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Piquet maintains form in free practice.


Nelson Piquet Jr continued his form from the Hungaroring to get his Istanbul weekend off on the right foot in free practice.

The Brazilian opened the first GP2 Series meeting after the summer break with a similar display of form to that which he showed in Budapest, setting the initial pace with a time of 1min 36.753secs around the tricky Istanbul Park circuit. Piquet set his first fastest lap halfway through the half-hour session and then kept going faster, leaving his rivals with no answer to his speed.

Giorgio Pantano showed that a modicum of experience on the circuit was vital, the Italian getting closest to Piquet on his final lap, but was still two-tenths short of the top time. Another 2005 veteran, Alex Premat, was third quickest in the session, ahead of the best of the newcomers, Timo Glock, the German maintaining his impressive iSport form with fourth spot.

Another second year GP2 man, Jose Maria Lopez, was the early pacesetter in a session that saw most of the field spin as they tried to come to terms with the undulating and fast-flowing circuit, but the Argentine had retreated to an unrepresentative 16th by the time the chequered flag flew.

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton, hoping to get his title fight back on track after an off weekend in Hungary, could only manage the sixth-best time, with Clivio Piccione pushing himself between the Briton and Glock, while Adam Carroll underlined the benefit of a previous visit with seventh place. Newcomers Lucas di Grassi and Javier Villa were next up, with Ernesto Viso completing the top ten.

Not everyone with prior knowledge of the track fared well, however, with Alex Negrao 14th, Gianmaria Bruni 17th, Hiroki Yoshimoto 19th and Nicolas Lapierre 20th. Local favourite Jason Tahinci also failed to benefit from an earlier World Series by Renault outing in Turkey by posting only the 24th fastest time, quicker only than Fairuz Fauzy and Vitaly Petrov.

As usual, however, the timesheets proved to be very tight, with one second covering the top seven drivers, and a total of 18 men within two seconds of Piquet's time. Despite the large number of spins, all 26 cars emerged unscathed and ready for qualifying once the Formula One sessions have been completed.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Nelson Piquet Jr. - Piquet Sports [pic credit: GP2 Series media]
Clivio Piccione - DPR   [pic credit: GP2 media]
javier Villa - Racing Engineering   [pic credit: GP2 media]
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) in action at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Racing Engineering) in pit lane at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Racing Engineering) in action at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) in action at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) in action at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Pierre Gasly (FRA, EQ8 Caterham Racing) in pit lane at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
The car of Pierre Gasly (FRA, EQ8 Caterham Racing) is retrieved after a first lap accident at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Rio Haryanto (INA, EQ8 Caterham Racing) in action at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Rio Haryanto (INA, EQ8 Caterham Racing) in action at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) crosses the line at the end of race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates in parc ferme after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates in parc ferme after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates with team mate Stephane Richelmi (MON, DAMS) celebrates after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates with his father Jonathan after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Race winner Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) & runner-up Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) celebrate with champagne after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)

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