Marcus Ericsson (iSport International)

Swede leads the way in Valencia

Marcus Ericsson has got his weekend off to a great start by setting the pace in this morning’s free practice session in Valencia, claiming the top spot in the closing minutes to squeeze past Davide Valsecchi, Giedo van der Garde and teammate Jolyon Palmer at the top of the timesheets.

The Swede’s best lap of 1: 48.088 was set with just over a minute remaining in the session to take P1 by less that two tenths in a red flag affected session, with the overcast conditions bringing yesterday’s extreme temperatures down but with high winds causing additional problems for the field.

Stefano Coletti, Max Chilton and Davide Valsecchi set the early pace, with the Italian on top as the session approached the halfway mark, when Rodolfo Gonzalez lost his rear at the chicane at the end of the main straight and went backwards into the wall, causing the red flags to be brought out to allow the marshals to remove the stricken vehicle.

The session restarted with nine minutes remaining, handing all of the teams a big job to get through their programmes in a shortened period, and causing more traffic than usual as everyone rushed to get through their workloads.

But Ericsson took full advantage of a hole in the traffic to set the pace against improving times throughout the field. Behind the top four Johnny Cecotto, Chilton, Fabio Leimer, James Calado, Felipe Nasr and Coletti were all within a second of the top time, and will be looking for more in a hopefully unabridged qualifying session this afternoon.

Valencia – Free Practice

Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:48.088

12

2. Davide Valsecchi DAMS 1:48.251

11

3. Giedo Van der Garde Caterham Racing 1:48.264

10

4. Jolyon Palmer iSport International 1:48.266

10

5. Johnny Cecotto Barwa Addax Team 1:48.472

10

6. Max Chilton Carlin 1:48.534

10

7. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:48.627

7

8. James Calado Lotus GP 1:48.862

10

9. Felipe Nasr DAMS 1:48.939

12

10. Stefano Coletti Scuderia Coloni 1:49.044

11

11. Stephane Richelmi Trident Racing 1:49.178

12

12. Josef Kral Barwa Addax Team 1:49.303

11

13. Luiz Razia Arden International 1:49.382

6

14. Rio Haryanto Carlin 1:49.461

12

15. Simon Trummer Arden International 1:49.603

6

16. Fabiano Crestani Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:49.605

12

17. Tom Dillman Rapax 1:49.693

13

18. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus GP 1:49.798

10

19 Fabio Onidi Scuderia Coloni 1:49.994

9

20. Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering 1:50.126

8

21. Julian Leal Trident Racing 1:50.343

13

22. Nigel Melker Ocean Racing Technology 1:50.467

10

23. Victor Guerin Ocean Racing Technology 1:51.408

12

24. Daniel De Jong Rapax 1:51.480

14

25. Giancarlo Serenelli Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:53.161

10

26. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham Racing 2:03.746

5