A gorgeous sunny and warm day in northern Italy proved ideal running conditions for the GP2 field in Friday morning practice at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza. The first flying lap of the weekend was set by Rapax's Simon Trummer with a time of 1:39.503s on the 3.6-mile, 11-turn historic circuit.

Arden's Johnny Cecotto Jr. soon had that down by over two seconds to 1:37.265s on his own first run, but he pushed too hard on the next lap and ran side through the Parabolica and spun, showering the track with gravel and leaving the car in a dangerous position on the outside of the fastest part of the circuit, forcing race control to declare a brief red flag for retrieval and clean-up.

James Calado had hot-footed it from participating in the F1 Free Practice 1 session just half an hour earlier as part of his new test and development deal with the Force India team, and was immediately on the pace putting in a time of 1:33.886s to go top just before the red flag materialised. However his benchmark didn't long survive the restart, with Fabio Leimer (Racing Engineering) and Sam Bird (Russian Time) soon taking a second off after the gren flag.

Leimer pushed even further ahead with a time of 1:32.123s on his next effort to put him ahead of an improved laps from Carlin's Jolyon Palmer and Russian Time's Tom Dillmann by over two tenths heading into the final ten minutes of the half-hour session. Championship leader Stefano Coletti was up into fourth despite having crushed his front wing against the back of Cecotto's car as the Arden suddenly slowed in an attempt to find space from the cars ahead of him.

Palmer's next effort was enough to topple Leimer from the top by just three thousandths of a second while Bird edged his team mate for third place and set up an enticing final confrontation for session honours once the majority of cars had cycled through a late call onto pit lane with five minutes to go, having been pushed off their usual schedule by the earlier red flag period. However with the exception of Stephane Richelmi jumping up to fourth to split the Russian Time pair, it seemed that the best runs of the morning had already been posted.

The session ended with two separate local waved yellows, after Richelmi's team mate Marcus Ericsson pulled his DAMS into the turn 1 run-off to park, at the same time that Sergio Canamasas spun his Caterham at Ascari. That left Jon Lancaster in 17th in his return to Hilmer Motorsports in place of Robin Frijns, and new boy Sergio Campana in 26th as he gets to grips with his first taste of a GP2 car in place of Ricardo Teixeira at Trident.

Practice times

1. #10 Jolyon Palmer Carlin 1:32.120s 140.670mph (12 laps)
2. #8 Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:32.123s 140.665mph + 0.003s (11 laps)
3. #11 Sam Bird Russian Time 1:32.351s 140.319mph + 0.231s (11 laps)
4. #2 St?phane Richelmi DAMS 1:32.501s 140.091mph + 0.381s (13 laps)
5. #12 Tom Dillmann Russian Time 1:32.502s 140.089mph + 0.382s (10 laps)
6. #18 Stefano Coletti Rapax 1:32.532s 140.044mph + 0.412s (12 laps)
7. #7 Juli?n Leal Racing Engineering 1:32.586s 139.962mph + 0.466s (11 laps)
8. #19 Simon Trummer Rapax 1:32.634s 139.890mph + 0.514s (13 laps)
9. #1 Marcus Ericsson DAMS 1:32.711s 139.774mph + 0.591s (12 laps)
10. #15 Alexander Rossi EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:32.743s 139.725mph + 0.623s (12 laps)
11. #3 James Calado ART GP 1:32.863s 139.544mph + 0.743s (13 laps)
12. #22 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Hilmer Motorsport 1:32.877s 139.524mph + 0.757s (13 laps)
13. #6 Mitch Evans Arden 1:32.951s 139.413mph + 0.831s (12 laps)
14. #26 Dani Clos MP Motorsport 1:32.966s 139.390mph + 0.846s (11 laps)
15. #9 Felipe Nasr Carlin 1:33.029s 139.296mph + 0.909s (12 laps)
16. #16 Jake Rosenzweig Barwa Addax 1:33.045s 139.272mph + 0.925s (11 laps)
17. #23 Jon Lancaster Hilmer Motorsport 1:33.067s 139.239mph + 0.947s (12 laps)
18. #4 Daniel Abt ART GP 1:33.092s 139.201mph + 0.972s (13 laps)
19. #17 Rio Haryanto Barwa Addax 1:33.172s 139.082mph + 1.052s (10 laps)
20. #20 Nathana?l Berthon Trident Racing 1:33.174s 139.079mph + 1.054s (13 laps)
21. #14 Sergio Canamasas EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:33.369s 138.788mph + 1.249s (11 laps)
22. #5 Johnny Cecotto Jr. Arden 1:33.389s 138.759mph + 1.269s (11 laps)
23. #27 Dani?l de Jong MP Motorsport 1:33.447s 138.673mph + 1.327s (12 laps)
24. #25 Vittorio Ghirelli Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:33.465s 138.646mph + 1.345s (13 laps)
25. #24 Rene Binder Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:33.943s 137.941mph + 1.823s (12 laps)
26. #21 Sergio Campana Trident Racing 1:34.448s 137.203mph + 2.328s (12 laps)

Total Laps: 308


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