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Grosjean tops quiet Barcelona practice

20 May 2011

Romain Grosjean came out and set a time of 1:30.559s just five minutes into the half hour Friday free practice session, and the benchmark was never challenged for the remainder of the morning.

Grosjean's time was over half a second faster than the next quickest time, which was logged by Team AirAsia's Davide Valsecchi a further tenth of a second back. In all, eight drivers finished the morning within 1s of Grosjean's time - Jules Bianchi, Giedo van der Garde, Luca Filippi, Charles Pic, Fabio Leimer and Grosjean's Dams team mate Pal Varhaug rounded out the top eight.

Sam Bird, who shares the current GP2 championship points lead with Grosjean, ended up in 24th place nearly 3s off Grosjean's time despite running the most laps of anyone, in a quiet session that suggested drivers were content not to push too hard here having tested at Barcelona as recently as April and instead are saving themselves for the afternoon qualifying session.

Kevin Ceccon, making his race debut for Scuderia Coloni replacing the injured Davide Rigon, finished in 25th place as he got to know his new car and the track layout. Alvaro Parente, a late substitute for Christian Vietoris who is still suffering from bad headaches following an impact with the tyre wall during the sprint race at Turkey, was 14th.

Arden International's Jolyon Palmer had technical problems and failed to set a fast time.

There was only one yellow flag when Fairuz Fauzy went off the track at turn 12 and beached his Super Nova in the gravel. When the yellow was withdrawn with ten minutes remaining, none of the drivers improved their already-set time.

Qualifying starts at 2:55pm British time, 3.55pm local time in Turkey.

Full times available in the results section.



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