Sam Bird topped the GP2 free practice session at Silverstone on Friday morning, edging championship leader Romain Grosjean. The Briton sat in second place behind Grosjean (DAMS) for much of the second half of the session, and he then moved to the top of the times with two minutes remaining.
Any hopes the Frenchman had of toppling Bird on the iSport driver's home track were then scuppered when Grosjean spun exiting Copse corner on his next lap.
Behind the top two, Marcus Ericsson put in an impressive lap late in the session to put both iSport cars in the top three, while AirAsia's Davide Valsecchi was another to improve toward the end to get himself up to fourth.
Luca Filippi was one of the few drivers to bother with much running in the first half of the session, when the track dried quickly. Most went out on wet weather tires when the pit lane opened, but the track was suitable for slicks after just a couple of minutes.
Title contender Giedo van der Garde (Addax) had an eventful session and ended up with the eighth fastest time. He was on course to improve on that as the checkered flag came out, but he ran wide exiting Stowe and crashed heavily on the inside of the track.
The Dutchman had already had one near miss when he had been forced into the gravel at Club trying to avoid a slower car on his inside.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Sam Bird iSport 1m41.763s
2. Romain Grosjean DAMS 1m41.936s + 0.173s
3. Marcus Ericsson iSport 1m42.293s + 0.530s
4. Davide Valsecchi AirAsia 1m42.305s + 0.542s
5. Luca Filippi Super Nova 1m42.577s + 0.814s
6. Esteban Gutierrez ART 1m42.668s + 0.905s
7. Max Chilton Carlin 1m42.787s + 1.024s
8. Giedo van der Garde Addax 1m42.794s + 1.031s
9. Luiz Razia AirAsia 1m42.840s + 1.077s
10. Jules Bianchi ART 1m42.933s + 1.170s
11. Charles Pic Addax 1m42.949s + 1.186s
12. Christian Vietoris Racing Engineering 1m42.978s + 1.215s
13. Michael Herck Coloni 1m43.093s + 1.330s
14. Fabio Leimer Rapax 1m43.128s + 1.365s
15. Stefano Coletti Trident 1m43.250s + 1.487s
16. Dani Clos Racing Engineering 1m43.291s + 1.528s
17. Julian Leal Rapax 1m43.544s + 1.781s
18. Pal Varhaug DAMS 1m43.574s + 1.811s
19. Rodolfo Gonzalez Trident 1m43.614s + 1.851s
20. Jolyon Palmer Arden 1m43.616s + 1.853s
21. Josef Kral Arden 1m43.737s + 1.974s
22. Kevin Ceccon Coloni 1m44.053s + 2.290s
23. Johnny Cecotto Ocean 1m44.188s + 2.425s
24. Alvaro Parente Carlin 1m44.316s + 2.553s
25. Fairuz Fauzy Super Nova 1m44.389s + 2.626s
26. Kevin Mirocha Ocean 1m46.477s + 4.714s