Charles Pic will lead an all-Addax front row for the Spanish team's home GP2 Championship race after he narrowly beat Giedo van der Garde to pole position for the main race.
The Frenchman jumped from third to first with just two minutes of the session remaining to rob van der Garde of the top spot – and take the points lead thanks to the pole bonus. Then with just one minute to go, championship leader Romain Grosjean (DAMS) crashed at Turn 5, bringing out the red flags.
Grosjean finished the session as best of the rest in third, while Luca Filippi took fourth for Super Nova thanks to a strong lap he set early on.
Reigning GP3 champion Esteban Gutierrez had his best qualifying of the year as he took fifth place, and the ART driver will share the third row with iSport's Sam Bird.
Dani Clos (Racing Engineering) and Davide Valsecchi (AirAsia) were next up, while free practice pacesetter Jules Bianchi could only take ninth for ART. The Frenchman had been on course for pole with a lap he was on with just four minutes remaining, but he aborted as it fell away in the middle sector.
He had already been one of several drivers to have a first hot lap on fresh tires ruined earlier in qualifying, when Johnny Cecotto Jr. spun and brought out the red flags with nine minutes to go.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Charles Pic Addax 1m46.675s
2. Giedo van der Garde Addax 1m46.727s + 0.052s
3. Romain Grosjean DAMS 1m46.771s + 0.096s
4. Luca Filippi Super Nova 1m46.953s + 0.278s
5. Esteban Gutierrez ART 1m46.995s + 0.320s
6. Sam Bird iSport 1m47.016s + 0.341s
7. Dani Clos Racing Engineering 1m47.041s + 0.366s
8. Davide Valsecchi AirAsia 1m47.129s + 0.454s
9. Jules Bianchi ART 1m47.337s + 0.662s
10. Marcus Ericsson iSport 1m47.417s + 0.742s
11. Luiz Razia AirAsia 1m47.418s + 0.743s
12. Max Chilton Carlin 1m47.451s + 0.776s
13. Alvaro Parente Carlin 1m47.752s + 1.077s
14. Pal Varhaug DAMS 1m47.802s + 1.127s
15. Christian Vietoris Racing Engineering 1m47.875s + 1.200s
16. Stefano Coletti Trident 1m47.963s + 1.288s
17. Jolyon Palmer Arden 1m48.032s + 1.357s
18. Michael Herck Coloni 1m48.056s + 1.381s
19. Fabio Leimer Rapax 1m48.234s + 1.559s
20. Johnny Cecotto Jr Ocean 1m48.337s + 1.662s
21. Fairuz Fauzy Super Nova 1m48.527s + 1.852s
22. Josef Kral Arden 1m48.601s + 1.926s
23. Kevin Ceccon Coloni 1m48.631s + 1.956s
24. Rodolfo Gonzalez Trident 1m48.716s + 2.041s
25. Julian Leal Rapax 1m48.768s + 2.093s
26. Kevin Mirocha Ocean 1m48.972s + 2.297s