GP2 » 29 July 2011
Razia to start on pole at the Hungaroring
AirAsia's Luiz Razia secured his maiden pole position in the GP2 series with an impressively strong and consistent qualifying performance to hold off Coloni's Luca Filippi for the top spot.
Caterham Team AirAsia's Luiz Razia took pole position for the Saturday feature race at the Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary with a laptime of 1:30.411 proving impossible for Coloni's Luca Filippi to match.
Razia's team mate, Davide Valsecchi, set the 14th fastest time in the session but will have to serve a ten-place grid penalty imposed for colliding with Jolyon Palmer in the German sprint race last Sunday, and so will start from 24th position in Saturday's race.
Razia was in contention from the start, setting the first real flying lap of qualifying of 1:31.051s, 0.069s ahead of Racing Engineering's Christian Vietoris, Coloni's Michael Herck, Lotus ART's Jules Bianchi and iSport's Marcus Ericsson.
Fabio Leimer - who had been first out on track for the session - briefly reclaimed the top spot, before Razia improved his time nine minutes into the 30 minute session to 1:30.770s, which was 0.02s ahead of Dams' Romain Grosjean.
Barwa Addax driver Giedo van der Garde was next to go top 11 minutes in to proceedings with a lap of 1:30.760s while Grosjean improved to 1:30.766s to slot into second. However van der Garde's in-lap to the pits was very slow as he appeared to suffer a possible recurrence of a gearbox issue that he had experienced in the morning practice session, and while he was able to get back to his garage and later able to return for a further qualifying run toward the end, but did not improve his time further.
Luca Filippi stayed out longer than most of the field, which came in for the usual mid-race stop for tyres and set-up tweaks, and was able to make use of the clear track conditions to go fastest with 1:30.551s.
Once Filippi came in it left Dams' Pal Varhaug virtually alone on track as he appeared to struggle to set a time within the requisite 107% margin of the pole time, but he eventually set a time of 1:31.396s that proved perfectly respectable before he was able to come in to the pits.
With ten minutes to go, the track was once again crowded with cars seeking to improve their times, with Marcus Ericsson and Jules Bianchi making the first moves among the leaders by popping into second and third place ahead of van der Garde. Bianchi had earlier tangled with Fabio Leimer after Bianchi became angry at being blocked by the Rapax car on one of his flying laps: Bianchi's retaliatory swerve toward Leimer as the two ran side-by-side is unlikely to go unpunished by race control.
With three minutes to go, Razia once again returned to the top with a 1:30.411s lap that proved impossible to better. Filippi looked as though he was in with a chance after setting the fastest time in the first sector on his final attempt, but a spin by Adam Carroll at the chicane brought out the yellow flags at just the wrong time for the Italian and forced him to lift off, preventing him from improving his earlier effort after all.
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