After his impressive grand prix practice performances with Toro Rosso recently, Red Bull Junior driver Daniel Ricciardo again produced the goods by setting the fastest lap in this afternoon's second World Series by Renault free practice session at Monza.
The 2010 series runner-up's time of 1m37.246s eclipsed the previous benchmark held by Alexander Rossi with a little over two minutes of the session remaining. Australian Ricciardo is chasing his first win of the season with his new team ISR. The partnership had a tough debut race outing in round two at Spa-Francorchamps.
Fortec's Rossi hung on to claim second, just 0.137sec adrift, while Brendon Hartley repeated his morning result of third with 2011 newcomer Gravity-Charouz. Hartley's teammate Jan Charouz will take a six-place grid penalty for tomorrow's race after an accident during an overtaking maneuver at Spa. Championship leader Robert Wickens ended the afternoon in fourth for Carlin, 0.01sec ahead of Epic Racing's Albert Costa.
Draco Racing's Stephane Richelmi held P1 for much of the session, but the 2010 Italian Formula 3 runner-up encountered problems towards the end of the session and, along with Comtec's Daniel de Jong, had to be towed back to pits.
"Stephane saw a red light on the dashboard and stopped as a precaution," said Draco team manager Nadia Morini. "We have looked over the car and it seems to be fine so we hope it is just an electrical mistake."
Qualifying for the second Formula Renault 3.5 race at Monza will take place late on Saturday afternoon rather than its more established time slot on Sunday morning.
"It could influence your approach to race one," confessed Comtec's Daniel McKenzie. "Accidents in these cars often tend to require overnight work to repair them, rather than being sorted out properly in an hour or so after a race. If someone has dramas in race one, it could leave them with a lot of problems."
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Daniel Ricciardo ISR 1m37.246s
2. Alexander Rossi Fortec 1m37.383s + 0.137s
3. Brendon Hartley Gravity-Charouz 1m37.575s + 0.329s
4. Robert Wickens Carlin 1m37.692s + 0.446s
5. Albert Costa Epic 1m37.702s + 0.456s
6. Cesar Ramos Fortec 1m37.782s + 0.536s
7. Stephane Richelmi Draco 1m38.003s + 0.757s
8. Sergio Canamasas BVM Target 1m38.064s + 0.818s
9. Arthur Pic Tech 1 1m38.094s + 0.848s
10. Jean-Eric Vergne Carlin 1m38.152s + 0.906s
11. Kevin Korjus Tech 1 1m38.156s + 0.910s
12. Andre Negrao Draco 1m38.183s + 0.937s
13. Jan Charouz Gravity-Charouz 1m38.229s + 0.983s
14. Daniel Zampieri BVM Target 1m38.297s + 1.051s
15. Anton Nebylitskiy KMP 1m38.298s + 1.052s
16. Daniil Move P1 1m38.330s + 1.084s
17. Nathanael Berthon ISR 1m38.330s + 1.084s
18. Sten Pentus Epic 1m38.342s + 1.096s
19. Jake Rosenzweig Mofaz 1m38.354s + 1.108s
20. Chris van der Drift Mofaz 1m38.530s + 1.284s
21. Filip Salaquarda Pons 1m38.548s + 1.302s
22. Oliver Webb Pons 1m38.648s + 1.402s
23. Walter Grubmuller P1 1m38.722s + 1.476s
24. Nelson Panciatici KMP 1m39.114s + 1.868s
25. Daniel de Jong Comtec 1m39.134s + 1.888s
26. Daniel McKenzie Comtec 1m39.394s + 2.148s