Filippi sets early pace in Monza's GP2 practice
|By Glenn Freeman||Friday, September 9th 2011, 10:40 GMT|
Luca Filippi took the early initiative in the battle for runner-up in GP2 by topping free practice at Monza.
The Italian Coloni driver was one of the pacesetters throughout most of the session at his home event, and after he moved to the top in the final 10 minutes he was never headed.
While Filippi continued to lap very close to his best time, those jockeying for position behind him never looked like taking the top spot.
In the end Rapax's Fabio Leimer, who Filippi demoted from first place, held on to second ahead of 2011 champion Romain Grosjean (DAMS).
The Frenchman did not have a straightforward session, though. In the first 10 minutes he went straight on at both of the first two chicanes, and even had a trip through the Parabolica gravel trap after losing the rear on the way into the final corner.
He did not set his first flying lap until 20 minutes into the session, and his initial effort was only good enough for 10th before he gradually worked his way to the front.
Jules Bianchi (ART) and Charles Pic (Addax) were next up to complete the top five, while the man they are chasing for second in the standings - Giedo van der Garde - salvaged eighth place late on.
Sam Bird made sure all of the main contenders for second in the championship were in the top 10, although the iSport driver's hopes are slim this weekend given that he is 12 points behind Addax's van der Garde.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Luca Filippi Coloni 1m32.018s 2. Fabio Leimer Rapax 1m32.128s + 0.110s 3. Romain Grosjean DAMS 1m32.316s + 0.298s 4. Jules Bianchi ART 1m32.496s + 0.478s 5. Charles Pic Addax 1m32.611s + 0.593s 6. Max Chilton Carlin 1m32.700s + 0.682s 7. Alvaro Parente Carlin 1m32.803s + 0.785s 8. Giedo van der Garde Addax 1m32.866s + 0.848s 9. Luiz Razia AirAsia 1m32.890s + 0.872s 10. Sam Bird iSport 1m32.899s + 0.881s 11. Esteban Gutierrez ART 1m32.944s + 0.926s 12. Jolyon Palmer Arden 1m33.115s + 1.097s 13. Christian Vietoris Racing Engineering 1m33.127s + 1.109s 14. Michael Herck Coloni 1m33.155s + 1.137s 15. Pal Varhaug DAMS 1m33.346s + 1.328s 16. Rodolfo Gonzalez Trident 1m33.393s + 1.375s 17. Brendon Hartley Ocean 1m33.410s + 1.392s 18. Adam Carroll Super Nova 1m33.422s + 1.404s 19. Fairuz Fauzy Super Nova 1m33.448s + 1.430s 20. Davide Valsecchi AirAsia 1m33.569s + 1.551s 21. Dani Clos Racing Engineering 1m33.588s + 1.570s 22. Julian Leal Rapax 1m33.628s + 1.610s 23. Josef Kral Arden 1m33.756s + 1.738s 24. Marcus Ericsson iSport 1m33.757s + 1.739s 25. Stephane Richelmi Trident 1m34.935s + 2.917s 26. Johnny Cecotto Ocean 1m39.331s + 7.313s