Bianchi heads ART 1-2 Jules Bianchi has proven that he is back on top form by claiming pole position in this afternoon's qualifying session in Monza, albeit by the tightest of margins: the Frenchman pipped ART teammate Sam Bird and Jerome ...
Bianchi heads ART 1-2
Jules Bianchi has proven that he is back on top form by claiming pole position in this afternoon's qualifying session in Monza, albeit by the tightest of margins: the Frenchman pipped ART teammate Sam Bird and Jerome d'Ambrosio by less than a tenth of a second.
The Frenchman set his best time of 1:30.269 when conditions were at their best: the session opening under hot conditions following the second F1 practice, with plenty of their rubber on track allowing the field to set scorching times right from the start.
Alvaro Parente was the first man to set a competitive time, but almost instantly the times tumbled as d'Ambrosio, Romain Grosjean, Oliver Turvey, Bird and series contenders Pastor Maldonado and Sergio Perez all claimed a moment or two on the top spot before Bianchi made it his own just 8 minutes in.
Perez was the first man back into the pits (and the first on the weighbridge) with the rest of the field bar Maldonado coming in for fresh tyres: this is generally the time the Venezuelan sets provisional pole throughout the season but his regular trick didn't work, and he was soon in for tyres and a weight check too.
When the field came back out the series leader continued to struggle to keep his car on track: he missed the apex at the first chicane and then rode the kerbs all the way into the gravel at the same spot next time round. When his teammate Luiz Razia simultaneously spun at Ascari the red flags were out in a flash.
Giedo van der Garde was the first man back out on track, but also the first back into the pits, unable to replicate this morning's form, while Bianchi was the last man out and cruising round, just in case. With so little time remaining, and the best track conditions long gone, no one was able to materially improve, with Turvey, Parente, Grosjean, Perez and Maldonado lining up behind the top three in a session that saw the top 18 drivers within a second of pole.