harder and with fifteen minutes to spare in the session, Ericsson sat pretty in the pitlane with the rest of his rivals and waited until the checkered flag to savior his second GP2 pole position ahead of Bird, Nasr, Coletti, Stéphane Richelmi, Fabio Leimer, Rio Haryanto, Mitch Evans, Tom Dillmann and James Calado.
With two sets of new Prime tires (Hard), one set of new Option tire (Medium) and another set of Options that was used in today’s shortened qualifying session, teams and drivers have their pick in strategy for tomorrow’s feature race which should be dry… But this is Silverstone. And this GP2. Nothing is predictable!
Silverstone – Qualifying Session
|2.||Sam Bird||RUSSIAN TIME||1:41.087||7|
|6.||Fabio Leimer||Racing Engineering||1:41.442||10|
|7.||Rio Haryanto||Barwa Addax Team||1:41.537||10|
|8.||Mitch Evans||Arden International||1:41.563||6|
|9.||Tom Dillmann||RUSSIAN TIME||1:41.633||8|
|10.||James Calado||ART Grand Prix||1:41.662||10|
|11.||Julian Leal||Racing Engineering||1:41.765||9|
|12.||Fabrizio Crestani||Venezuela GP Lazarus||1:41.771||8|
|13.||Nathanael Berthon||Trident Racing||1:41.812||8|
|14.||Sergio Canamasas||EQ8 Caterham Racing||1:41.881||7|
|15.||Kevin Ceccon||Trident Racing||1:41.890||8|
|16.||Robin Frijns||Hilmer Motorsport||1:41.970||6|
|17.||Jon Lancaster||Hilmer Motorsport||1:41.978||8|
|18.||Johnny Cecotto||Arden International||1:42.012||7|
|19||Alexander Rossi||EQ8 Caterham Racing||1:42.020||7|
|22.||Rene Binder||Venezuela GP Lazarus||1:42.376||8|
|23.||Jake Rosenzweig||Barwa Addax Team||1:42.402||8|
|24.||Adrian Quaife-Hobbs||MP Motorsport||1:42.658||8|
|25.||Daniel Abt||ART Grand Prix||1:42.687||9|
|26.||Daniel De Jong||MP Motorsport||1:42.862||6|