GP2 »

Filippi claims final feature pole of 2012

Luca Filippi handed Coloni pole position for their final GP2 Series weekend, while Davide Valsecchi's sixth place puts him in front of title rival Luiz Razia on Saturday's grid.
Scueria Coloni might be bowing out of GP2 after this weekend, but by bringing back Luca Filippi - last year's runner-up for the drivers championship - they've ensured that they're going out in some style by claiming the final feature race pole position of the season.

Heading into the first-ever floodlit session in GP2 Series history, it was a huge relief to the drivers to see a dry track, and moreover the weather radar showing no signs of any rain clouds in the area likely to threaten the 30 minute session. James Calado led the way out onto the track in the Lotus GP with Giedo van der Garde and Max Chilton right behind him as almost all the drivers wasted no time in getting down to it.

Calado's first effort was 2:10.475s putting him almost two seconds clear of DAMS' Davide Valsecchi, but times quickly toppled from there and within minutes Coloni's Fabio Onidi was a full five seconds faster. Calado soon confirmed how much quicker the track was getting with a 2:02.802s on his own next effort, but almost immediately he was pushed well down the standings by a number of flying laps with Lotus GP's Esteban Gutiérrez (2:01.092s) going on top and DAMS' Felipe Nasr, Sergio Canamasas (Venezuela GP Lazarus), Max Chilton (Carlin) and Stephane Richelmi (Trident) all pushing in front of Calado.

Valsecchi then found another eight tenths off the provisional pole time to go top with 2:00.287s with Racing Engineering's Fabio Leimer and Coloni's Luca Filippi also putting in strong laps to bounce Gutiérrez down to third place, Filippi pushing really hard on the supersofts and locking up his brakes multiple times on his next attempt to go faster still.

Valsecchi had already retired to pit lane for his mid-session break and final tune-up and change of tyres, when Jolyon Palmer ousted him from the top spot with a new benchmark time of 2:00.102s. More significantly for Valsecchi, however, was his title rival Luiz Razia slipping into third place right behind him in the Arden.

Arden's Simon Trummer was one of the drivers to have had an early scare and needed to resort to the escape road without harm, while Giedo van der Garde had an uncomfortable hop over the turn 10 chicane in his Caterham and Luiz Razia had a couple of uncomfortably close shaves with other dawdling cars not looking in their mirrors during the first minutes of the session, but there had been no major incidents during the first half of qualifying.

That all set up a crucial final ten minutes of track action: did any of the drivers have anything left over their early runs with which to challenge for pole? The Lotus cars had switched to the prime tyres while Valsecchi and Razia had remained on the supersoft options; provisional polesitter Palmer had switched to the options as well, after having set his earlier flying lap on the harder compounds. It was a question of whose strategy if any would bear fruit.

Fabio Leimer, Luca Filippi and Stefano Coletti all improved their times but had still not been able to oust Palmer, when Carlin's Max Chilton peeled off a massive six tenths of a second from the pole time to dip under the two minute mark for the first time with a 1:59.496s; Filippi then responded with an even better effort, pipping Chilton for pole by five hundredths of a second with a lap of 1:59.444s.

Esteban Gutiérrez had just become the third man to go under two minutes when Nigel Melker locked up and skidded deep into the wall in the tunnel under the grandstand. It was clear from the position of the Ocean Racing car and how deeply it was scrunched into the barrier that this would trigger an immediate red flag, even though Melker himself was quickly out of the car without requiring medical assistance.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Luca Filippi (ITA, Scuderia Coloni) (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)
Luca Filippi (ITA, Scuderia Coloni) (World Copyright: Glenn Dunbar/GP2 Media Service)
Luca Filippi (ITA, Scuderia Coloni) celebrates his pole position (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), Mitch Evans (NZL, RT RUSSIAN TIME) & Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Racing Engineering) on the feature race podium at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) in action at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates win with his father Jonathan at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014.(Photo: Steven Tee/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates victory at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Steven Tee/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Newly-crowned 2014 GP2 Series Champion Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates in Parc Ferme at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Steven Tee/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) after qualifying at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Friday 10 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix), Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) & Takuya Izawa (JPN, ART Grand Prix) after qualifying at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Friday 10 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) after qualifying at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Friday 10 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Arthur Pic (FRA, Campos Racing) & Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) after qualifying at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Friday 10 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) after qualifying at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Friday 10 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) after qualifying at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Friday 10 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Takuya Izawa (JPN, ART Grand Prix) congratulates Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) after qualifying at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Friday 10 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.