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Bianchi tops stop-start Valencia practice

Jules Bianchi stole the top spot in Friday morning free practice in Valencia, at the climax of a session that was twice stopped by red-flags for spins.
Lotus ART's Jules Bianchi put in a late flying lap in the final seconds of Friday morning practice to take the top spot on the timesheets with a laptime of 1:47.681s, just over half a tenth faster than Barwa Addax's Giedo van der Garde in second with Super Nova's Luca Filippi just edging out Romain Grosjean for third.

Grosjean had leapt to the top of the timesheets within the first ten minutes after beating the set time of Christian Vietoris, at which point Josef Kral spun and stalled in turn 14 and brought out the first red flag interruption of the day while his car was retrieved.

When the track went green again, Vietoris, Sam Bird and Esteban Gutierrez led the surge to try and topple Grosjean form the top, but no one had been successful by the time Grosjean's Dams team mate Pal Varhaug brought out the second red flags of the 20 minute session after himself spinning and stalling in turn 14.

That had looked to be the end of the session, but Varhaug's car was cleared in time to allow the teams one last flying lap so that the battle for the top spot became a de facto one-lap shootout format.

Grosjean's effort his the tail-end of slow traffic coming out of the pit lane in the form of iSport's Marcus Ericsson and he was unable to improve on his time. But everyone else was faster than they had been, and Grosjean ended up being pushed down to fourth place by the final runs of Bianchi, van der Garde and Filippi.

Vietoris finished in tenth place on his first GP2 outing since he crashed heavily at Istanbul Park in the opening race of the season. Alvara Parente - who subbed for Vietoris at Racing Engineering for the last two weekends - placed 12th on his first run for Carlin, taking over the seat formerly held by Mikhail Aleshin and Oliver Turvey.

Full practice times available.



Related Pictures

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2011 GP2 Series. Round 2. Circuit de Catalunya, Spain. 20th May 2011. Friday Practice. Jules Bianchi (FRA,Lotus ART). [Photo credit: Drew Gibson/GP2 Media Service]
Jules Bianchi (FRA, Lotus ART) during practice at Valencia [Photo credit: Drew Gibson/GP2 Media Service.]
Jules Bianchi (FRA,Lotus ART). Round 4. Valencia Spain. 24th June 2011. Friday Qualifying. [Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 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.)
Conor Daly (USA, ART Grand Prix) celebrates his race victory on the podium at the Circuito Ricardo Tormo in Valencia Spain on June 16 2013. (Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Conor Daly (USA, ART Grand Prix) celebrates winning his first GP3 Series pole position, for race 1 at the Circuito Ricardo Tormo. Valencia. Saturday, June 15 2013. (Photo Credit:Alastair Staley/GP3 Series Media Service)
Pal Varhaug (NOR, Hilmer Motorsport) during the third day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. Thursday 7th March. (Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Luca Filippi (ITA, Scuderia Coloni) during the first day of post-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain on Thursday October 30 2012. (Photo: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Giedo Van der Garde (NED, Caterham Racing) leads the field into turn one on the opening lap of the Singapore sprint race. Action. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley)
Giedo Van der Garde (NED, Caterham Racing) celebrates his Singapore sprint race victory. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley)
Giedo Van der Garde (NED, Caterham Racing) celebrates his Singapore sprint race victory on the podium. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley)
Giedo Van der Garde (NED, Caterham Racing) celebrates his Singapore sprint race victory on the podium. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley)
Giedo Van der Garde (NED, Caterham Racing) celebrates his Singapore sprint race victory on the podium with Marcus Ericsson (SWE, iSport International) and Fabio Leimer (SUI, Racing Engineering).(World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service)
Max Chilton (GBR, Carlin) leads Esteban Gutierrez (MEX, Lotus GP) during the Saturday feature race 1 at Marina Bay in Singapore, with Luca Filippi (ITA, Scuderia Coloni) being dropped off in the background. (World Copyright: Glenn Dunbar/GP2 Media Service.)

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