In Formula One’s FP2, Paul di Resta had electrical problems on his car. Several drivers went off at the new tarmac at Ste. Devote, including twice from Kovalainen, but nobody crashed as Schumacher had done earlier. Vitaly Petrov did manage to take off his front wing at the Louis Chiron chicane – the new name for the swimming pool chicane, named after the oldest driver to start a race. He started racing in the pre-F1 era, and was probably the only really good Monegasque driver – well, until Stefano Coletti gets into F1!
Speaking of Stefano Coletti, the GP2 rookie did well in the morning practice session. In qualifying, however, Coletti let himself down by trying a silly move on Fabio Leimer, taking the pair of them out and red flagging the session. It was a crazy session altogether, with drivers colliding and taking themselves out. Regularly ending up in traffic, Romain Grosjean got caught out by his teammate slowing down behind one of the AirAsia drivers and they both went out. Grosjean failed to set a time with in the 107% (a rule that GP2 has run for longer than F1) as he was 9.7s off the pace.
Yellow flags were flying with five minutes left in the session. Coletti and Leimer had managed to get driving again, but Luca Filippi had crashed out and was also unable to improve a time from earlier in the session. In the end, pole position was taken by Giedo van der Garde for the second race in a row. Second was the only driver to have scored points in every race, Sam Bird, and third after Bianchi’s demotion was Davide Valsecchi; Jules Bianchi was imposed with a five-place penalty for causing the van der Garde collision in Barcelona.. To finish the session off in a way that demonstrated the craziness of the course, Michael Herck crashed at the swimming pool. He qualifies P24.
There were a lot of drivers under investigation for causing collisions, speeding under yellows or blocking, so the final results are still to be confirmed. Bird and Ericsson, the iSport teammates, are under investigation after their collision after Bird set his lap, as are Grosjean and Pal Varhaug the DAMS teammates. So although I don’t think van der Garde is under suspicion, I wouldn’t give him the pole 100% just yet…