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Singapore: Qualifying times

20 September 2013

Squeezed into the shorter than usual interval between the two F1 free practice sessions, qualifying for this weekend's Singapore round of the 2013 GP2 Series was also the only running the teams and drivers would get to do under the floodlights after dark, as practice and both races were scheduled for late afternoon.

That left for a leap into unknown conditions for the drivers as they streamed out of pit lane at the start of the 30 minute qualifying, with the exception of Venezuela GP Lazarus' Rene Binder whose participation was delayed for a couple of minutes while the engineers worked on a last moment glitch. Alexander Rossi set the first flying lap with a time of 1:54.244s in the Caterham despite a couple of brake lock-ups and a slide near the end. Rossi's time was soon edged out by a narrow margin by the Carlins of Felipe Nasr and Jolyon Palmer, but it was an early end to the proceedings for Mitch Evans who ran too deep into turn 10 while passing his Arden team mate Johnny Cecotto Jr. and ended up burying the nose of the #6 into the barrier.

With yellows out while Evans' car was being removed by the track workers and for Tom Dillmann who had put the Russian Time into the run-off at turn 14, the drivers were prevented from improving their times with just 11 drivers having posted competitive times. The track was finally clear again just before the midway point of the session and Dillmann immediately took advantage and leapt up into fourth place, quickly followed by championship leader Fabio Leimer vaulting into provisional pole with a time of 1:53.888s on the 3.14 mile, 23-turn Marina Bay street circuit a minute later in the Racing Engineering car.

Proceedings were interrupted once again, this time by a red flag, after GianMarco Raimondo's maiden weekend in GP2 saw him run wide and crunch the right-front suspension of his Trident into the metal barriers in the grandstand underpass section, at the same time that Daniel Abt suffered another dismal outing through no fault of this time as his ART died and left him parked on the right hand side of the track. Abt's team mate James Calado had also been struggling and given the wall a firm shove on his own flying lap, but the car was undamaged and later able to set the eighth fastest lap of the session.

The session resumed with 14 minutes remaining, but despite everyone visibly pushing and flirting with disaster it was another eight minutes before finally Palmer reasserted the dominance he'd previously shown in the practice session to go top with a time of 1:53.600s, his team mate Felipe Nasr quickly making it an all-Carlin provisional front row by pipping Leimer a quarter of a second off pole. Leimer, of course, was desperate to respond and threw everything into what turned out to be an on-the-edge untidy final effort after the chequered flag, but it was not enough to improve his position and he had to settle for starting in third place behind the two Carlins and alongside Rossi.

At least the Swiss driver can take comfort from the knowledge that his chief rival for the championship, Russian Time's Sam Bird, will be starting three rows behind him on Saturday after the Briton was angered by being held up by Cecotto on his final flying lap attempt and unable to improve on tenth place on the grid. Cecotto was handed a three-place grid penalty for impeding Bird, while Racing Engineering's Julian Leal was given a similar sanction for holding up Cecotto in turn.

Qualifying times

1. #10 Jolyon Palmer Carlin 1:53.600s 99.736mph (11 laps)
2. #9 Felipe Nasr Carlin 1:53.852s 99.516mph + 0.252s (10 laps)
3. #8 Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:53.870s 99.500mph + 0.270s (12 laps)
4. #15 Alexander Rossi EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:54.285s 99.139mph + 0.685s (13 laps)
5. #2 Stéphane Richelmi DAMS 1:54.403s 99.036mph + 0.803s (11 laps)
6. #12 Tom Dillmann Russian Time 1:54.695s 98.784mph + 1.095s (10 laps)
7. #14 Sergio Canamasas EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:54.812s 98.684mph + 1.212s (12 laps)
8. #3 James Calado ART GP 1:54.822s 98.675mph + 1.222s (13 laps)
9. #1 Marcus Ericsson DAMS 1:54.987s 98.533mph + 1.387s (13 laps)
10. #11 Sam Bird Russian Time 1:55.163s 98.383mph + 1.563s (12 laps)
11. #18 Stefano Coletti Rapax 1:55.251s 98.308mph + 1.651s (13 laps)
12. #7 Julián Leal Racing Engineering 1:55.268s 98.293mph + 1.668s (13 laps)
13. #20 Nathanaël Berthon Trident Racing 1:55.567s 98.039mph + 1.967s (11 laps)
14. #5 Johnny Cecotto Jr. Arden 1:55.683s 97.940mph + 2.083s (14 laps)
15. #26 Dani Clos MP Motorsport 1:55.784s 97.855mph + 2.184s (10 laps)
16. #24 Rene Binder Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:55.880s 97.774mph + 2.280s (10 laps)
17. #4 Daniel Abt ART GP 1:56.048s 97.632mph + 2.448s (6 laps)
18. #22 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Hilmer Motorsport 1:56.057s 97.625mph + 2.457s (13 laps)
19. #16 Jake Rosenzweig Barwa Addax 1:56.114s 97.577mph + 2.514s (11 laps)
20. #23 Jon Lancaster Hilmer Motorsport 1:56.210s 97.496mph + 2.610s (13 laps)
21. #25 Vittorio Ghirelli Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:56.333s 97.393mph + 2.733s (13 laps)
22. #17 Rio Haryanto Barwa Addax 1:56.753s 97.043mph + 3.153s (12 laps)
23. #19 Simon Trummer Rapax 1:57.153s 96.711mph + 3.553s (13 laps)
24. #27 Daniël de Jong MP Motorsport 1:57.560s 96.377mph + 3.960s (11 laps)
25. #21 GianMarco Raimondo Trident Racing 1:57.837s 96.150mph + 4.237s (6 laps)
26. #6 Mitch Evans Arden 2:29.069s 76.005mph + 35.469s (2 laps)

Total Laps: 288
107% time: 2:01.552s


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