Abu Dhabi GP2: Marcus Ericsson on pole, Sam Bird leads title rivals

Marcus Ericsson will start the final feature race of the 2013 GP2 Series from pole position at Yas Marina

Abu Dhabi GP2: Marcus Ericsson on pole, Sam Bird leads title rivals

DAMS driver Ericsson set his third pole of the year with a 1m48.924s lap, pipping early pacesetter Alexander Rossi of Caterham by 0.007s.

Title contender Sam Bird will start third, with points leader Fabio Leimer two places further back.

With neither Bird nor Leimer claiming the four points for pole, Bird remains seven points in arrears to Leimer with the number now available dropping to 44.

NEWS UPDATE: Rossi promoted as Ericsson stripped of pole

Rossi set the pace from the start of the session during the first runs, taking provisional pole with 1m49.675s then topping that with a 1m49.276s as the supersoft tyre proved good for two flying laps.

The session required a red flag with six minutes to go, just as the cars were starting their final runs, as the left-rear wheelnut came off Daniel Abt's ART car, soon followed by the wheel itself.

At that point, Rossi led the way from Jolyon Palmer (Carlin), Leimer and Bird. The other title contenders, Felipe Nasr and Stefano Coletti, were clearly struggling in 13th and 20th respectively.

As the frantic final minutes unravelled, and track conditions got faster, Ericsson set his pole lap on his first flyer, with Rossi getting to within seven-hundredths on his second lap.

Bird improved to 1m49.241s, over a tenth clear of Palmer, who had set the fastest first sector of all before he went off during his final effort.

Leimer got stuck in traffic and had to abort one lap, and only improved on his earlier effort by a fraction to qualify fifth.

Bird's Russian Time team-mate Tom Dillmann will start alongside Leimer's Racing Engineering machine, ahead of Johnny Cecotto Jr, Jon Lancaster, Nasr and Stephane Richelmi.

Coletti, whose season has been in freefall for the last nine races, qualified 18th.

NEWS UPDATE: Rossi promoted as Ericsson stripped of pole

Pos  Driver               Team                Time       Gap
 1.  Marcus Ericsson      DAMS                1m48.924s
 2.  Alexander Rossi      Caterham            1m48.931s  +0.007s
 3.  Sam Bird             Russian Time        1m49.241s  +0.317s
 4.  Jolyon Palmer        Carlin              1m49.376s  +0.452s
 5.  Fabio Leimer         Racing Engineering  1m49.485s  +0.561s
 6.  Tom Dillmann         Russian Time        1m49.672s  +0.748s
 7.  Johnny Cecotto Jr    Arden               1m49.680s  +0.756s
 8.  Jon Lancaster        Hilmer              1m49.827s  +0.903s
 9.  Felipe Nasr          Carlin              1m49.829s  +0.905s
10.  Stephane Richelmi    DAMS                1m49.835s  +0.911s
11.  Dani Clos            MP                  1m49.846s  +0.922s
12.  Mitch Evans          Arden               1m49.864s  +0.940s
13.  Sergio Canamasas     Caterham            1m49.951s  +1.027s
14.  James Calado*        ART                 1m50.002s  +1.078s
15.  Rio Haryanto         Addax               1m50.334s  +1.410s
16.  Nathanael Berthon    Trident             1m50.446s  +1.522s
17.  Adrian Quaife-Hobbs  Hilmer              1m50.510s  +1.586s
18.  Stefano Coletti      Rapax               1m50.534s  +1.610s
19.  Julian Leal          Racing Engineering  1m50.553s  +1.629s
20.  Simon Trummer        Rapax               1m50.634s  +1.710s
21.  Jake Rosenzweig      Addax               1m50.809s  +1.885s
22.  Rene Binder          Lazarus             1m50.884s  +1.960s
23.  Daniel de Jong       MP                  1m50.906s  +1.982s
24.  Daniel Abt           ART                 1m50.907s  +1.983s
25.  Vittorio Ghirelli    Lazarus             1m51.493s  +2.569s
26.  Gianmarco Raimondo   Trident             1m52.311s  +3.387s

*Will drop to 19th with grid penalty.
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Abu Dhabi GP2: Fabio Leimer pips title rival Sam Bird in practice
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Abu Dhabi GP2: Alexander Rossi gets pole as Marcus Ericsson demoted

Abu Dhabi GP2: Alexander Rossi gets pole as Marcus Ericsson demoted
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