Wickens takes pole in Barcelona

Wickens takes pole in Barcelona

30 October 2009 – After controlling proceedings in first practice on Thursday, Robert Wickens led the way on Friday to clinch pole position for Saturday's penultimate race of the season at the Circuit de Catalunya. The Canadian, attempting to fend off Mikhail Aleshin in the battle for runner-up spot this year, will start alongside Champion and home favourite Andy Soucek.

Nicola De Marco continued his impressive start to the weekend by taking third, and will be joined on the second row by Russia's Mikhail Aleshin.

Soucek led the way in the early stages, ahead of another eye-catching display from Tristan Vautier. The Frenchman was again immediately on the pace as both he and Soucek set their best times in the opening moments of the session.

With the circuit getting continually faster as the session progressed, Wickens took full advantage to set a 1:39.215 time and claim the top spot as the session moved into the final ten minutes. Philipp Eng followed suit, setting the fourth fastest time, only to be instantly bettered by Julien Jousse.

Wickens improved again on his penultimate lap while Soucek and Aleshin seemed to be scrapping for the same space on the circuit. Aleshin was able to improve to take fourth, but Soucek blamed the Russian for spoiling his final few laps. In the meantime, De Marco had sneaked through to take third - his first top three qualifying position since taking pole position in Brno.

Vautier was unable to improve and had to settle for fifth at the finish - a fantastic result in his maiden F2 qualifying session. Interestingly, the 20-year-old's best three sectors were actually the second fastest behind Wickens. Unfortunately he was unable to complete the perfect three sectors on the same lap but his pace continues to impress.

Jousse and Eng dropped to sixth and seventh late on while Mirko Bortolotti rounded out the top eight. In another extremely close F2 qualifying session, just one tenth of a second separated third to seventh on the grid.

Natacha Gachnang equalled her best qualifying result of the season as she outpaced Kazim Vasiliauskas to take ninth place away from the Lithuanian racer.

Wickens was congratulated during the F2 press conference after the Canadian secured his fourth pole position of the season - the best results of any driver this season.

"From my side the qualifying was pretty interesting," Wickens admitted. "My second best lap was actually on old tyres - all things considered I only went two tenths faster on new tyres, which was probably due to the yellow flags. I'm very happy - the goal here is to beat Aleshin and Bortolotti, and starting on pole position gives me the best opportunity to do that. Obviously I want to do it in race one to get rid of the pressure in race two. The Superlicence is very key to my future and I think starting from pole gives me the best opportunity to get it."

Second place Andy Soucek said: "I don't know why but I had the feeling before the session that we would not have the perfect strategy. I think I waited a bit too long to go onto new tyres, and then someone spun with four minutes to go and I knew I wouldn't be able to improve. I'm really looking forward to winning another race; I want to score as many victories as possible, but my pace is very similar to Robert's so it will all be about the start."

De Marco was delighted with his return to a top three press conference, and the Italian clearly enjoys driving at the Circuit de Catalunya: "I am happy with this qualifying because it is important for me in this last part of the season to get a good result," concluded Nicola. "It's really fun to drive here in Formula Two, it's beautiful and I like the circuit very much."

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Thursday 30 March 2017

  2. Video of the Day: Rosberg in Monaco 05:38

    Video of the Day: Rosberg in Monaco

    Nico Rosberg shares his memories of growing up in Monaco and is stopped by police mid-interview!

    F1
  3. Wednesday 29 March 2017

  4. 18:02

    Follow GPUpdate on Instagram in 2017!

