Pic sets the pace in Monza

Frenchman leads the way in practice

Pic sets the pace in Monza
Jolyon Palmer
Jolyon Palmer
Jolyon Palmer
Jolyon Palmer
Mitch Evans
Arthur Pic
Stoffel Vandoorne
Stoffel Vandoorne
Jolyon Palmer
Jolyon Palmer
Jolyon Palmer
Jolyon Palmer

Arthur Pic has set a benchmark for the rest of the grid after running at the top of the timesheets for most of this morning’s free practice session in Monza to claim the best time in warm but overcast conditions from McLaren test driver Stoffel Vandoorne and Series leader Jolyon Palmer.

The Frenchman led the way for much of the session before improving his best time 2 minutes before the chequered flag for a laptime of 1:32.256, somehow finding an extra tenth to double his lead over his closest rivals at a circuit which traditionally sees a tight contest on the timesheets.

Johnny Cecotto, Simon Trummer and Palmer set the early pace as many of the drivers tripped across one or other of the chicanes as they pushed to find the limits of their tyres, but just after the ten minute mark Mitch Evans and then Vandoorne took a turn on the top spot before Pic annexed it 18 minutes into the session, with a time that only he would go on to beat as the clock ticked down to zero.

In a session which saw little in the way of retirement, Stefano Coletti tested the new asphalt strip at the Parabolica corner a little too far, spinning to a stop in the gravel, while Haryanto also stopped at the Ascari complex late in the session. Just behind the top three Evans, Coletti, Trummer, Felipe Nasr, Raffaele Marciello, Stéphane Richelmi and Jon Lancaster fill out the top ten, but with 21 drivers within a second of the top spot this afternoon’s qualifying session promises a battle which is tougher than ever. 

Monza – Free Practice

 
Driver
Team
Laptime
1.
Arthur Pic
Campos Racing
1:32.256
2.
Stoffel Vandoorne
ART Grand Prix
1:32.434
3.
Jolyon Palmer
DAMS
1:32.535
4.
Mitch Evans
RT RUSSIAN TIME
1:32.545
5.
Stefano Coletti
Racing Engineering
1:32.598
6.
Simon Trummer
Rapax
1:32.651
7.
Felipe Nasr
Carlin
1:32.676
8.
Raffaele Marciello
Racing Engineering
1:32.697
9.
Stéphane Richelmi
DAMS
1:32.712
10.
Jon Lancaster
Hilmer Motorsport
1:32.787
11.
Johnny Cecotto
Trident
1:32.827
12.
Julian Leal
Carlin
1:32.855
13.
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
Rapax
1:32.872
14.
Rene Binder
Arden International
1:32.905
15.
Marco Sorensen
MP Motorsport
1:33.017
16.
André Negrao
Arden International
1:33.078
17.
Rio Haryanto
Caterham Racing
1:33.136
18.
Daniel De Jong
MP Motorsport
1:33.169
19
Nathanaël Berthon
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:33.188
20.
Sergio Canamasas
Trident
1:33.214
21.
Kimiya Sato
Campos Racing
1:33.309
22.
Pierre Gasly
Caterham Racing
1:33.520
23.
Takuya Izawa
ART Grand Prix
1:33.521
24.
Artem Markelov
RT RUSSIAN TIME
1:33.641
25.
Sergio Campana
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:33.832
26.
Daniel Abt
Hilmer Motorsport
1:34.281
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The race to the crown continues on Round 9 at Monza

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