GP2

Hungaroring: Qualifying report

Nico storms to third successive pole Nico Rosberg has closed the championship gap to Heikki Kovalainen by another two points this afternoon, as he took pole position for tomorrow's GP2 series race at the Hungaroring. The ART Grand Prix driver...

Nico storms to third successive pole

Nico Rosberg has closed the championship gap to Heikki Kovalainen by another two points this afternoon, as he took pole position for tomorrow's GP2 series race at the Hungaroring. The ART Grand Prix driver took pole by almost a second from Racing Engineering's Neel Jani, with Heikki Kovalainen (Arden International) third and Giorgio Pantano (Super Nova International) fourth.

Nico set his pole lap of 1:31.459 on his first set of tyres, and on his first run early in the session. Taking advantage of the rubber laid down in F1 free practice, Nico timed his run to perfection, running on a clean and fast track, and in totally free air. Try as his rivals might, the track conditions were never as good again, and with everyone on track, it became impossible for anyone to run a completely clear lap. Quite simply Nico had driven the perfect lap at the perfect time. After his three-lap run, he simply sat back and watched.

Neel Jani's second position is his highest starting position to date. The Swiss driver has been a consistent points scorer, and such a high starting position will raise the hopes of his Racing Engineering team for their first podium finish of the year. Heikki Kovalainen meanwhile will be on a mission to stop Nico's monopoly on the top step of the Saturday podium. The Finn leads the drivers' championship by just four points now, and a potential battle between the championship protagonists in tomorrow's race is a great prospect. Giorgio Pantano, too, will want to get in on the action. With two second places under his belt, the Italian is desperate for his first win of 2005.

Row three sees Scott Speed and Alex Premat line up together, with row four an all-BCN Competicion affair as Hiroki Yoshimoto edged his team-mate Ernesto Viso by one tenth of a second. The top ten is rounded out by Gimmi Bruni and Olivier Pla.

1st Nico Rosberg ART Grand Prix.1:31.459

"This morning I have to say that my car was so good, and then, with so much grip on the track, it was incredible. It can change a lot between sessions, and a car which is maybe quick on a dirty track is not always quick on a cleaner track. This morning I had a good car but it was nothing special. But this afternoon my lap was like I was going into war with my car. I mean war in a positive sense I just wrung its neck and gave it everything!"

2nd Neel Jani Racing Engineering. +0.998

"I have to say this was always the place we belonged well, one position more, actually! I think we have found something now which brought us quite a bit forward, and it seems to be working, slowly. It's still not perfect, but it's not bad now, and I'm very happy that we are the first of the second group. But there are still nine tenths between me and pole position, and that's quite a lot if you go from me backwards for one second there are a lot of cars."

3rd Heikki Kovalainen Arden International. +1.193

"That was one of the best qualifying sessions of the year, to be honest. Obviously the gap to pole is big, but I could probably have had second place. On my first lap there was a yellow flag on the second sector so I didn't get to set my time until my second lap on my first set, so there was maybe a couple of tenths or so there. But the car felt really good, and I think we did a pretty good job to get the car well balanced, and we should be okay tomorrow for the race."

-gp2-

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Giorgio Pantano , Scott Speed , Nico Rosberg , Heikki Kovalainen , Neel Jani , Olivier Pla , Hiroki Yoshimoto , Ernesto Viso
Teams ART Grand Prix , Racing Engineering , Arden International