Daniel Ricciardo hits back Valtteri Bottas (Motopark Academy) had looked untouchable so far this weekend, but Daniel Ricciardo (SG Formula) has produced the perfect response to the Finn's early domination, claiming pole position for race 1.
Daniel Ricciardo hits back
Valtteri Bottas (Motopark Academy) had looked untouchable so far this weekend, but Daniel Ricciardo (SG Formula) has produced the perfect response to the Finn's early domination, claiming pole position for race 1. Roberto Merhi (Epsilon Euskadi) and Andrea Caldarelli (SG Formula), sixth and ninth respectively, will be less happy...
BVM Minardi Team's Adrian Quaife Hobbs and Cesar Ramos got the best of the early exchanges, before the lead passed to Jean-Eric Vergne (SG Formula), Kuba Giermaziak (Team Motopark), Roberto Merhi (Epsilon Euskadi) and Andrea Caldarelli (SG Formula).
The best performance was ultimately that of Jean-Eric Vergne, who nipped in at the very end of the session with a time of 1'36''956, with Giermaziak also sneaking into second place at the death, ahead of Caldarelli and Merhi
In Group A, seven minutes passed before the drivers finally got going. Pal Varhaug (Jenzer Motorsport) and Michele Faccin (Jenzer Motorsport) were the early pace setters. The standings were in a constant state of flux throughout the last five minutes, with Daniel Ricciardo (SG Formula) taking the lead.
Valtteri Bottas then set off on a series of flying laps. He worked up a real head of steam and propelled himself to the top of the list with a lap clocked at 1'36''545, before improving to 1'36''256 at his very next attempt. Daniel Ricciardo came close to matching the Finn with 1'36''290, and a hotly disputed SuperPole was in prospect. Albert Costa (Epsilon Euskadi) was third, followed by Mathieu Arzeno (TCS) and Sergio Campana (Prema Powerteam).
Tobias Hegewald (Motopark Academy) took the initial lead, with Kuba Giermaziak in second, as several drivers opted to bide their time in the pits.
Richard Singleton (Hitech Junior Team) cranked things up with eight minutes to go. Valtteri Bottas, however, wasted no time in ousting him from first position. With just over three minutes to go, Daniel Ricciardo beat Bottas's time, just as Albert Costa ran into the safety barrier, causing the red flags to be brought out. At this stage, Ricciardo led from Bottas - just two thousandths of a second slower - Vergne and Singleton.
In heavy traffic, there was little chance of the drivers improving on their times at the restart. The positions stayed the same, but Bottas was nevertheless able to secure pole position for race 2, ahead of the day's surprise package, Richard Singleton.
Daniel Ricciardo: "After my crash yesterday, I had to put things right. I got a really good lap in just before the red flag, which gives me pole and another point which could prove important."
Valtteri Bottas: "It was incredibly close. I didn't produce a perfect lap. At the restart, I managed to get pole for the second race. But it was impossible to go after Daniel's time with all the traffic."
Richard Singleton: "This is a great performance for us. We opted to get out on track early and it paid dividends. This is a reward for the great work Hitech have done all season. I'm aiming for a podium finish this weekend."