19 June 2009
Grosjean secures Silverstone pole
Romain Grosjean has secured his third pole position of the GP2 season after leading the way in qualifying at Silverstone.
The Barwa Addax driver made the most of a clear lap at the Northamptonshire venue to post a quickest time of 1min 25.899secs, making him the only man to dip below the 1min 26secs marker.
Piquet GP's Alberto Valerio had looked like taking pole but had to settle for second place while Alvaro Parente slotted into third.
“The car is very well balanced, and is very fast in the fast corners, which is very important in this circuit," Parente noted, "In the slower corners, it's harder, but that's the way to be fast at Silverstone. This result is very important for me and for the team, after all the problems that we had along this season and I'm very pleased to start from a good place of the grid.
"I feel very well and motivated and that leaves me confident that we can achieve a podium position tomorrow. Of course, the win is the main goal for any driver, and I think we can fight for it, but we have to be careful so we can guarantee a good result.”
Jerome d'Ambrosio will start fourth and was one of a number of drivers to run into problems with traffic during the session.
“Silverstone is a real man's circuit and I'm very happy with the car's performance today on this super quick track," the Belgian commented, "We've made real progress since Turkey: the balance is good and I feel confident in the rapid succession of curves in the early part of the lap. Starting from fourth place with a well-calculated strategy, we can aim for a podium finish tomorrow.”
Lucas di Grassi qualified fifth on the grid ahead of championship leader Vitaly Petrov, while Nico Hulkenberg and Javier Villa completed the top eight.
"Qualifying was okay, though I had a lot of traffic during the session," di Grassi reported, "On my first set of tyres, I had no clear lap at all but, with the second set, I got two laps. The car was performing well and so we were able to finish in fifth position. I had no more possibility to improve my time as the tyres were wearing off very quickly but, nevertheless, everything is looking good for tomorrow's race."
Three drivers failed to post a time during the session, including Sergio Perez and Roldan Rodriguez who both stopped on track before managing to log a flying lap.
Ricardo Teixeira was much less lucky, as his session was conditioned by an early mistake on his first lap, when he made contact with Trident team-mate Davide Rigon while attempting to pass another car. He suffered a damaged wing but, despite managing to restart his engine, the marshals wouldn't allow him to get back on track.
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