GP2

Monza: Series practice report

Maldonado tops wet free practice Venezuelan leads the way after storm delay Pastor Maldonado has taken the top spot in free practice today in Monza after a one hour delay as a result of a massive storm which flooded the paddock and the...

Maldonado tops wet free practice
Venezuelan leads the way after storm delay

Pastor Maldonado has taken the top spot in free practice today in Monza after a one hour delay as a result of a massive storm which flooded the paddock and the circuit, with Alberto Valerio and Mike Conway following in his wake on the still soaking circuit.

The Venezuelan set a best time of 1:48.179 on his last lap, just 0.015 ahead of Valerio as the track started to dry and the shortened session came to a close, but with almost every driver running wide or missing their braking point for the chicane the times were more reflective of a desire to stay off the walls ahead of this afternoon's qualifying session rather than their potential pace.

The teams were stuck in the paddock for half an hour as severe flooding causing mayhem for everyone, and when they finally made it to the pitlane there was a similar delay while track inspections were held to see if it was possible to run on track. Bruno Senna was keen to get an idea of the conditions, leading his rivals on track and setting the early pace along with Alvaro Parente and Andy Soucek, while championship leader Giorgio Pantano stayed in the pitlane waiting for conditions to improve.

Despite the problems for all of the drivers Karun Chandhok was the only man to stop on track, getting caught out on a large puddle at the Parabolica before getting stuck deep in the gravel: the Indian finished the session 25th and last as a result, while Diego Nunes appeared to damage his suspension after a wide ride at the Ascari complex before limping back to the paddock.

Behind the top three Lucas di Grassi and Romain Grosjean found the pace to just edge out Davide Valsecchi, Luca Filippi, Sebastien Buemi and Bruno Senna, while Pantano looked off form and finished the session in 23rd spot, although it is likely that he will improve his times when it counts, during qualifying in just two hours time.

-credit: gp2

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