NEWS

08/07/2011

Bianchi tops rained out qualifying

Qualifying Session

Qualifying Session

Frenchman heads washed out session

Jules Bianchi claimed pole position for tomorrow's feature race in Silverstone after setting the fastest lap early in this afternoon's qualifying session before a torrential downpour brought an early end to the fight for the top spot: the Frenchman was just ahead of Alvaro Parente and Romain Grosjean on the timesheets.

The Frenchman's best lap of 1:58.531 was set on his second flying lap, with Parente crossing the line four tenths slower a few moments later. Bianchi and Grosjean were clearly on the pace immediately: the pair were swapping fastest sector times on their first flying lap, but Bianchi upped the ante next time round to give his rivals a new target.

Unfortunately for them, however, the heavens opened almost immediately after he finished the lap: the rain was so heavy that there was no option but to limp back to the pits anyway they could, and to wait. Eventually the rain stopped, but the standing water on the track meant there was no chance of setting a competitive time: Fabio Leimer had to try, as he had yet to set a time, but the water meant he was 23 seconds off the pace.

But considering the conditions, the Swiss driver will be almost certain to be allowed onto the grid tomorrow, which puts him ahead of one of his rivals: Kevin Mirocha was unable to start the session due to a pre-existing shoulder injury, and will take no further part in the weekend after testing it this morning in free practice.

Behind the top three drivers were Christian Vietoris, Dani Clos, Max Chilton, Marcus Ericsson, Esteban Gutierrez, Sam Bird and Charles Pic, although Grosjean will take the start tomorrow from P13 due to his penalty from Valencia. All of the drivers, though, will be hoping for better conditions tomorrow to show their true potential.

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