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Sauber reserve driver Esteban Gutiérrez has topped the timesheets in Friday morning’s sole practice session for the maiden GP2 Final event. The Mexican, 2010 GP3 Champion and driving for Lotus ART, led the way from Switzerland’s Fabio Leimer and Tom Dillmann of France.
Ahead of qualifying, the GP2 drivers are provided with just 40 minutes of practice time, with Gutiérrez topping the timesheets courtesy of a 1:50.442 best effort. The lack of available time ensured a packed Yas Marina track as soon as the session started.
The packed track and consequent rush was perhaps the reason for the first drama, as Columbian Julián Leal lost control exiting the infamous Yas Hotel complex, sliding out onto the marbles and heading into the barriers at Turn 19.
As the yellow flags became green again, Gutiérrez put in his fastest lap time, edging out Dillmann who was soon knocked down to third by Leimer. They were followed by leading Briton Max Chilton, Spain’s Dani Clos and Brazilian Luiz Razia, who all helped to ensure that the top six contains as many different constructors.
Giacomo Ricci rounded out the leading ten for Super Nova, although the Italian and French rookie Nicolas Marroc of Ocean Racing Technology remain under investigation for allegedly ignoring yellow flags during the session.
Qualifying begins at 2:55pm local time (GMT +4)
ART Grand Prix
|1.||E. Gutiérrez||Lotus ART||01:50.442||16|
|2.||F. Leimer||Racing Engin.||01:50.957||17|
|6.||L. Razia||Team Air Asia||01:51.288||13|
|7.||N. Berthon||Racing Engin.||01:51.411||14|
|10.||G. Ricci||Super Nova||01:51.847||17|
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