Cecotto clinches first GP2 pole position
|1.||J. Cecotto Jr.||1:21.195|
24 May 2012 – Johnny Cecotto Jr. has clinched a maiden GP2 pole position in Monaco on Thursday afternoon. Following the damp second Formula 1 practice session, the feeder series saw its dry qualifying split up into two groups to avoid the trouble which struck last year.
In 2011, GP2 experienced a farcical Monaco qualifying which featured a continuous string of incidents. On this occasion, the position in which a driver qualified in their respective group would place them on that grid row; the precise placing on that row would then be decided by comparing the lap time with the driver who managed the same position in the other group.
Before Pastor Maldonado’s win in Barcelona, Johnny Cecotto Sr. had notched up Venezuela’s best F1 finish of sixth place in 1983; his son is now celebrating, courtesy of a 1:21.195 lap time which demoted Max Chilton; the Englishman had knocked Giedo van der Garde off the top spot by delivering a superb lap in the first phase of qualifying.
Following a Group B red flag for Rodolfo González, who lost control and crashed in the Swimming Pool Complex, Davide Valsecchi was pushing to demote Marcus Ericsson from the top spot; however, all chances were lost when the championship leader locked up his DAMS car at Sainte Devote. Cecotto then delivered the goods to confirm a surprise result for Addax, with his previous best grid position having been fifth.
With Cecotto and Chilton on the front row for the Feature Race, Ericsson and van der Garde are their closest challengers, with Luiz Razia and Jolyon Palmer fifth and sixth. Valsecchi is forced to fight through from Row 7, where he will be joined by Josef Kral for the start. The top ten is rounded out by Fabio Leimer and Esteban Gutiérrez, Sauber F1 reserve driver.
Pole man Cecotto has already enjoyed a taste of F1, having driven for Force India in last year's Young Driver test session at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina.
GP2’s Monaco Feature Race begins at 10:30am local time (BST +1) on Friday