Kovalainen beats Rosberg in pole battle at Monza

The GP2 race weekend had a exciting start in the qualifying session, with Heikki Kovalainen taking pole from his championship rival Nico Rosberg by two tenths of a second, and getting two extra points for the title. The Finn set a time of ...

Kovalainen beats Rosberg in pole battle at Monza

The GP2 race weekend had a exciting start in the qualifying session, with Heikki Kovalainen taking pole from his championship rival Nico Rosberg by two tenths of a second, and getting two extra points for the title.

The Finn set a time of 1:33.725, followed closely only by Rosberg in the times, as third fastest qualifier, Scott Speed, finished 1.1 seconds adrift of the top.

Kovalainen started showing his pace in Monza with the fastest lap in morning practice. "I'm very happy. I felt very comfortable this morning, and the car felt pretty good -- I think with the low downforce settings we have here the car has been working really well over the whole weekend so far, and I was certainly looking for pole position today", the Arden International driver explained.

Kovalainen is back on pole position at long last, and now has the tools to repeat the victory he took in Istanbul's sprint race two weeks ago.

Having Rosberg, the closest rival in the championship, in the front row on tomorrow's grid is something that doesn't seem to bother the standings leader. "I think we're going to have a good race, and I've never had any problems racing with Nico. I think you'll see a good fight, and hopefully I'll come out of it first, although I'm sure he's thinking the same. We're just going concentrate on the strategy and on the car, to get it right and then just push and see where we are", the Finn said.

Indeed, Rosberg is the other man in the struggle to become the first GP2 champion as the series enters its final three rounds.

The German doesn't want to lose the train with Kovalainen and will to try catch him during the race. "I'm happy to be on the front row, but not happy because I did the same lap time three times in a row! It was going to have to be something very special to take pole today and it just didn't happen. We were lacking one or two tenths from Heikki", Rosberg said.

Rosberg stopped the clock with a gap of just 0.205 to Kovalainen in a proof that Saturday's race will have thrilling emotion with top championship contenders fighting head to head for the victory.

Kovalainen now leads the standings with nine points over Rosberg, who will try to catch and discount the difference on Saturday. Third place belonged to Scott Speed, who is also third in the championship positions, although 28 points behind the Finn.

Despite being 1.126s from the top, Speed is still confident for tomorrow to get his first series victory. "We're in a strong position. We've also seen that there is a possibility for rain tomorrow, and obviously we were pretty quick in the rain in Turkey, so we'll see what happens. From third spot we're right in the hunt, and you never know what can happen in the race".

Speed signed yesterday with Red Bull team in F1 to be the test driver for next season.

Top ten today: Kovalainen, Rosberg, Speed, Alex Premat, Jose Maria Lopez, Nelson A. Piquet, Nicolas Lapierre, Ferdinando Monfardini, Neel Jani and Giorgio Pantano.

The Finn now leads the German by nine points, 87 to 78. Scott Speed has 59 and is closely followed by last weekend's winner, Alex Premat, with 53. ART leads between the teams with 131 points to the 100 of Arden.

shares
comments
Monza Friday practice times
Previous article

Monza Friday practice times

Next article

Monza race one results

Monza race one results
Load comments
What next for "too politically incorrect" for F1 Ticktum? Prime

What next for "too politically incorrect" for F1 Ticktum?

Having by his own admission "blown my chances" of reaching Formula 1, Dan Ticktum is facing an uncertain future. A driver of unquestioned ability who has at times been his own worst enemy, can he apply his lessons and rebuild his career hopes?

FIA F2
Sep 30, 2021
How Piastri could be forced to spend 2022 on the bench Prime

How Piastri could be forced to spend 2022 on the bench

Tipped as the next big thing after winning the FIA Formula 3 championship in his rookie season, Oscar Piastri has taken Formula 2 by storm and looks set to clinch that title too. But with no Formula 1 seat available to him for next year, the Alpine junior may have to wait for his time in the spotlight…

FIA F2
Sep 24, 2021
How Campos Racing has bounced back from its devastating loss Prime

How Campos Racing has bounced back from its devastating loss

After the sudden death of its founder in January, Formula 2 stalwart Campos Racing was left facing its hardest season to date. But new team boss Adrian Jr is determined to honour his father’s legacy and has returned the team to its winning ways

FIA F2
Sep 20, 2021
How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived Prime

How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived

After a chaotic 2020, marred by the coronavirus pandemic, the FIA brought in radical changes to Formula 2 and 3. But less than 12 months later, there are talks of them being reversed after all did not go to plan…

FIA F2
Sep 9, 2021
The Red Bull F1 junior aiming to defy geographical odds Prime

The Red Bull F1 junior aiming to defy geographical odds

It's a long way from Pukekohe New Zealand to Milton Keynes, but Red Bull's Kiwi protege Liam Lawson has defied plenty of odds to reach the rung below F1. He's endured disappointment since winning on his F2 debut in Bahrain, but is determined to turn his season around and prove himself worthy of a place on the F1 grid

FIA F2
Jul 27, 2021
How Red Bull's next F1 hopeful turned around his season Prime

How Red Bull's next F1 hopeful turned around his season

Having impressed in Formula 3, Juri Vips looked to be next cab off the rank in Red Bull's prestigious Junior Team before his 2020 schedule was dealt a heavy blow by the COVID-19 pandemic. After a tough start to life in Formula 2, Vips is showing signs of a recovery - could he be the first Estonian to reach Formula 1?

FIA F2
Jun 14, 2021
How F1 hopeful Pourchaire is re-writing the F2 record books Prime

How F1 hopeful Pourchaire is re-writing the F2 record books

He'd marked himself out as a star of the future in last year's FIA Formula 3 championship, but 17-year-old Theo Pourchaire underlined his credentials by winning his first Formula 2 race in the Monaco feature. Sauber junior status gives him a clear route to the top, but with wisdom beyond his years, he's not getting caught up in his own hype.

FIA F2
Jun 3, 2021
The F1 hopeful living two lives to keep his dream alive Prime

The F1 hopeful living two lives to keep his dream alive

Having lost his backing from Red Bull, Richard Verschoor has had to graft to continue his ascent up the single-seater ladder. An impressive Formula 2 debut in Bahrain, despite the lateness of his deal, shows his unorthodox approach is paying dividends.

FIA F2
Apr 22, 2021