Marcus Ericsson took pole position in today’s rain-hit qualifying session, setting the quickest laptime in a 1:40.716. With rain expected to start midway through the session, it was a matter of putting together a quick laptime as early as possible which the DAMS driver did. Sam Bird and Felipe Nasr finished second and third respectively.
The message on the screens flashed before the opening of the pitlane: rain expected at 16.10 hence putting pressure on the drivers to set their best time within the first half of the qualifying session.
Enjoying a dry track for the first time today and having opted for Option tyres (Medium) like the majority of the rest of the field, Robin Frijns was quick to set the early pace, but his laptime was later bettered first by Rio Haryanto and then by Bird.
Everyone was taking their car to the limits on their push lap which ended with a bit of a scare for Daniel De Jong who went too wide in the final corner and span, but could rejoin the pitlane without any harm. Jake Rosenzweig and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs also went too wide but recovered the track safely.
Ten minutes into the session, Ericsson found a clear lap and the extra pace to set a record laptime of 1:40.716 (best laptime on this layout and on Pirelli tyres), three tenths ahead of Bird.
Behind the pair, Nasr moved up to third edging Series leader Stefano Coletti out of the top three. As scheduled, rain drops started to fall on some parts of the track making it a challenge for the drivers to improve their laptimes.
The rain picked up harder and with fifteen minutes to spare in the session, Ericsson sat pretty in the pitlane with the rest of his rivals and waited until the chequered flag to saviour his second GP2 pole position ahead of Bird, Nasr, Coletti, Stéphane Richelmi, Fabio Leimer, Rio Haryanto, Mitch Evans, Tom Dillmann and James Calado.
With two sets of new Prime tyres (Hard), one set of new Option tyre (Medium) and another set of Options that was used in today’s shortened qualifying session, teams and drivers have their pick in strategy for tomorrow’s feature race which should be dry… But this is Silverstone. And this GP2. Nothing is predictable!