Luca Filippi took the early initiative in the battle for runner-up in GP2 by topping free practice at Monza. The Italian was one of the pacesetters throughout most of the session at his home event, and after he moved to the top in the final 10 minutes he was never headed.
While Filippi continued to lap very close to his best time, those jockeying for position behind him never looked like taking the top spot. In the end, Fabio Leimer, who Filippi demoted from first place, held onto second ahead of 2011 champion Romain Grosjean.
The Frenchman did not have a straightforward session though. In the first 10 minutes, he went straight on at both of the first two chicanes, and even had a trip through the Parabolica gravel trap after losing the rear on the way into the final corner. He didn't set his first flying lap until 20 minutes into the session, and his initial effort was only good enough for 10th before he gradually worked his way to the front.
Jules Bianchi and Charles Pic were next up to complete the top five, while the man they are chasing for second in the standings – Giedo van der Garde – salvaged eighth place late on.
Sam Bird made sure all of the main contenders for second in the championship were in the top 10, although the iSport driver's hopes are slim this weekend given that he is 12 points behind van der Garde.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Luca Filippi Scuderia Coloni 1:32.018 14
2. Fabio Leimer Rapax 1:32.128 13
3. Romain Grosjean Dams 1:32.316 14
4. Jules Bianchi Lotus ART 1:32.496 14
5. Charles Pic Barwa Addax Team 1:32.611 13
6. Max Chilton Carlin 1:32.700 12
7. Alvaro Parente Carlin 1?32.803 14
8. Giedo van der Garde Barwa Addax Team 1:32.866 13
9. Luiz Razia Caterham Team AirAsia 1:32.890 13
10. Sam Bird iSport International 1:32.899 12
11. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus ART 1:32.944 13
12. Jolyon Palmer Arden International 1:33.115 15
13. Christian Vietoris Racing Engineering 1:33.127 14
14. Michael Herck Scuderia Coloni 1:33.155 15
15. Pal Varhaug Dams 1:33.346 14
16. Rodolfo Gonzalez Trident Racing 1:33.393 15
17. Brendon Hartley Ocean Racing Technology 1:33.410 13
18. Adam Carroll Super Nova Racing 1:33.422 14
19. Fairuz Fauzy Super Nova Racing 1:33.448 16
20. Davide Valsecchi Caterham Team AirAsia 1:33.569 13
21. Dani Clos Racing Engineering 1:33.588 14
22. Julian Leal Rapax 1:33.628 9
23. Josef Kral Arden International 1:33.756 14
24. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:33.757 12
25. Stéphane Richelmi Trident Racing 1:34.935 8
26. Johnny Cecotto Ocean Racing Technology 1:39.331 2