Home Formula 2 Stoffel Vandoorne scores second straight GP2 pole at Monza

Stoffel Vandoorne scores second straight GP2 pole at Monza

by Peter Allen
Stoffel Vandoorne

Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service

Stoffel Vandoorne claimed his second GP2 pole position in a row after coming out on top in Monza qualifying.

Third fastest after the opening runs, the ART Grand Prix driver was sent out early in the second half of the session on what was a near-empty track, but that gamble seemed like it would backfire massively when he hit slow traffic once he was up to speed himself.

But the McLaren junior was later able to pull a faster time out of the bag and go two tenths quicker than Arthur Pic, who had looked unbeatable up to that point.

Practice pace-setter Pic could have given himself a safer margin going into the middle of the session but for a sideways moment on entry to the Parabolica when he was on course to improve his benchmark time. His hopes of improving that took another hit later in the session when he caught a slow Rio Hayranto at Ascari, visibly riling the usually clam Frenchman.

Pic was just able to hold onto second though, after Mitch Evans had come within 0.008 seconds of his time with the Kiwi’s first attempt of his second run.

Championship leader Jolyon Palmer was second to Pic in the first half of the session, and although he did improve that time, he would end up settling for fourth. He might have improved had he not been heavily impeded by a struggling Johnny Cecotto at the Parabolica late in the session.

After beating Vandoorne to the feature race win a fortnight ago at Spa, Ferrari protege Raffaele Marciello was unable to challenge for pole at home and ended up fifth. Simon Trummer carried his pace into qualifying to take sixth, ahead of Palmer’s DAMS team-mate Stephane Richelmi.

Title contender Felipe Nasr was again low-key in qualifying and will need to repeat his Spa heroics to cut the points gap to Palmer from eighth on the grid. Julian Leal, who is being supported at Monza this weekend by compatriot and Monza average speed record holder Juan Pablo Montoya, took ninth with Andre Negrao completing the top ten.

Series debutant Pierre Gasly was 23rd with Caterham, as the first driver not within a second of pole.

Qualifying results
Pos Driver? Team Time? Gap Laps?
1 Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 1:31.707 12
2 Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1:31.926 0.219 13
3 Mitch Evans Russian Time 1:31.934 0.227 14
4 Jolyon Palmer DAMS 1:32.010 0.303 12
5 Raffaele Marciello Racing Engineering 1:32.124 0.417 14
6 Simon Trummer Rapax 1:32.137 0.430 15
7 Stephane Richelmi DAMS 1:32.150 0.443 12
8 Felipe Nasr Carlin 1:32.310 0.603 13
9 Julian Leal Carlin 1:32.343 0.636 13
10 Andre Negrao Arden International 1:32.354 0.647 13
11 Rio Haryanto EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:32.361 0.654 13
12 Daniel Abt Hilmer Motorsport 1:32.385 0.678 14
13 Stefano Coletti Racing Engineering 1:32.412 0.705 14
14 Kimiya Sato Campos Racing 1:32.413 0.706 13
15 Marco Sorensen MP Motorsport 1:32.419 0.712 14
16 Jon Lancaster Hilmer Motorsport 1:32.422 0.715 10
17 Takuya Izawa ART Grand Prix 1:32.435 0.728 13
18 Daniel de Jong MP Motorsport 1:32.473 0.766 13
19 Rene Binder Arden International 1:32.483 0.776 15
20 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Rapax 1:32.486 0.779 14
21 Johnny Cecotto Trident 1:32.533 0.826 13
22 Sergio Canamasas Trident 1:32.624 0.917 13
23 Pierre Gasly EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:32.826 1.119 13
24 Artem Markelov Russian Time 1:32.881 1.174 12
25 Nathanael Berthon Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:32.912 1.205 13
26 Sergio Campana Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:33.409 1.702 9