GP2 Series comeback king Luca Filippi will start Saturday's feature race in Singapore from pole position after the series' first-ever night-time qualifying session. Filippi lapped the Marina Bay circuit in 1m59.444s to top Carlin's Max Chilton by 0.052sec.
Following the earlier free practice session held in wet conditions, a dry track meant even more pressure was on teams to guesstimate their setups for the final qualifying session of the season.
Further complicating matters were the two tire choices on offer, soft and super-soft, with iSport's Jolyon Palmer appearing to have pulled off a masterstroke by topping the times using the harder of the tire options with half of the session gone. But in the final reckoning the super soft-shod cars of Filippi and Chilton outpaced him by over half a second, and Palmer was also eclipsed by the similarly soft-shod Esteban Gutierrez of Lotus.
Fabio Leimer was fifth for Racing Engineering, ahead of points leader Davide Valsecchi of DAMS. Valsecchi's title rival, Luiz Razia, was only ninth fastest for Arden, despite monstering his car around to the best of his ability, so he remains 25 points adrift at the season finale.
The session was red flagged with 1m25s on the clock when Nigel Melker stuffed his Ocean-run car into the barrier right beneath the marina grandstand. That meant those who had planned late flying laps were thwarted, and the session was not restarted.
Expected front-runners such as Felipe Nasr, Giedo van der Garde and James Calado found themselves stranded down in 13th, 14th and 15th respectively.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Luca Filippi Coloni 1m59.444s
2. Max Chilton Carlin 1m59.496s + 0.052s
3. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus 1m59.908s + 0.464s
4. Jolyon Palmer iSport 2m00.102s + 0.658s
5. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 2m00.113s + 0.669s
6. Davide Valsecchi DAMS 2m00.287s + 0.843s
7. Johnny Cecotto Jr Addax 2m00.335s + 0.891s
8. Stefano Coletti Rapax 2m00.364s + 0.920s
9. Luiz Razia Arden 2m00.365s + 0.921s
10. Sergio Canamasas Lazarus 2m00.634s + 1.190s
11. Stephane Richelmi Trident 2m00.671s + 1.227s
12. Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering 2m00.695s + 1.251s
13. Felipe Nasr DAMS 2m00.720s + 1.276s
14. Giedo van der Garde Caterham 2m00.906s + 1.462s
15. James Calado Lotus 2m00.954s + 1.510s
16. Rio Haryanto Carlin 2m01.031s + 1.587s
17. Marcus Ericsson iSport 2m01.204s + 1.760s
18. Nigel Melker Ocean 2m01.308s + 1.864s
19. Julian Leal Trident 2m01.474s + 2.030s
20. Fabio Onidi Coloni 2m01.656s + 2.212s
21. Simon Trummer Arden 2m01.961s + 2.517s
22. Victor Guerin Ocean 2m02.110s + 2.666s
23. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham 2m02.260s + 2.816s
24. Rene Binder Lazarus 2m02.376s + 2.932s
25. Jake Rosenzweig Addax 2m03.218s + 3.774s
26. Ricardo Teixeira Rapax 2m04.174s + 4.730s