    F1
  5. McLaren working with Amazon on TV series 17:32

    McLaren working with Amazon on TV series

    McLaren has been working with global internet retailer Amazon on a multi-part documentary series about the team's 2017 season in…

    F1
  6. 17:08

    Latest Formula 2 photos: Sakhir - Day 1

    F2
  7. Matsushita loses best lap, Leclerc fastest 17:05

    Matsushita loses best lap, Leclerc fastest

    Nobuharu Matsushita has lost the pace-setting time he posted on the first day of Formula 2's test in Bahrain over a red flag…

    F2
  8. MotoGP drops penalty points system 16:52

    MotoGP drops penalty points system

    MotoGP organisers have scrapped the series' penalty points system. MotoGP introduced a penalty points system ahead of the…

    MotoGP
  9. Matsushita beats Leclerc on first test day 16:02

    Matsushita beats Leclerc on first test day

    Nobuharu Matsushita set the pace on the first day of Formula 2's second pre-season test in Bahrain, denying Charles Leclerc with…

    F2
  10. IndyCar reveals new images of 2018 design 15:34

    IndyCar reveals new images of 2018 design

    IndyCar has revealed new images of the series' planned 2018 car design. IndyCar's latest computer-generated images cover…

    Indy
  11. Iannone: I must avoid being 'impulsive' 14:32

    Iannone: I must avoid being 'impulsive'

    Andrea Iannone has admitted he must try to rein in his aggression, having squandered a potential podium position on his Suzuki…

    MotoGP
  12. Video: Mexico City ePrix key statistics 13:02

    Video: Mexico City ePrix key statistics

    Formula E previews the Mexico City ePrix at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez with some key statistics.

    FE
  13. Renault's 'biggest step' to come in Canada 11:22

    Renault's 'biggest step' to come in Canada

    Helmut Marko has expressed optimism over a sizeable upgrade that Renault is planning for the Canadian Grand Prix, but admits Red…

    F1
  14. Mark Sutton: Story behind the shot - Australia 11:02

    Mark Sutton: Story behind the shot - Australia

    Especially for lovers of motorsport photography, GPUpdate.net's race-by-race series, Story Behind the Shot, continues throughout…

    F1
  15. Vettel: Ferrari work starting to pay off 09:38

    Vettel: Ferrari work starting to pay off

    Sebastian Vettel believes that the work undertaken at Ferrari over the past couple of years is "slowly" starting to pay off…

    F1
  16. Aprilia hails 'extraordinary' Espargaró 08:16

    Aprilia hails 'extraordinary' Espargaró

    Aprilia has praised an "extraordinary" showing from Aleix Espargaró and believes the cancellation of qualifying prevented the…

    MotoGP
  17. Video of the Day: Mick on the road - Part 2 05:32

    Video of the Day: Mick on the road - Part 2

    Mick Schumacher continues his driving lessons in Mercedes-Benz's special car-com series.

    Misc
  18. Tuesday 28 March 2017

  19. Mann returns to Dale Coyne for Indy 500 19:30

    Mann returns to Dale Coyne for Indy 500

    Pippa Mann will return to the Indianapolis 500 after being signed to drive Dale Coyne Racing's third car for the prestigious…

    Indy
  20. Fernley: Double points 'fantastic reward' 16:16

    Fernley: Double points 'fantastic reward'

    Force India Deputy Team Principal Bob Fernley says a double points finish for the squad at the Australian Grand Prix is a…

    F1
  21. Hamilton sure of gains on tyre usage 15:44

    Hamilton sure of gains on tyre usage

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton says the team understands where it is lacking in terms of tyre usage, after he missed out on…

    F1
  22. Zarco vows to learn after starring debut 14:05

    Zarco vows to learn after starring debut

    Tech 3 rider Johann Zarco has vowed to learn from his race-ending mistake, in the wake of a shock spell in the lead on his…

    MotoGP
  23. Lack of preparation hurt Renault - Abiteboul 12:18

    Lack of preparation hurt Renault - Abiteboul

    Renault chief Cyril Abiteboul reckons the team's prospects at the Australian Grand Prix were hindered by a lack of preparation…

    F1
  24. Video: Lewis Hamilton explores Melbourne 11:02

    Video: Lewis Hamilton explores Melbourne

    Follow Lewis Hamilton as he explores Melbourne during the Australian Grand Prix weekend.

