Jolyon Palmer - Photo Credit: Daniel Kalisz/GP2 Series Media Service

Jolyon Palmer - Photo Credit: Daniel Kalisz/GP2 Series Media Service

Jolyon Palmer recorded the best time in practice ahead of the first qualifying session of the GP2 Series season in Malaysia.

The iSport driver made use of the new tyre rules to set a lap on the one set of softer option tyres available to each team for the weekend.

Davide Valsecchi ended up just 0.164 seconds shy of Palmer, despite only using the harder tyres. Earlier in the session though he had moved to the head of the timesheets by improving on his time while yellow flags were flying.

Those yellow flags were out after a coming together between Esteban Gutierrez and Johnny Cecotto that left the former in the gravel. Gutierrez was running slowly out of turn nine when Cecotto tried to squeeze around the outside and the two made contact.

Max Chilton took third place for Carlin, six tenths behind fellow British driver Palmer. Giedo van der Garde was fourth fastest for Caterham, ahead of Fabio Onidi – making his championship debut for the Coloni team.

British F3 champion Felipe Nasr made a promising start to life in GP2 with the sixth fastest time, just ahead of his more experienced compatriot Luiz Razia. GP3 graduate James Calado took eighth place, with the top ten being completed by Stefano Coletti and Josef Kral.