Dutchman Giedo van der Garde will start tomorrow’s GP2 feature race in Monaco from pole after pipping Brit Sam Bird to P1 late in the session. It is the Addax driver’s second successive P1 start and sees him take a two point championship lead thanks to the two bonus points awarded for pole.

Bird had gone fastest with just a few minutes remaining in the session but was edged by van der Grade, who lapped just 0.095s quicker than the iSport man around the Monte Carlo streets. Frenchman Jules Bianchi was third fastest but will start in P8 thanks to a grid penalty recieved for causing a startline collision with van der Grade last time out in Spain. That means that Air Asia’s Davide Valsecchi will take up P3 on the grid, with Portuguese journeyman Alvaro Parente alongside him.

Meanwhile there was disaster for pre-race favourite Romain Grosjean. A former GP2 winner in Monaco, Grosjean had been a second clear of his nearest competitor in this morning’s practice session but was unable to complete a lap in qualifying, clipping his team-mate late in what was a disastrous sesison. He will start last, effectively ending any hope of points in tomorrow’s race.

Photo: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service