With just under 90 seconds remaining in the session it was impossible for the cars to get out and start a flying lap before the end, and so qualifying was formally ended. That meant that Filippi had clinched pole position and would start alongside Chilton, while Gutiérrez' late flyer put him on the second row alongside Palmer. Meanwhile, Leimer would start alongside Valsecchi on the third row.
Valsecchi could afford to be happy enough with this outcome: his rival Razia had failed to get the 4pts on offer for pole position to narrow the gap between them in the championship, and would now start three positions behind Valsecchi on the grid. That gave the DAMS driver a "buffer" zone of Johnny Cecotto Jr. and Stefano Coletti on the fourth row between him and the Arden, and that could be counted a very satisfactory state of affairs indeed for the champion-presumptive going into Saturday's feature event.
The 34-lap race takes place tomorrow at 4pm local time (9am BST) while the 24-lap sprint race on Sunday is at 4.10pm local time (9.10am BST.) All sessions are due to be broadcast live in the UK on Sky Sports F1
. Thunderstorms are still possible at any point throughout the weekend, which could make things very interesting indeed.
Full qualifying times and positions