Valsecchi on pole in Abu Dhabi

Davide Valsecchi claimed his maiden GP2 Asia Series pole position in qualifying for the opening round of the season at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina circuit

Valsecchi on pole in Abu Dhabi

The Italian iSport driver, who had set the pace in morning practice, improved his pace by 1.7 seconds to secure the top spot in a time of 1m51.964s.

"I am really happy because I made my first pole position ever. It's my best moment in my career," said Valsecchi. "I guess we were one or two tenths [ahead] because the car was perfect.

"I feel really confident with the team from the first time in the test to now in qualifying so I'm really happy. I have to say thank you to the team for the car."

A superb second quickest was British rookie Sam Bird, who managed a time 0.219s slower than Valsecchi in his ART car.

Formula Master champion Fabio Leimer, who is also making his GP2 debut this weekend, was almost as impressive in third place, ahead of Luca Filippi.

Filippi, who had set the pace in testing last weekend at Yas Marina, looked to have a good chance of taking pole. His challenge ended just after half distance, as a gear selection problem caused his Meritus car to stop at Turn 19.

Roldan Rodriguez and Rodolfo Gonzalez filled the third row for Coloni and Arden respectively, while Britain's James Jakes put his Super Nova car seventh.

ART's Marcus Ericsson and DPR's Michael Herck, who were second and third quickest in practice, could not carry their form into qualifying. They will start the season-opener 15th and 16th respectively.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Davide Valsecchi iSport 1m51.964s 2. Sam Bird ART 1m52.183s + 0.219s 3. Fabio Leimer Ocean 1m52.236s + 0.272s 4. Luca Filippi Meritus 1m52.240s + 0.276s 5. Roldan Rodriguez Coloni 1m52.300s + 0.336s 6. Rodolfo Gonzalez Arden 1m52.436s + 0.472s 7. James Jakes Super Nova 1m52.529s + 0.565s 8. Johnny Cecotto Trident 1m52.557s + 0.593s 9. Josef Kral Super Nova 1m52.575s + 0.611s 10. Giacomo Ricci DPR 1m52.690s + 0.726s 11. Edoardo Piscopo DAMS 1m52.792s + 0.828s 12. Daniel Zampieri Piquet 1m52.816s + 0.852s 13. Alexander Rossi Ocean 1m52.827s + 0.863s 14. Christian Vietoris DAMS 1m52.792s + 0.866s 15. Marcus Ericsson ART 1m52.846s + 0.882s 16. Michael Herck DPR 1m52.869s + 0.905s 17. Diego Nunes Meritus 1m52.907s + 0.943s 18. Oliver Turvey iSport 1m52.955s + 0.991s 19. Luiz Razia Addax 1m52.996s + 1.032s 20 Charles Pic Arden 1m53.112s + 1.148s 21. Max Chilton Addax 1m53.147s + 1.183s 22. Vladimir Arabadzhiev Piquet 1m53.628s + 1.664s 23. William Bratt Coloni 1m53.711s + 1.747s 24. Plamen Kralev Trident 1m58.149s + 6.185s 
shares
comments
Valsecchi leads Abu Dhabi practice

Previous article

Valsecchi leads Abu Dhabi practice

Next article

Valsecchi thrilled with maiden pole

Valsecchi thrilled with maiden pole
Load comments
What next for the enigma "too politically incorrect" for F1? Plus

What next for the enigma "too politically incorrect" for F1?

Having by his own admission "blown my chances" of reaching Formula 1, Dan Ticktum is facing an uncertain future. A driver of unquestioned ability who has at times been his own worst enemy, can he apply his lessons and rebuild his career hopes?

FIA F2
Sep 30, 2021
How F2's biggest talent could be forced to spend 2022 on the bench Plus

How F2's biggest talent could be forced to spend 2022 on the bench

Tipped as the next big thing after winning the FIA Formula 3 championship in his rookie season, Oscar Piastri has taken Formula 2 by storm and looks set to clinch that title too. But with no Formula 1 seat available to him for next year, the Alpine junior may have to wait for his time in the spotlight…

FIA F2
Sep 24, 2021
How Campos Racing has bounced back from its devastating loss Plus

How Campos Racing has bounced back from its devastating loss

After the sudden death of its founder in January, Formula 2 stalwart Campos Racing was left facing its hardest season to date. But new team boss Adrian Jr is determined to honour his father’s legacy and has returned the team to its winning ways

FIA F2
Sep 20, 2021
How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived Plus

How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived

After a chaotic 2020, marred by the coronavirus pandemic, the FIA brought in radical changes to Formula 2 and 3. But less than 12 months later, there are talks of them being reversed after all did not go to plan…

FIA F2
Sep 9, 2021
The Red Bull F1 junior aiming to defy geographical odds Plus

The Red Bull F1 junior aiming to defy geographical odds

It's a long way from Pukekohe New Zealand to Milton Keynes, but Red Bull's Kiwi protege Liam Lawson has defied plenty of odds to reach the rung below F1. He's endured disappointment since winning on his F2 debut in Bahrain, but is determined to turn his season around and prove himself worthy of a place in F1

FIA F2
Jul 27, 2021
How Red Bull's next F1 hopeful turned around his season Plus

How Red Bull's next F1 hopeful turned around his season

Having impressed in Formula 3, Juri Vips looked to be next cab off the rank in Red Bull's prestigious Junior Team before his 2020 schedule was dealt a heavy blow by the COVID-19 pandemic. After a tough start to life in Formula 2, Vips is showing signs of a recovery - could he be the first Estonian to reach Formula 1?

FIA F2
Jun 14, 2021
The making of an F1 hopeful re-writing the F2 record books Plus

The making of an F1 hopeful re-writing the F2 record books

He'd marked himself out as a star of the future in last year's FIA Formula 3 championship, but 17-year-old Theo Pourchaire underlined his credentials by winning his first Formula 2 race in the Monaco feature. Sauber junior status gives him a clear route to the top, but with wisdom beyond his years, he's not getting caught up in his own hype

FIA F2
Jun 3, 2021
The 10 greatest F2 races contested by F1 drivers Plus

The 10 greatest F2 races contested by F1 drivers

Formula 2 used to be about more than providing a stepping stone to F1. For three decades it often provided another setting for the world’s best to fight it out. Autosport picks out the very best races

FIA F2
May 16, 2021