Pantano slips into top spot in practice Italian fastest in last minute of session. Giorgio Pantano claimed the fastest lap in this morning's free practice session in Valencia on the last lap of the session at the new circuit, with Alvaro Parente...
Pantano slips into top spot in practice
Italian fastest in last minute of session.
Giorgio Pantano claimed the fastest lap in this morning's free practice session in Valencia on the last lap of the session at the new circuit, with Alvaro Parente and Karun Chandhok following his lead to round out the top three positions as the chequered flag dropped on the session.
Pantano's last lap stopped the clocks at 1:47.340, half a second quicker than his nearest rivals, with all three drivers pushing Andreas Zuber down to fourth after he had battled for the fastest lap for most of the session with teammate Pastor Maldonado until the Venezuelan hit the wall at turn 14 with five minutes to go, removing his rear wing and pulling up to a halt next to the bridge.
The session was briefly delayed for a moment's silence for the victims of the recent tragedy in Madrid, but the sound of 25 engines soon filled the air as Zuber led his rivals on track. Bruno Senna was the only man not to follow him after stalling at the pitlane exit, with his team having to push the Brazilian back to work on his car before finally releasing him 8 minutes into the session.
Zuber soon set the fastest lap, but the times were tumbling as Romain Grosjean, Maldonado and Luca Filippi swapped the top spot between them as they looked for the edge on the dusty circuit. Carlos Iaconelli went past that edge as he tripped over a kerb and ran backwards into the wall, prompting the marshals to bring out the red flag 15 minutes into the session. The teams took full advantage of the downtime to work on their cars, with Maldonado first back on track when the session re-opened as he tried to top his teammate's time, but a few minutes later he pushed too hard and found the wall instead.
With the closing minutes blighted by a yellow flag area as a result of the accident there was little chance to improve the laptimes until the last minute of the session: Pantano took full advantage and drove a measured lap to take the top spot, but with Zuber, Lucas di Grassi, Maldonado, Jer