GP2 »

Hülkenberg takes Istanbul pole.


Despite appearing in the lower reaches of the free practice timesheet, ART Grand Prix's Nico Hulkenberg bounced back to claim his first 'summer series' GP2 pole position in qualifying for the Istanbul round.

The German produced a forceful display of power and finesse in the afternoon qualifying session, taking the top spot by a tenth from both Luca Filippi and points leader Romain Grosjean. The rookie bided his time throughout the session before unleashing a lap of 1min 34.404secs, setting all three fastest sectors, with just five minutes remaining.

His timing could not have been better as, with Vitaly Petrov and ART team-mate Pastor Maldonado stopping on track with mechanical gremlins almost immediately afterwards, two yellow flag zones appeared and the session was effectively over.

With the drivers again taking to the track in steaming conditions, Hülkenberg set an early quick lap, before Petrov took over top spot. The Russian driver initially looked untouchable, but his competitors kept nibbling away at his time, with Lucas di Grassi, Filippi and Karun Chandhok all closing in from behind.

It was Grosjean, however, who finally bested his team-mate with six minutes remaining, but Hülkenberg was already on a charge, taking the top spot seconds later with Filippi in tow. Petrov then suddenly slowed from what had been a quick looking lap, pulling off to the side of the track, and, when Maldonado's car started smoking, there was no chance for anyone else to improve their times.

Despite his disappointment, Petrov will nevertheless start from fourth in Saturday's feature race, ahead of Chandhok, Andreas Zuber and morning pacesetter Alvaro Parente. Javi Villa, Roldan Rodriguez and Davide Valsecchi round out the top ten, meaning that several leading lights find themselves lower down the order than expected - and others will sink lower following a rash of penalties handed out after practice.

Maldonado ended the session 13th, but will move up one spot - as will Lucas di Grassi - when Giedo van der Garde drops three for speeding under yellows. Asian Series champion Kamui Kobayashi struggled again in qualifying, and registered only 17th place, but will benefit from Edoardo Mortara getting a copy of van der Garde's punishment. iSport's Diego Nunes was the third driver handed a three-place penalty, having qualified 18th, while Dani Clos blotted his copybook to the tune of ten spots after ignoring marshals' requests to vacate his spun car early in practice. The Spaniard will now start at the back, having qualified only 22nd.

Intriguingly, however, Grosjean appears to have got away with leaving the track - rather than just speeding - in an area marked by yellow flags....


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Nico Hulkenberg - ART Grand Prix   [pic credit: GP2]
Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Racing Engineering) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Friday 22 August 2014 (Photo: Jed Leicester/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Racing Engineering) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Friday 22 August 2014 (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Racing Engineering) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Friday 22 August 2014 (Photo: Jed Leicester/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Racing Engineering) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Friday 22 August 2014 (Photo: Jed Leicester/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during practice at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Friday 22 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during practice at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Friday 22 August 2014. (Photo: Jed Leicester/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during practice at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Friday 22 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 23 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 23 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Artem Markelov (RUS, Russian Time) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Friday 22 August 2014. (Photo: Jed Leicester/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Dino Zamparelli (GBR, ART Grand Prix) in practice at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Friday 22 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Dino Zamparelli (GBR, ART Grand Prix) in practice at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Friday 22 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Dino Zamparelli (GBR, ART Grand Prix) in practice at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Friday 22 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Dino Zamparelli (GBR, ART Grand Prix) during practice at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Friday 22 August 2014. (Photo: Jed Leicester/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) celebrates winning pole after qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Friday 22 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) at Spa Francorchamps on Friday 22 August 2014. (Photo: Jed Leicester/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) at Spa Francorchamps on Friday 22 August 2014. (Photo: Jed Leicester/GP2 Series Media Service.)

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.