Pierre Gasly tops free practice at Monza
After the legendary Spa-Francorchamps, GP2 drivers headed to the equally amazing and significant Monza for a new weekend opened by free practice Friday noon. Norman Nato took the lead early on, but drivers soon started picking up the pace and soon Rene Binder went to the top with 1:33.502, but was topped by Sergey Sirotkin with 1:32.500. Binder returned to the lead again by lapping Monza in 1:32.093, but his time didn’t stand long as Pierre Gasly did 1:31.930 just seconds after. In the meantime, Richie Stanaway and Rio Haryanto climbed up to fourth and third respectively and Gasly improved his time to 1:31.669.
With around 28 minutes to go, Vandoorne climbed to second, but was still behind Gasly who didn’t improve his time of 1:31.669 yet. Most of the drivers went to the pits around 26 minute mark and Alex Lynn took advantage of the empty track to climb up to seventh. In his debut GP2 run, Patrick Niederhauser suffered brake issues resulting in his car puffing thick black smoke while in the pits. With around 22 minutes to go, drivers returned to the track for some more action. Haryanto topped Vandoorne’s time, dropping him to third by lapping Monza in 1:32.020 compared to Vandoorne’s 1:32.040.
In the final ten minutes of the session, a yellow flag was displayed on the pit exit for Niederhauser stalling his car. Alexander Rossi improved significantly with 1:31.986, dropping Haryanto to third and earning himself the second position. With 2:50 to go, Simon Trummer lost control of his car causing the second yellow flag. In the last runs, no significant improvements were made and Gasly finished the session on top. The gap between Gasly on first and Mardenborough on 25th was just 2.22s. You can see more detailed results here: