GP2

Sam Bird (RUSSIAN TIME)

Bird blasts to Monza pole—
 
Briton bags second top spot of season—
 
Sam Bird has picked up in Monza where he left off in Spa, claiming his second consecutive pole position in a dramatic qualifying session this afternoon where all of the championship contenders were in the mix right up to the end, as the Briton grabbed the top spot by just 0.034 seconds from Fabio Leimer and Jolyon Palmer.
 
In a session which saw temperatures soar from the already hot practice period, Bird set his best time of 1:31.788 with just five minutes remaining in a session which was already full of action, setting the cat among the pigeons as his rivals pushed up to, and in some cases over, the limit to steal a march on each other for tomorrow’s race.
 
Everyone was immediately on track as the lights went green, with series leader Stefano Coletti setting the early pace after picking up a great tow from rival James Calado, setting a target which was soon blasted down by Julian Leal, Stéphane Richelmi, Leimer and Palmer. But two big spins at the parabolica by Sergio Canamasas and Vittorio Ghirelli left gravel all over the track, prompting a red flag period to clean up the mess.
 
If anyone thought that the timesheets were set, they were soon put to rights when the track went live again as Leimer cut a tenth out of the top time, with Bird soon cutting it even further. The number of championship contenders who cut the first chicane showed just how hard they were pushing, but Palmer was the only man to actually improve his time, albeit missing his target by a fraction.
 
Behind the top three are Marcus Ericsson, Tom Dillmann, Coletti, Dani Clos, Calado, Jake Rosenzweig and Simon Trummer, all of whom will be thinking ‘what if?’ after a session full of promise: with 22 drivers within a second, tomorrow’s feature race offers an excellent opportunity for them to move back up to where they feel they should be today.
 
Monza – Qualifying Session
 
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Sam Bird
RUSSIAN TIME
1:31.788
12
2.
Fabio Leimer
Racing Engineering
1:31.822
14
3.
Jolyon Palmer
Carlin
1:31.843
13
4.
Marcus Ericsson
DAMS
1:31.915
14
5.
Tom Dillmann
RUSSIAN TIME
1:31.948
10
6.
Stefano Coletti
Rapax
1:31.993
15
7.
Dani Clos
MP Motorsport
1:32.024
11
8.
James Calado
ART Grand Prix
1:32.033
12
9.
Jake Rosenzweig
Barwa Addax Tean
1:32.100
12
10.
Simon Trummer
Rapax
1:32.164
12
11.
Stéphane Richelmi
DAMS
1:32.168
12
12.
Felipe Nasr
Carlin
1:32.381
13
13.
Rio Haryanto
Barwa Addax Team
1:32.384
13
14.
Julian Leal
Racing Engineering
1:32.398
15
15.
Alexander Rossi
EQ8 Caterham Racing
1:32.447
14
16.
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
Hilmer Motorsport
1:32.462
13
17.
Mitch Evans
Arden International
1:32.481
12
18.
Jon Lancaster
Hilmer Motorsport
1:32.482
13
19
Nathanaël Berthon
Trident Racing
1:32.554
13
20.
Daniel Abt
ART Grand Prix
1:32.627
12
21.
Johnny Cecotto
Arden International
1:32.650
12
22.
Daniel De Jong
MP Motorsport
1:32.751
10
23.
Sergio Campana
Trident Racing
1:33.195
14
24.
Rene Binder
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:33.292
14
25.
Vittorio Ghirelli
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:33.405
5
26.
Sergio Canamasas
EQ8 Caterham Racing
1:34.963
3

 

Formula 1

Monza-Podium-1

ITALIAN GRAND PRIX FRIDAY PRACTICE RESULTS:

