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Chilton tops Monza Friday morning practice

Carlin's Max Chilton topped the timesheets early in the half hour Friday morning practice session at Monza for the GP2 field, ahead of DAMS' impressive rookie Felipe Nasr.
On a beautiful warm and sunny Friday morning at Monza, Luca Filippi was quick to get back to work on his return to GP2 with Scuderia Coloni after a year away. He was one of the first cars out on track for the half hour practice session, along with the likes of Lotus GP duo Esteban Gutiérrez and James Calado. A small number of cars including the Racing Engineering drivers opted to delay their initial runs in the hope of getting clearer runs after the first rush of traffic abated.

Amid the usual harmless run-offs as drivers dialled themselves into to the track, strong laps were recorded early on by Filippi, Marcus Ericsson, Giedo van der Garde and by Stefano Coletti on his début for Rapax after splitting with Coloni. But at the halfway point of the session when the cars came in for their set-up tweaks, the best lap had been set by Carlin's Max Chilton with a 1:31.850s almost half a second ahead of DAMS drivers Felipe Nasr and Davide Valsecchi.

Chilton's time stood for the rest of the session as no one seemed to be really pushing it in the second half of the session, although Filippi did manage to depose Valsecchi for third spot. Valsecchi's rival for the GP2 title, Arden's Luiz Razia, improved to tenth place with a time of 1:32.834s after a sluggish start to the day's proceedings.

With under five minutes remaining, James Calado managed to get knocked into a rear-end spin through Ascari. Although much of his speed was scrubbed off though the gravel trap his Lotus still ended up clouting the barrier with the rear wing and front right suspension, leading to several minutes of of local waved yellows in that section of the circuit. Those yellows had just been withdrawn when Rodolfo Gonzalez lost the Caterham into the gravel at Parabolica to bring out another set of waved yellows that thwarted any further flying laps before the chequered flag dropped.

Nigel Melker finished the session in 23rd place with a lap of 1:33.790s, just six days after his massive accident at Eau Rouge at Spa that had wrecked his race car early in the feature race, but which fortunately left the 21-year-old Dutch driver with only minor bruising and able to take part in this week's race weekend at Monza. Jake Rosenzweig - stepping into the Barwa Addax car this weekend in place of Spa sprint race winner Josef Kral - finished bottom of the times with a lap of 1:34.518s.

Full practice session times are available.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Luca Filippi (ITA, Scuderia Coloni) celebrates his Monza feature victory on the podium. [Photo: Andrew Ferraro/GP2 Media Service.]
Max Chilton (GBR, Carlin) on track on Monaco. [Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
Luca Ghiotto - Trident Racing [credit: GP2 Series]
Luca Ghiotto - Trident Racing [credit: GP2 Series]
Jake Hughes - DAMS [credit: GP3 Series]
Jake Hughes - DAMS [credit: GP3 Series]
Jakes Hughes, DAMS, GP3 [Credit: Jake Hughes PR]
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2015 GP3 Series Round 8. Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain Saturday 21 November 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
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2015 GP3 Series Round 8. Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain Friday 20 November 2015. Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix), takes the lead ahead of Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) & Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) at the start Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
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2015 GP3 Series Round 8. Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain Thursday 19 November 2015. Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix), followed by Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service. ref: Digital Image _G7C9590
2015 GP3 Series Round 7. Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia Sunday 11 October 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) celebrates his win. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.

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