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Sep 07

Chilton sets the pace in Monza

Briton on top in free practice

GP2 SeriesGP2 - Max Chilton (Carlin)Max Chilton has opened his weekend in fine style by setting the pace in this morning’s free practice session in Monza, leading from the front as he put himself at the top of the timesheets for most of the session and finishing four tenths ahead of Felipe Nasr and Luca Filippi.

The Briton’s best lap of 1:31.850 was set just before the field returned to the pits for fresh tyres, claiming all three fastest sectors to blow away anyone else’s chances of improving in the hot and sunny conditions at the famously fast circuit.

The session opened with Series returnee Filippi setting the early pace from Lotus GP pair Esteban Gutierrez and James Calado, but Chilton was soon taking the fight to the Italian: local knowledge helped to keep the battle going for a while (with Marcus Ericsson soon enmeshed in the fight too), but the Briton was clearly determined to take the honours, and soon owned P1 for the remainder of the session.

Few drivers improved in the second half of the session, with most teams concentrating on race set up and the F1 rubber on track becoming less effective over time, although most were still pushing: Calado pushed too hard at the Ascari complex and spun backwards into the wall at the exit, while Davide Valsecchi ran too deep at Variante della Roggia, and Rodolfo Gonzalez spun at the Parabolica as the clock wound down to zero.

Valsecchi and Ericsson led their rivals behind the top three, ahead of Giedo van der Garde, Gutierrez, Stefano Coletti, Nathanael Berthon and Luiz Razia, all of whom were within a second of Chilton’s best time. The pace promises to be even more furious when qualifying opens in just a few hours time.

Monza – Free Practice
 
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Max Chilton
Carlin
1:31.850
14
2.
Felipe Nasr
DAMS
1:32.263
15
3.
Luca Filippi
Scuderia Coloni
1:32.391
15
4.
Davide Valsecchi
DAMS
1:32.401
14
5.
Marcus Ericsson
iSport International
1:32.410
13
6.
Giedo van der Garde
Catherham Racing
1:32.463
13
7.
Esteban Gutierrez
Lotus GP
1:32.571
15
8.
Stefano Coletti
Rapax
1:32.692
16
9.
Nathanael Berthon
Racing Engineering
1:32.830
14
10.
Luiz Razia
Arden International
1:32.834
14
11.
Rio Haryanto
Carlin
1:32.950
15
12.
Julian Leal
Trident Racing
1:32.954
15
13.
Johnny Cecotto
Barwa Addax Team
1:32.961
14
14.
Fabio Onidi
Scuderia Coloni
1:32.982
15
15.
James Calado
Lotus GP
1:33.058
11
16.
Simon Trummer
Arden International
1:33.084
14
17.
Stephane Richelmi
Trident Racing
1:33.147
14
18.
Fabio Leimer
Racing Engineering
1:33.149
14
19
Sergio Canamasas
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:33.352
13
20.
Jolyon Palmer
iSport International
1:33.471
14
21.
Rodolfo Gonzalez
Caterham Racing
1:33.677
10
22.
Ricardo Teixeira
Rapax
1:33.696
16
23.
Nigel Melker
Ocean Racing Technology
1:33.780
12
24.
Victor Guerin
Ocean Racing Technology
1:33.940
14
25.
Rene Binder
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:33.977
15
26.
Jake Rosenzweig
Barwa Addax Team
1:34.518
12

source: GP2 Series