Gutierrez crashes but takes pole

Esteban Gutierrez will start from pole for today's GP3 feature race in Valencia despite crashing late in qualifying this morning and forcing the session to be ended early

Gutierrez crashes but takes pole

The current series leader took the top spot from Status driver Robert Wickens with eight minutes remaining, and was looking to improve his time of 1m58.653s when he hit the wall at the exit of Turn 5 and damaged the rear of his car, which came to a stop in the middle of the track.

Coincidentally Wickens had done almost exactly the same thing at the same place moments before and got away with it, but Gutierrez was unable to continue and the session was red-flagged to allow his car to be recovered. With just three minutes left on the clock, there was no time for a restart.

The final grid is still to be decided as up to nine drivers could face grid penalties for setting their best times during yesterday's free practice session under yellows, although the penalties were still yet to be confirmed when qualifying got underway.

As it stands at the moment, series newcomer Roberto Merhi will start from second on the grid after crossing the line just seconds before the session was ended, relegating Wickens to third alongside Michael Christensen.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Esteban Gutierrez ART 1m58.653s 2. Roberto Merhi Atech CRS 1m58.709s + 0.056s 3. Robert Wickens Status 1m58.916s + 0.263s 4. Michael Christensen MW Arden 1m58.986s + 0.333s 5. Jean-Eric Vergne Tech 1 1m59.041s + 0.388s 6. Felipe Guimaraes Addax 1m59.076s + 0.423s 7. Nigel Melker RSC Mucke 1m59.107s + 0.454s 8. Rio Haryanto Manor 1m59.370s + 0.717s 9. Miki Monras MW Arden 1m59.385s + 0.732s 10. Stefano Coletti Tech 1 1m59.457s + 0.804s 11. Alexander Rossi ART 1m59.558s + 0.905s 12. Doru Sechelariu Tech 1 1m59.589s + 0.936s 13. Tobias Hegewald RSC Mucke 1m59.669s + 1.016s 14. Oliver Oakes Atech CRS 1m59.817s + 1.164s 15. Pal Varhaug Jenzer 1m59.855s + 1.202s 16. Pablo Sanchez Lopez Addax 1m59.868s + 1.215s 17. Josef Newgarden Carlin 1m59.946s + 1.293s 18. Nico Muller Jenzer 1m59.954s + 1.301s 19. Leonardo Cordeiro MW Arden 2m00.049s + 1.396s 20. Simon Trummer Jenzer 2m00.059s + 1.406s 21. Mirko Bortolotti Addax 2m00.070s + 1.417s 22. Dean Smith Carlin 2m00.119s + 1.466s 23. Renger van der Zande RSC Mucke 2m00.151s + 1.498s 24. Pedro Nunes ART 2m00.258s + 1.605s 25. Daniel Morad Status 2m00.413s + 1.760s 26. James Jakes Manor 2m00.542s + 1.889s 27. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Manor 2m00.616s + 1.963s 28. Ivan Lukashevich Status 2m00.729s + 2.076s 29. Vittorio Ghirelli Atech CRS 2m00.865s + 2.212s 30. Lucas Foresti Carlin 2m00.880s + 2.227s 
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Gutierrez fastest in Valencia practice
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