GP2

Hungaroring: Qualifying report

Nelson Grins as Lewis Spins Nelson Piquet Jr has put his nightmare Hockenheim weekend behind him with an emphatic pole position in today's GP2 series qualifying session. The Brazilian topped the timesheets from José María López and Michael ...

Nelson Grins as Lewis Spins

Nelson Piquet Jr has put his nightmare Hockenheim weekend behind him with an emphatic pole position in today's GP2 series qualifying session. The Brazilian topped the timesheets from José María López and Michael Ammermüller, while Nelson's rival in the championship battle Lewis Hamilton spun out of the session on his first lap without setting a time.

The qualifying session was just minutes old when Lewis spun his car. The Briton had collected the barrier this morning in the damp practice session, and his team had spent the whole afternoon rebuilding the car. In this afternoon's spin he kept his car on track, but stalled the ART Grand Prix machine. Unwilling to let qualifying slip out of his grasp he stayed in the car, but when the marshalls were unable to get him moving again, he climbed out and was left to watch his season-long rival Nelson take pole position and the two points that go along with it.

With the marshalls taking a while to remove Lewis' car, Nelson decided to come back into the pits and change his tyres, waiting for the right moment to make his run. José meanwhile stayed out and put in the first meaningful lap of the session after Lewis' stranded car had been removed. Giorgio Pantano was the next driver to top the sheets, before Michael sent his car top.

With 12 minutes of the session gone, Nelson made his move and on his first flyer set a 1:29.464. It was a time that nobody would be able to touch. José got closest, but even his best efforts saw him over half a second off the Brazilian's pace. Having seen Lewis extend his championship advantage in Germany last weekend, Nelson was clearly in no mood to let the two pole points slip through his fingers and the pace of his lap, and the gap to José, reflected his clear intent.

The Brazilian duly claimed his fourth pole position of 2006 ahead of José and Michael, while Adam Carroll took fourththposition. Alex Prémat set the fifth quickest lap of the day, but will start tomorrow's race from 15 due to the ten-place grid penalty he was handed for his part in a race- ending incident with Hiroki Yoshimoto last Sunday. Gimmi Bruni is thus promoted to fifth, with Franck Perera starting sixth.

1st Nelson Piquet Jr Piquet Sports.1:29.464
I'm really happy, but I didn't expect to be six tenths up. It wasn't a very good lap. I knew it was quick, but I didn't know I was that much quicker. The car was working very well and I was fortunate not to get too much traffic, which is usually a problem here.

2nd José María López Super Nova International. +0.617
I'm very happy. We've definitely found the speed of the car since Ricard, but qualifying was hard for me... possibly the hardest of my career. I spun on my second set of tyres and was struggling with the rear. On my lap I had four or five moments, and I couldn't believe I was P2 at the end.

3rd Michael Ammermüller Arden International. +0.811
I think we found some pace in Hockenheim as we hadn't been competitive for the last few weekends. Now I think we're back and I hope tomorrow we'll have a good race pace, and I hope to be on the podium at the end of the race.

-gp2

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Giorgio Pantano , Nelson Piquet , Adam Carroll , Hiroki Yoshimoto , Jose Maria Lopez , Franck Perera , Michael Ammermüller
Teams Arden International