Fabio Leimer made a solid start to his campaign to get his GP2 title bid back on track by topping free practice at Silverstone on Friday afternoon.
The Racing Engineering driver, who should have won last year’s feature race here but for a botched pitstop strategy, lapped in 1m57.996s in damp conditions with all drivers using the Pirelli wet tyres.
Robin Frijns was second fastest for Hilmer, but four tenths down on Leimer’s best, on 1m58.430s.
Local hero James Calado was third fastest in his ART machine, juts a few hundredths shy of Frijns, with Julian Leal fourth in the second Racing Engineering entry.
Daniel de Jong was the surprise of the session, showing great pace in sector three in particular for MP Motorsport, and finishing the session in fifth, ahead of DAMS duo Stephane Richelmi and Marcus Ericsson.
Title contender Felipe Nasr was eighth fastest, 1.6s off the pace, but had been up near the top early on.
Not troubling the top of the times was championship leader Stefano Coletti, who was last of the 26 runners, 3.322s off the pace. Monaco winner Sam Bird ended the session 17th for Russian Time.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1m57.996s 2. Robin Frijns Hilmer 1m58.430s +0.434s 3. James Calado ART 1m58.464s +0.468s 4. Julian Leal Racing Engineering 1m58.766s +0.770s 5. Daniel de Jong MP 1m58.835s +0.839s 6. Stephane Richelmi DAMS 1m59.233s +1.237s 7. Marcus Ericsson DAMS 1m59.290s +1.294s 8. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1m59.606s +1.610s 9. Tom Dillmann Russian Time 1m59.617s +1.621s 10. Mitch Evans Arden 1m59.648s +1.652s 11. Jolyon Palmer Carlin 1m59.685s +1.689s 12. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs MP 1m59.775s +1.779s 13. Rio Haryanto Addax 1m59.966s +1.970s 14. Sergio Canamasas Caterham 1m59.977s +1.981s 15. Kevin Ceccon Trident 2m00.021s +2.025s 16. Jake Rosenzweig Addax 2m00.133s +2.137s 17. Sam Bird Russian Time 2m00.236s +2.240s 18. Nathanael Berthon Trident 2m00.271s +2.275s 19. Rene Binder Lazarus 2m00.352s +2.356s 20. Alexander Rossi Caterham 2m00.413s +2.417s 21. Jon Lancaster Hilmer 2m00.431s +2.435s 22. Daniel Abt ART 2m00.554s +2.558s 23. Simon Trummer Rapax 2m00.780s +2.784s 24. Fabrizio Crestani Lazarus 2m00.831s +2.835s 25. Johnny Cecotto Jr Arden 2m00.971s +2.975s 26. Stefano Coletti Rapax 2m01.322s +3.326s