Stephane Richelmi pips DAMS team-mate Jolyon Palmer to GP2 pole in Spain
Championship leader misses out by just a tenth of a second
By William Esler
Last Updated: 09/05/14 4:10pm
The DAMS drivers set the pace with their opening timed laps in the 30 minute session and their frontrow lockout was never seriously threatened by the chasing pack. They could have been lining up in reverse order, though, as Drivers' Championship leader Palmer improved in the first and third sectors on his final attempt late in the session, but dropped crucial tenths with an oversteer moment at turn ten.
Racing Engineering occupy the second row of the grid with 2013 Sprint Race winner Stefano Coletti a further tenth back, followed by team-mate and Ferrari protégé Raffaele Marciello.
Usually during GP2 qualifying teams will head out at the start of the session on the soft tyres before pitting at the midpoint for fresh rubber, but ART gambled with both Stoffel Vandoorne and Takuya Izawa by holding them in the pits until the initial runs had taken place. Thus both drivers had a clear track for their flying laps, but neither could make the strategy work and Vandoorne will start tenth, with Izawa down in 23rd.
Making the step up from GP3, Tio Ellinas qualified an impressive ninth on his series debut for MP Motorsport - ten places higher and seven tenths quicker than experienced team-mate Daniel de Jong.
You can see the feature race live on Sky Sports F1 at 2:35pm on Saturday.
GP2 Qualifying - Spain
1) Stephane Richelmi (MON) - DAMS - 1:29.293
2) Jolyon Palmer (GBR) - DAMS - +0.128
3) Stefano Coletti (MON) - Racing Engineering - +0.221
4) Raffaele Marciello (ITA) - Racing Engineering - +0.357
5) Felipe Nasr (BRA) - Carlin - +0.405
6) Mitch Evans (NZL) - Russian Time - +0.410
7) Julian Leal (COL) - Carlin - +0.548
8) Alexander Rossi (USA) - Caterham Racing - +0.600
9) Tio Ellinas (CYP) - MP Motorsport - +0.609
10) Stoffel Vandoorne - ART Grand Prix - +0.670
22) Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (GBR) - Rapax - +1.591