ART Grand Prix got the best possible qualifying result for the Monza feature race, claiming the front row of the grid with a 1-2 for Jules Bianchi and team-mate Sam Bird

Championship leader Pastor Maldonado lost his chance to challenge when he strayed too far onto the kerb at the first chicane and spun, which brought out the red flag just six minutes before the end of the session.

Maldonado was seventh at the time and only fell one place by the end, thanks to two further yellow flags - including one for Adrian Zaugg going off at the Parabolica - that interfered with others setting fast laps and made it difficult for anyone to lower their times.