Robert Wickens claimed his second Formula Renault 3.5 pole position of the season in an incident-packed qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps.
A late red flag produced a congested final two laps of action, as drivers rushed to make their final set of new tires count. Wickens set his fastest time of 2m02.855s just 30 seconds before the checkered flag. In doing so, the Carlin driver bumped his team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne from a provisional pole slot.
An even later effort from EPIC Racing's Albert Costa demoted Vergne to third. The Frenchman will share the second row with compatriot Nelson Panciatici (KMP Racing).
Daniel Ricciardo brought out the first red flag when he spun his ISR machine at Le Radillon with seven minutes of the half-hour session remaining. The Australian did well to stay out of the barriers, but stopped in a precarious position. Although parked on a grass verge, the Red Bull Junior driver was facing oncoming traffic, on a blind brow, at the exit of one of the circuit's fastest corners.
At the time of the incident, Ricciardo was second fastest with a time of 2m03.519s. The Australian was stripped of his time for causing the stoppage, but his next best effort was just 0.033sec slower. Ricciardo will line up in sixth for this afternoon's race, one place behind his 2010 Tech 1 Racing teammate Brendon Hartley (now with Gravity-Charouz).
The second red flag was caused when Draco's Andre Negrao found the tire barrier at the tricky downhill Rivage corner. The Brazilian had been on his out-lap on cold tyres as the session restarted from the Ricciardo incident.
Championship leader Alexander Rossi ended the morning in 11th for Fortec. The American's teammate, and Friday pacesetter, Cesar Ramos could only manage 14th after encountering traffic on his final run.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Robert Wickens Carlin 2m02.855s
2. Albert Costa EPIC 2m03.015s + 0.160s
3. Jean-Eric Vergne Carlin 2m03.240s + 0.385s
4. Nelson Panciatici KMP 2m03.401s + 0.546s
5. Brendon Hartley Gravity-Charouz 2m03.520s + 0.665s
6. Daniel Ricciardo ISR 2m03.552s + 0.697s
7. Daniil Move P1 2m03.656s + 0.801s
8. Sergio Canamasas BVM Target 2m03.767s + 0.912s
9. Chris van der Drift Mofaz 2m03.787s + 0.932s
10. Jan Charouz Gravity-Charouz 2m03.795s + 0.940s
11. Alexander Rossi Fortec 2m03.803s + 0.948s
12. Daniel Zampieri BVM Target 2m03.847s + 0.992s
13. Walter Grubmuller P1 2m03.890s + 1.035s
14. Cesar Ramos Fortec 2m03.965s + 1.110s
15. Nathanael Berthon ISR 2m04.101s + 1.246s
16. Jake Rosenzweig Mofaz 2m04.135s + 1.280s
17. Stephane Richelmi Draco 2m04.136s + 1.281s
18. Arthur Pic Tech 1 2m04.140s + 1.285s
19. Kevin Korjus Tech 1 2m04.168s + 1.313s
20. Anton Nebylitskiy KMP 2m04.430s + 1.575s
21. Sten Pentus EPIC 2m04.492s + 1.637s
22. Oliver Webb Pons 2m04.639s + 1.784s
23. Andre Negrao Draco 2m04.739s + 1.884s
24. Daniel McKenzie Comtec 2m04.908s + 2.053s
25. Jean-Karl Vernay Pons 2m05.015s + 2.160s
26. Daniel de Jong Comtec 2m06.235s + 3.380s