GP2

Rossi lights up Abu Dhabi qualifying

American grabs top spot in dramatic session—
 
Alexander Rossi has dominated this evening’s qualifying session in Abu Dhabi with an educational display of driving under lights to claim pole position from Sam Bird and Jolyon Palmer, leading for most of the session to annex the front of tomorrow afternoon’s feature race grid.
 
With lights blazing all around the circuit, the darkness beyond had at least taken the sting out of the extreme heat from this morning’s practice session as Stefano Coletti set the early pace, but it didn’t take long before Palmer and then Rossi took over the running, with the American sawing away at his own times as his rivals tried in vain to keep up.
 
With six minutes remaining in the session most of the field were about to start their fast laps for another shot at the top spot, led on track once again by Rossi, as Daniel Abt slowed as first a wheelnut and then his left rear wheel detached from his car, prompting a red flag period much to the annoyance of his rivals.
 
The marshals made quick work of removing the stricken vehicles, and the field was soon out again and trying to get their tyres up to temperature: Marcus Ericsson looked to have done his job the best as he took the top of the timesheets, with Rossi pushing hard and finishing just 0.007 seconds behind the Swede and Palmer looking faster still until he missed his braking at the chicane and Bird slowing on his final run, but Ericsson’s time was soon cancelled for exceeding the track limits, promoting the others.
 
Title leader Fabio Leimer will line up in P4, immediately behind championship rival Bird on the grid but ahead of Johnny Cecotto, Jon Lancaster, Felipe Nasr, Stephane Richelmi and Dani Clos, with the closeness of the grid promising a scorching feature race.  
Abu Dhabi – Qualifying Session
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Alexander Rossi
EQ8 Caterham Racing
1:48.931
11
2.
Sam Bird
RUSSIAN TIME
1:49.241
10
3.
Jolyon Palmer
Carlin
1:49.376
10
4.
Fabio Leimer
Racing Engineering
1:49.485
11
5.
Tom Dillmann
RUSSIAN TIME
1:49.672
9
6.
Johnny Cecotto
Arden International
1:49.680
10
7.
Jon Lancaster
Hilmer Motorsport
1:49.827
10
8.
Felipe Nasr
Carlin
1:49.829
11
9.
Stéphane Richelmi
DAMS
1:49.835
10
10.
Dani Clos
MP Motorsport
1:49.846
10
11.
Mitch Evans
Arden International
1:49.864
10
12.
Marcus Ericsson
DAMS
1:49.910
10
13.
Sergio Canamasas
EQ8 Caterham Racing
1:49.951
10
14.
James Calado
ART Grand Prix
1:50.002
9
15.
Rio Haryanto
Barwa Addax Team
1:50.334
10
16.
Nathanael Berthon
Trident Racing
1:50.446
10
17.
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
Hilmer Motorsport
1:50.510
10
18.
Stefano Coletti
Rapax
1:50.534
10
19
Julian Leal
Racing Engineering
1:50.553
11
20.
Simon Trummer
Rapax
1:50.634
13
21.
Jake Rosenzweig
Barwa Addax Team
1:50.809
10
22.
Rene Binder
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:50.884
10
23.
Daniel De Jong
MP Motorsport
1:50.906
11
24.
Daniel Abt
ART Grand Prix
1:50.907
6
25.
Vittorio Ghirelli
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:51.493
10