Robert Wickens flies to Silverstone Formula Renault 3.5 pole
|By Peter Mills||Saturday, August 20th 2011, 09:35 GMT|
Carlin's Robert Wickens took his fifth Formula Renault 3.5 pole position of the season at Silverstone on Saturday morning.
The Canadian is chasing a four-point deficit to team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne in the points race, and the Red Bull Junior driver qualified back in eighth place. Wickens enjoyed a sizeable 0.4-second advantage over Friday's opening practice pacesetter Alexander Rossi (Fortec) in second today.
"I have to take my hat off to Robert," said Rossi. "I was pretty pleased with my lap when it came up on my dash, but then I saw him go four tenths faster.
"The race runs we did yesterday were all very positive, and we've been good on heavy fuel all year. We just need to keep Robert honest. If we can't get him at the start then I'll try and pressure him into a mistake."
ISR's pairing of Daniel Ricciardo and Nathanael Berthon will form the second row of the grid for this afternoon's race.
Brendon Hartley took fifth place for the revamped Gravity-Charouz squad, which no longer has technical support from GP2 outfit DAMS. The Kiwi recorded the same time, 1m45.781s, as Spaniard Albert Costa (EPIC Racing), who was fastest at the midway point of the half-hour session.
Visiting GP3 racer Nick Yelloly continued his impressive transition to Formula Renault 3.5. The debutant ended the morning seventh quickest for Pons Racing, ahead of championship leader Vergne, who said he had encountered no major problems.
Yelloly's team-mate Oliver Webb, in 13th, felt fourth place had been achievable and blamed a mistake in the middle sector.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Robert Wickens Carlin 1m45.015s 2. Alexander Rossi Fortec 1m45.410s + 0.395s 3. Daniel Ricciardo ISR 1m45.635s + 0.620s 4. Nathanael Berthon ISR 1m45.738s + 0.723s 5. Brendon Hartley Gravity-Charouz 1m45.781s + 0.766s 6. Albert Costa EPIC 1m45.781s + 0.766s 7. Nick Yelloly Pons 1m45.820s + 0.805s 8. Jean-Eric Vergne Carlin 1m45.898s + 0.883s 9. Sten Pentus EPIC 1m46.027s + 1.012s 10. Walter Grubmuller P1 1m46.032s + 1.017s 11. Cesar Ramos Fortec 1m46.038s + 1.023s 12. Jan Charouz Gravity-Charouz 1m46.076s + 1.061s 13. Oliver Webb Pons 1m46.087s + 1.072s 14. Kevin Korjus Tech 1 1m46.147s + 1.132s 15. Daniel Zampieri BVM Target 1m46.358s + 1.343s 16. Sergio Canamasas BVM Target 1m46.436s + 1.421s 17. Nelson Panciatici KMP 1m46.470s + 1.455s 18. Fairuz Fauzy Mofaz 1m46.568s + 1.553s 19. Anton Nebylitskiy KMP 1m46.607s + 1.592s 20. Jake Rosenzweig Mofaz 1m46.692s + 1.677s 21. Andre Negrao Draco 1m46.750s + 1.735s 22. Stephane Richelmi Draco 1m46.864s + 1.849s 23. Daniil Move P1 1m46.888s + 1.873s 24. Arthur Pic Tech 1 1m47.099s + 2.084s 25. Daniel de Jong Comtec 1m47.264s + 2.249s 26. Daniel McKenzie Comtec 1m47.340s + 2.325s