    F1
  25. Webber: Alonso might not do whole season 09:45

    Webber: Alonso might not do whole season

    Ex-Formula 1 driver Mark Webber has suggested that Fernando Alonso might not see out the 2017 season with McLaren-Honda, as he…

    F1
  26. Grosjean sees 'huge potential' despite exit 09:40

    Grosjean sees 'huge potential' despite exit

    Romain Grosjean expressed confidence that Haas' VF-17 has "huge potential", despite the team suffering a double retirement at…

    F1
  27. Hyman gets F2 test outing with Campos 08:44

    Hyman gets F2 test outing with Campos

    South African racer Raoul Hyman will sample Formula 2 machinery with Campos during this week's second pre-season test in…

    F2
  28. Opinion: Don't judge 2017 overtaking on opener 07:55

    Opinion: Don't judge 2017 overtaking on opener

    The 2017 Formula 1 season-opener in Australia featured a relative lack of overtaking, drawing complaints from some quarters, but…

    F1
  29. Video: Onboard with Rahal at Barber 05:24

    Video: Onboard with Rahal at Barber

    Ride onboard with Graham Rahal at the Barber Motorsports Park, ahead of next weekend's Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at the venue.

    Indy
  30. Monday 27 March 2017

  31. Australian Grand Prix: Winners and Losers 16:22

    Australian Grand Prix: Winners and Losers

    Sebastian Vettel opened the season with victory at the Australian Grand Prix, setting up the prospect of a title battle with…

    F1
  32. Márquez: Tyre change was 'biggest mistake' 15:36

    Márquez: Tyre change was 'biggest mistake'

    Reigning World Champion Marc Márquez labelled a tyre change pre-race as the "biggest mistake" as he slipped away from…

    MotoGP
  33. Canamasas to test again for Trident 14:32

    Canamasas to test again for Trident

    GP2 veteran Sergio Canamasas will again conduct Formula 2 testing with Trident for the second pre-season group running in…

    F2
  34. Hülkenberg 'just couldn't overtake' Alonso 14:10

    Hülkenberg 'just couldn't overtake' Alonso

    Renault's Nico Hülkenberg was left frustrated after dropping behind McLaren-Honda rival Fernando Alonso on the opening lap of…

    F1
  35. Vandoorne: McLaren race finish a milestone 12:02

    Vandoorne: McLaren race finish a milestone

    Stoffel Vandoorne says that reaching the finish of the Australian Grand Prix represented a milestone for McLaren-Honda…

    F1
  36. Sauber baffled at no Magnussen penalty 11:42

    Sauber baffled at no Magnussen penalty

    Sauber Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn blasted an "incomprehensible" decision by the stewards not to penalise Kevin Magnussen…

    F1
  37. Viñales thrilled with 'incredible' Qatar win 10:58

    Viñales thrilled with 'incredible' Qatar win

    Maverick Viñales hailed an "incredible feeling" as he claimed victory on his Yamaha debut at the season-opening Qatar Grand…

    MotoGP
  38. Formula E unveils revised Berlin track layout 10:39

    Formula E unveils revised Berlin track layout

    Formula E organisers have unveiled the revised circuit layout for this year's Berlin ePrix at Tempelhof Airport. The disused…

    FE
  39. Räikkönen rues difficult opening stint 10:24

    Räikkönen rues difficult opening stint

    Ferrari driver Kimi Räikkönen was left to rue a difficult opening stint to the Australian Grand Prix as he finished the first…

    F1
  40. Vettel, Hamilton relishing potential title fight 09:12

    Vettel, Hamilton relishing potential title fight

    Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton say they are relishing the prospect of a title battle against each…

    F1
  41. Video of the Day: Hamilton's hospitality tour 05:32

    Video of the Day: Hamilton's hospitality tour

    Lewis Hamilton takes you on a tour of Mercedes' hospitality unit at the Australian Grand Prix.

    F1
  42. Sunday 26 March 2017

  43. 20:48

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday at Losail

    MotoGP
  44. 20:47

    In full: Qatar Grand Prix race results

    MotoGP
  45. Viñales victorious in scintillating Qatar race 20:28

    Viñales victorious in scintillating Qatar race

    Maverick Viñales claimed victory on his Yamaha debut after prevailing against Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso during a thrilling…

    MotoGP
more news