Marcus Ericsson had put himself in the middle of the fight for the GP2 Championship after winning the pole position at the Yas Marina circuit, beating Alexander Rossi by just seven thousandths. Sam Bird had completed the top three, while championship leader, Fabio Leimer, had not passed the fifth. The Catalans Dani Clos and Sergio Canamasas would come from positions 11 and 13 respectively.
It was black night in Abu Dhabi when the light was put in green for drivers to start doing their laps. All were out except the two ART Grand Prix drivers, James Calado and Daniel Abt, and Rene Binder. The first batch of quick laps on old tyres finished with Alexander Rossi at the front followed by Bird and Canamasas. Leimer and Dani Clos were seventh and sixteenth respectively. The last round before going to change tyres again left Rossi first but with Jolyon Palmer in second place ahead of Bird and Leimer.
With lack of fifteen minutes till the end, all the drivers entered in box, except James Calado, who after being hampered at the first attempt to close back, in the second he became eleventh. All the drivers in box began to go out to do the last stint with ten minutes to go. But this batch was cut due to a red flag jumper with six minutes resting. It was Daniel Abt who looked like he had lost the left rear wheel of his car, putting an end to his best qualifying of the year as he was in 19th place. This setback left everyone standing for a good time.
Already with Abt ‘s car retired from the track, the lights turned to green againg to see the end of last year’s qualifying. Rossi kept the pole position, but looked like Marcus Ericsson would be solidly in first place. The American tried to get back in front of the table, but his time was to seven thousandths behind the Dams driver. Already with the checkered flag, Palmer was on his way to get first, but a mistake in the chicane last article made him get off track and lose the lap.
But this was going to change. Marcus Ericsson has lost this pole position -to the benefit of Alexander Rossi- because he had set that time with all four wheels off the track. Ericsson with his best lap eliminated, is now down to the twelfth position, and Alexander Rossi passes to get his first pole position in more than two years, and the first of EQ8 Caterham Racing in the GP2 Series this year.
Moreover, the other three candidates, Felipe Nasr, James Calado and Stefano Coletti, will start the race further behind in the 8th, 19th and 17th place respectively. We have to recall that Calado has a penalty of five places and that’s why he’s that far away from the first places.