Felipe Nasr is a happy man: in today’s close qualifying session at the Hungaroring, the Brazilian took his first GP2 pole position with a blazing laptime of 1:28.436 ahead of Tom Dillmann and rookie Arthur Pic.
It was again very hot as the pitlane opened and the twenty-six cars rushed onto the track on Pirelli Soft tyres. Johnny Cecotto was clearly on a mission: having to lose three grid places for tomorrow’s feature race following a penalty picked up earlier after free practice, the Venezuelan put his head down from the very beginning of the session and became the first man to dip under 1m29s. However, that was not enough to secure pole. His laptime was first bettered by Stéphane Richelmi and then by Stoffel Vandoorne.
Richelmi stopped on the start/finish line following what seemed to be mechanical gremlins which prompted the yellow flags and ruined Cecotto’s efforts – the Trident man was then on a flyer but had to lift off in the final sector. Series leader Jolyon Palmer was up next and enjoyed the top of the standings briefly until Vandoorne found some extra pace to claim the top spot. That’s when Campos Racing’s duo found a clear track and went top, Pic ahead of teammate Kimiya Sato.
At mid-session, the cars returned to the pits for a fresh pair of rubbers. Dillmann had a different strategy though and had pitted earlier to go back out on a clear track. He took full advantage of it: then only P21, he lapped the circuit in a 1:28.618 with ten minutes left on the clock. That was the call for his rivals to re-join the action. In the dying minutes, Nasr was able to improve in all sectors to claim the top spot. The traffic intensified, but the Brazilian would not let his chance go by. So for good measure, in the final minute of the session, he went even quicker ensuring no one would take his maiden pole position away from him.
At the chequered flag, behind the Carlin man, Dillmann had to settle for P2 ahead of Pic who thus enjoys his best qualifying result of the season. His teammate Sato finished a strong fourth (also his best qualifying result) ahead of Cecotto, but he will lose three positions on tomorrow’s starting grid. The top ten was completed by Vandoorne, Palmer, Raffaele Marciello, Marco Sorensen and Richelmi.
Budapest – Qualifying Session
Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1:28.436 12
2. Tom Dillmann EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:28.618 10
3. Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1:28.643 11
4. Kimiya Sato Campos Racing 1:28.658 12
5. Johnny Cecotto Trident 1:28.709 13
6. Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 1:28.740 11
7. Jolyon Palmer DAMS 1:28.791 11
8. Raffaele Marciello Racing Engineering 1:28.932 11
9. Marco Sorensen MP Motorsport 1:28.935 12
10. Stéphane Richelmi DAMS 1:28.941 6
11. Mitch Evans RT RUSSIAN TIME 1:28.969 13
12. Julian Leal Carlin 1:29.008 11
13. Simon Trummer Rapax 1:29.060 13
14. Daniel Abt Hilmer Motorsport 1:29.125 13
15. Stefano Coletti Racing Engineering 1:29.139 12
16. Sergio Canamasas Trident 1:29.142 12
17. Daniel De Jong MP Motorsport 1:29.143 11
18. Nathanaël Berthon Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:29.217 11
19 Conor Daly Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:29.233 12
20. Rio Haryanto EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:29.277 11
21. André Negrao Arden International 1:29.292 14
22. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Rapax 1:29.462 12
23. Jon Lancaster Hilmer Motorsport 1:29.680 12
24. Rene Binder Arden International 1:29.895 10
25. Artem Markelov RT RUSSIAN TIME 1:30.078 11
26. Takuya Izawa ART Grand Prix 1:30.427 10