Stoffel Vandoorne has claimed his second consecutive pole position with a spectacular late run with no reply from his rivals in this afternoon’s qualifying session in Monza: traffic and a yellow flag put the McLaren test driver on the top spot with a time of 1:31.707, ahead of this morning’s fastest driver Arthur Pic and Mitch Evans.
With heavy clouds hanging low over the dry circuit as the pitlane went green, the entire grid was immediately on track to take advantage of the conditions while they could. Pic set the first competitive time ahead of DAMS teammates Stéphane Richelmi and Jolyon Palmer at the five minute mark, with first Evans and then Vandoorne soon slipping past to sit just behind the Frenchman on the timesheets.
Palmer fought back to P2 before the drivers returned to the pits for fresh rubber, but it was clear that the fight was not over: on his return Evans came within 0.008 of Pic’s top spot before Vandoorne set a spectacular lap two tenths quicker than Pic and returned to the pits, confident that pole was his. Pic found traffic on his hot lap, and Palmer took to the inside kerb running into Parabolica in a desperate attempt to get by his rivals and improve his time, but when the yellow came out for stationary cars with a minute remaining the session was effectively over.
Vandoorne took the top spot by two tenths from a very disappointed Pic and Evans, who in turn led Palmer, Raffaele Marciello, Simon Trummer, Richelmi, Felipe Nasr, Julian Leal and André Negrao, all of whom will fancy their chances in tomorrow’s feature race.
Monza – Qualifying Session
Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 1:31.707 12
2. Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1:31.926 13
3. Mitch Evans RT RUSSIAN TIME 1:31.934 14
4. Jolyon Palmer DAMS 1:32.010 12
5. Raffaele Marciello Racing Engineering 1:32.124 14
6. Simon Trummer Rapax 1:32.137 15
7. Stéphane Richelmi DAMS 1:32.150 12
8. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1:32.310 13
9. Julian Leal Carlin 1:32.343 13
10. André Negrao Arden International 1:32.354 13
11. Rio Haryanto Caterham Racing 1:32.361 13
12. Daniel Abt Hilmer Motorsport 1:32.385 14
13. Stefano Coletti Racing Engineering 1:32.412 14
14. Kimiya Sato Campos Racing 1:32.413 13
15. Marco Sorensen MP Motorsport 1:32.419 13
16. Jon Lancaster Hilmer Motorsport 1:32.422 10
17. Takuya Izawa ART Grand Prix 1:32.435 13
18. Daniel De Jong MP Motorsport 1:32.473 13
19 Rene Binder Arden International 1:32.483 15
20. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Rapax 1:32.486 14
21. Johnny Cecotto Trident 1:32.533 13
22. Sergio Canamasas Trident 1:32.624 13
23. Pierre Gasly Caterham Racing 1:32.826 13
24. Artem Markelov RT RUSSIAN TIME 1:32.881 12
25. Nathanaël Berthon Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:32.912 13
26. Sergio Campana Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:33.409 9