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Vietoris claims pole position at Spa

Racing Engineering's Christian Vietoris put in a devastating lap that was over 1.4s ahead of Luca Filippi to take pole position on a wet Friday afternoon at Spa-Francorchamps.
Christian Vietoris put Racing Engineering on pole position with a stunning lap of 2:18.345s in the final minutes of the wet Friday afternoon qualifying session at Spa-Francorchamps, a staggering 1.4s ahead of Luca Filippi in second place.

However the time was set while there were yellow flags out for Charles Pic, who had rolled to a stop at Blanchimont in sector 3, which put Vietoris' pole at doubt until he was able to prove to the race stewards that he had indeed significantly slowed through the specific area of the caution.

Jules Bianchi set one of the earliest fast times of the session with a 2:22:816s on a wet, waterlogged track still suffering from light rain as the session began, while Filippi and Vietoris adopted an "off-sync" strategy to give themselves a clearer track and improved visibility from water spray and immediate benefitted by Vietoris going top with 2:21.884s.

Championship leader Romain Grosjean then went top with a time of 2:21.715s and looked set to continue his strong run, but that proved to be a high watermark for the Dams driver and he was strangely unable to find an opportunity to improve on that time again during the remainder of the 30-minute qualifying period.

Vietoris, Filippi and Marcus Ericsson all stayed out for longer first half stints and duly slammed in quicker times to take hold of the top three with Vietoris on a 2:20.724s, 0.811s ahead of Filippi. As everyone headed for pit lane at the midpoint of the session, Sam Bird exited qualifying with a one-way trip to the barrier after spinning at turn 6, Les Combes.

As the cars returned to the track for their final runs on a vaguely-drying track, first Adam Carroll and then Michael Herck popped into second place, but no one was able to displace Vietoris on the top spot until Charles Pic pulled off a time of 2:20.056s, 0.668s faster with just five minutes remaining on the clock.

Pic was unable to challenge further when his Barwa Addax ground to a half moments later, and instead it was Filippi who picked up the fight and was the first man under 140s with a time of 2:19.779s.

In the final seconds it was Christian Vietoris, Luca Filippo and Jules Bianchi laying down the purple sectors, but a slow-speed spin for Bianchi ruined the Lotus ART driver's efforts and left the field clear for Vietoris to thump in his 2:18.345s. However, this was after Pic had parked up through turn 17 in the final sector leaving the track under local yellows, meaning that Vietoris' pole lap was put under review by the stewards.

The data showed to the stewards' satisfaction that Vietoris had indeed lifted through the specific area of the caution if not through the sector as a whole, and Vietoris put down the overall fast lap to the generally improving track conditions by that stage of the afternoon.




Related Pictures

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Christian Vietoris (GER, Racing Engineering) on a wet track at Spa-Francorchamps. [Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 25 July 2015. Daniel de Jong (NED, MP Motorsport) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Cars line up on the grid for the race. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering), Jordan King (GBR, Racing Engineering) & Mitch Evans (NZL, RUSSIAN TIME) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) celebrates his win in parc ferme. Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) celebrates his win on the podium. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident), celebrates on the podium with Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) and 4. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering) leads Jordan King (GBR, Racing Engineering) and the rest of the field at the start. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering) celebrates on the podium with Jordan King (GBR, Racing Engineering). Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Matthew Parry (GBR, Koiranen GP) crashes into a wall. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) crosses the line to take the win. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 22 August 2015. Race One Press Conference. Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International), Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) and Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 22 August 2015. The Safety car is deployed Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Thursday 20 August 2015. Daniel de Jong (NED, MP Motorsport). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.
Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 22 August 2015. Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) celebrates his win in Parc Ferme. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 22 August 2015. Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix), leads Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International), Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Arden International) and the rest of the field at the start of the race. Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service.

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