Max Chilton fastest in GP2 practice at Monza
Chilton leads the way as the penultimate GP2 race weekend gets underway
Max Chilton has ended practice for this weekend’s penultimate GP2 races fastest for Carlin. The rising British star was followed home by the DAMS of series rookie Felipe Nasr, with GP2 returnee Luca Filippi ending the 30 minute session 3rd fastest, after an impressive return to GP2 since his last race a whole year ago at Monza.
The session started under glorious sunshine at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, as Esteban Gutierrez led out the traditional long queue of awaiting cars to the track. The Mexican driver, who yesterday unveiled the new generation GP3 car, set the initial pace with a 01:42.930. This rather slow time was immediately smashed by Luca Filippi, who wasted no time in getting up to racing speeds as the local driver set a 01:36.875. Esteban Gutierrez immediately replied with an even quicker 01:34.243, as the times quickly began to tumble as more and more drivers took to the track.
James Calado then pipped his team-mate to the top of the timing sheets, with a 01:33.999, as the Ocean Racing Technology driver of Victor Guerin ran deep at turns 4 and 5 after making a slight mistake upon entering the chicane. Max Chilton then asserted his authority over proceedings, ousting fellow countryman James Calado with a 01:33.683. Former race winners Giedo van der Garde and Esteban Gutierrez then went fastest respectively, before Luca Filippi stormed to the top with a 01:33.116.
Julian Leal almost collided with the DAMS of Felipe Nasr on the run down to turn 4, with the Colombian driver taking evasive action and narrowly avoiding the rear of the Brazilian’s car. Whilst Leal and Nasr tussled for track position, Marcus Ericsson went fastest with a 01:32.410. Max Chilton then returned to the top with a 01:31.850, reasserting his authority over the practice session.
The session ended in dramatic fashion, as James Calado and Rodolfo Gonzalez both spun in separate incidences. The Briton spun on the exit of turn 10, and lightly tapped the retaining barrier, ending his session. Gonzalez in the Caterham spun throughout the long final corner, bringing the session to a conclusion with the yellow flags throughout the final sector preventing anyone from improving.
The GP2 paddock will now be crunching the numbers ahead of this afternoon’s qualifying session, which will determine the grid for tomorrow’s penultimate feature race around the historic Autodromo Nazionale di Monza. Luca Filippi won last season at Monza, and has certainly not lost any of his competitiveness this season.
Follow me on Twitter - @AndyYoungF1
|3.||Luca Filippi||Scuderia Coloni||1:32.391||15|
|5.||Marcus Ericsson||iSport International||1:32.410||13|
|6.||Giedo van der Garde||Catherham Racing||1:32.463||13|
|7.||Esteban Gutierrez||Lotus GP||1:32.571||15|
|9.||Nathanael Berthon||Racing Engineering||1:32.830||14|
|10.||Luiz Razia||Arden International||1:32.834||14|
|12.||Julian Leal||Trident Racing||1:32.954||15|
|13.||Johnny Cecotto||Barwa Addax Team||1:32.961||14|
|14.||Fabio Onidi||Scuderia Coloni||1:32.982||15|
|15.||James Calado||Lotus GP||1:33.058||11|
|16.||Simon Trummer||Arden International||1:33.084||14|
|17.||Stephane Richelmi||Trident Racing||1:33.147||14|
|18.||Fabio Leimer||Racing Engineering||1:33.149||14|
|19||Sergio Canamasas||Venezuela GP Lazarus||1:33.352||13|
|20.||Jolyon Palmer||iSport International||1:33.471||14|
|21.||Rodolfo Gonzalez||Caterham Racing||1:33.677||10|
|23.||Nigel Melker||Ocean Racing Technology||1:33.780||12|
|24.||Victor Guerin||Ocean Racing Technology||1:33.940||14|
|25.||Rene Binder||Venezuela GP Lazarus||1:33.977||15|
|26.||Jake Rosenzweig||Barwa Addax Team||1:34.518||12|