CAR 1, SEBASTIAN VETTEL  –
First Practice Session: Position: 4, Best Time: 1:25.753, Laps: 26
Second Practice Session: Position: 1, Best Time: 1:24.453, Laps: 39
“It will be very tight this weekend, as we saw in the first practice. It will be close tomorrow in qualifying with quite a few cars separated by only a few hundredths of a second. There are a few things we still need to do to optimise the car, as there are two or three corners where we are sliding more than we would like. It’s positive today, but it’s only a Friday.”
CAR 2, MARK WEBBER-
First Practice Session: Position: 8, Best Time: 1:26.103, Laps: 27
Second Practice Session: Position: 2, Best Time: 1:25.076, Laps: 39
“We seem okay here, although it’s only Friday. We seemed good on Friday in Spa and then everyone was with us in P3. But, that said, the car feels good although we have some work to do to prepare for the race, so let’s see
Pos Driver                Team                    Time        Gap    Laps
 1. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault        1m24.453s           39
 2. Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault        1m25.076s  +0.623s  39
 3. Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault           1m25.116s  +0.663s  36
 4. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault           1m25.116s  +0.663s  40
 5. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                 1m25.330s  +0.877s  38
 6. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes                1m25.340s  +0.887s  39
 7. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes                1m25.367s  +0.914s  42
 8. Felipe Massa          Ferrari                 1m25.519s  +1.066s  29
 9. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes        1m25.532s  +1.079s  42
10. Sergio Perez          McLaren-Mercedes        1m25.627s  +1.174s  39
11. Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes    1m25.830s  +1.377s  40
12. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari          1m25.888s  +1.435s  40
13. Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes    1m26.028s  +1.575s  37
14. Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault        1m26.138s  +1.685s  36
15. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari      1m26.224s  +1.771s  32
16. Nico Hulkenberg       Sauber-Ferrari          1m26.385s  +1.932s  43
17. Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari      1m26.599s  +2.146s  39
18. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Renault        1m27.198s  +2.745s  44
19. Max Chilton           Marussia-Cosworth       1m27.548s  +3.095s  30
20. Charles Pic           Caterham-Renault        1m27.696s  +3.243s  37
21. Giedo van der Garde   Caterham-Renault        1m27.771s  +3.318s  38
22. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Cosworth       1m28.057s  +3.604s  32

GP2

Jolyon Palmer (Carlin)

Palmer leads the way in Monza—

 Briton fastest in free practice—
 
Jolyon Palmer set a benchmark for his rivals with a scorching late lap to claim the top spot in this morning’s free practice session in Monza, although it was tight at the top: the Briton’s best lap of 1:32.120 was just 0.003 ahead of Fabio Leimer and two tenths to the good over Sam Bird.
The session opened in hot and sunny conditions, with all drivers heading straight out as the lights went green. James Calado set the early pace, fresh from his earlier F1 practice session with Force India, but when Johnny Cecotto spun at the parabolica five minutes in the session had to be red flagged to sweep the gravel from the track.
When the session restarted Alexander Rossi, Marcus Ericsson, Sam Bird and Leimer all took their turn at the top of the timesheets, and with the usual pitstops now staggered because of the red flag there seemed to be more space than ever for the drivers to find their own grooves. Until around 20 minutes in, that is, when Stefano Coletti and Cecotto came together at turn one, with the Monegasque driver breaking his wing in the process to his clear displeasure.
Palmer had been on the pace all session, and claimed his prize with 8 minutes to go: his rivals had little answer, and were perhaps mindful of avoiding damage with qualifying only hours away, although Bird popped up to third with 5 minutes to go. He displaced Stéphane Richelmi, Tom Dillmann, Coletti, Julian Leal, Simon Trummer, Ericsson and Alexander Rossi with just one second covering the top 17 positions, this afternoon’s qualifying session promises to be dramatic.
 
Monza – Free Practice
 
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Jolyon Palmer
Carlin
1:32.120
12
2.
Fabio Leimer
Racing Engineering
1:32.123
11
3.
Sam Bird
RUSSIAN TIME
1:32.351
11
4.
Stéphane Richelmi
DAMS
1:32.501
13
5.
Tom Dillmann
RUSSIAN TIME
1:32.502
10
6.
Stefano Coletti
Rapax
1:32.532
12
7.
Julian Leal
Racing Engineering
1:32.586
11
8.
Simon Trummer
Rapax
1:32.634
13
9.
Marcus Ericsson
DAMS
1:32.711
12
10.
Alexander Rossi
EQ8 Caterham Racing
1:32.743
12
11.
James Calado
ART Grand Prix
1:32.863
13
12.
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
Hilmer Motorsport
1:32.877
13
13.
Mitch Evans
Arden International
1:32.951
12
14.
Dani Clos
MP Motorsport
1:32.966
11
15.
Felipe Nasr
Carlin
1:33.029
12
16.
Jake Rosenzweig
Barwa Addax Team
1:33.045
11
17.
Jon Lancaster
Hilmer Motorsport
1:33.067
12
18.
Daniel Abt
ART Grand Prix
1:33.092
13
19
Rio Haryanto
Barwa Addax Team
1:33.172
10
20.
Nathanaël Berthon
Trident Racing
1:33.174
13
21.
Sergio Canamasas
EQ8 Caterham Racing
1:33.369
11
22.
Johnny Cecotto
Arden International
1:33.389
11
23.
Daniel De Jong
MP Motorsport
1:33.447
12
24.
Vittorio Ghirelli
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:33.465
13
25.
Rene Binder
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:33.943
12
26.
Sergio Campana
Trident Racing
1:34.448
12