Italian Christian Montanari will start tomorrow's World Series by Renault race at Monaco from pole position, after setting the fastest lap of a two-session qualifying
In order to avoid too many cars running on the narrow Monaco track at the same time, race organisers split the hour-long qualifying session into two, with one 25-minute session determining the odd-numbers of the grid, and the second 25-minute session determining the even-numbers of the grid.
Montanari, who took part in the second session, set the fastest time of the day in the dying moments of the session, just two tenths of a second faster than Dutch Jaap Van Lagen, who ran in the first session.
The overall grid proved to be extremely competitive, with one second covering places one to thirteen.
However, only 26 cars line up for the Monaco race, after four drivers have been banned from the event for dangerous driving in Thursday's practice.
DAMS driver Pastor Maldonado and Eurointernational's Matteo Meneghello have both been banned from nine races - the next four rounds and this weekend's race. However for Meneghello that includes suspended bans for two of the next four rounds.
Carlin's Andreas Zuber and Jenzer's Colin Fleming were banned from the Monaco race and will carry an additional suspended ban.
World Series by Renault - Combined Qualifying Result:
Pos Driver Team Time 1. Christian Montanari Draco Multiracing USA 1:25.465 2. Jaap Van Lagen KTR 1:25.655 3. Adrian Valles Pons Racing 1:25.680 4. Robert Kubica Epsilon Euskadi 1:25.725 5. Tristan Gommendy KTR 1:25.757 6. Milos Pavlovic GD Racing 1:25.825 7. Enrico Toccacelo Victory Engineering 1:26.315 8. Damien Pasini Cram Competition 1:26.018 9. Daniel La Rosa Interwetten.com 1:26.388 10. Markus Winkelhock Draco Multiracing USA 1:26.214 11. Ryo Fukuda DHG Saulnier Racing 1:26.662 12. Simon Pagenaud DHG Saulnier Racing 1:26.217 13. Felix Porteiro Epsilon Euskadi 1:26.693 14. Will Power Carlin Motorsport 1:26.473 15. Giorgio Mondini Eurointernational 1:26.736 16. Celso Miguez Pons Racing 1:27.143 17. Patrick Pilet Jenzer Motorsport 1:26.956 18. Alex Lloyd DAMS 1:27.734 19. Eric Salignon Cram Competition 1:27.592 20. Giovanni Tedeschi RC Motorsport 1:27.977 21. Frederic Vervisch GD Racing 1:28.142 22. Sven Barth Interwetten.com 1:29.261 23. Karun Chandhok RC Motorsport 1:28.614 24. Ivan Bellarosa Avelon Formula 1:29.421 25. Mehdi Bennani Avelon Formula 1:32.803 26. Tomas Kostka Victory Engineering 1:29.838
The 2015 Formula Renault 3.5 season will be notable for being the last with the French company's backing but also produced a worthy champion in Oliver Rowland. PETER MILLS evaluates this year's crop of drivers
Last year's field was extraordinary and hard to match, but the Formula Renault 3.5 grid will still have plenty of talent this season. Glenn Freeman runs through the field ahead of this weekend's season opener
Landing the Fortec seat that took rising star Robin Frijns to the 2012 FR3.5 title was already a good sign for Stoffel Vandoorne. Then McLaren took him under its wing. Peter Mills tells Vandoorne's story so far