Palmer Wins Chaotic Monaco Feature Race

Jolyon Palmer stretched his GP2 Series championship lead by winning the feature race in Monaco in a race containing crashes, safety cars and even a lengthy red flag period.

Starting from pole position, DAMS driver Palmer was jumped at the start by the Supersoft shod Mitch Evans of Russian Time into the first corner, and slotted into second as his own Soft tyres came up to temperature. Evans’ initial lead was nullified by the early introduction of the safety car as marshalls had to clear the Hilmer Motorsport machine of Facu Regalia at Tabac after the Argentine’s car failed on him out of the Nouvelle Chicane.

On the restart, Evans stretched his lead again but once his tyres began to struggle, Palmer caught him and then overtook him on the run down to the first corner. As the New Zealander struggled, Palmer stretched his lead to over seven seconds before the race was red flagged for an accident that blocked the whole circuit at the hairpin.

Austrian Rene Binder made an ambitious move on his Arden International team-mate Andre Negrao that spun the Brazilian around, while the following drivers could not get around the stationary car, resulting in a traffic jam for everyone. In the resulting melee, some of the cars including the DAMS of Stephane Richelmi went into engine-safe mode, meaning they basically turned themselves off. Luckily the marshals were able to get everyone going again, and the grid was reformed in the order they were running before the red flag period began.

The restart saw Palmer lead away again from Evans, while the leading driver who had made their compulsory pit stop was Felipe Nasr of Carlin down in 15th. The majority of those drivers jumped into the pits when the safety car was called for again when the Carlin of Julian Leal ended in the wall after am ambitious move on the Racing Engineering car of Raffaele Marciello went wrong at the Nouvelle Chicane.

Stoffel Vandoorne led the race for ART Grand Prix when the safety car went into the pits, but when he made his pit stop, Palmer inherited the lead, and despite his tyres going off towards the end of the race, was able to cross the line for the win. Evans was second while Nasr was able to finish third after taking advantage of the drivers in front of him making their pit stops.

The two Trident Racing machines of Johnny Cecotto Jr and Sergio Canamasas were fourth and fifth, while Arthur Pic secured sixth for Campos Racing, the Frenchman being another driver like Nasr to have profited from making an early stop before the red flag.

Rio Haryanto was seventh for EQ8 Caterham Racing, while Richelmi took eighth and Sprint race pole position. The Rapax of Briton Adrian Quaife-Hobbs and the MP Motorsport machine of Cypriot Tio Ellinas filled the final points-paying positions in ninth and tenth.

Monegasque driver Stefano Coletti was on course for second place for Racing Engineering, but after overtaking both Trident Racing drivers, Nasr and Evans, made an ambitious move at the final Anthony Noghes corner on the Rapax of Simon Trummer, who had yet to make his pit stop, that took both of them out of the race.

There was still time for another incident, when on lap 35 Binder (again) caused a crash, this time with the Russian Time of Artem Markelov at the Nouvelle Chicane that eliminated both drivers.

American Alexander Rossi was on course for his first points of the season for Caterham but a move on Daniel Abt of Hilmer Motorsport at the hairpin saw him handed a drive-through penalty for avoidable contact, and he ended the day sixteenth; Abt was left against the barriers and out of the race on lap ten completing a dreadful day for Hilmer.

Monaco Feature Race Result

1 Jolyon Palmer GBR DAMS 1h38m31.193s
2 Mitch Evans NZL RT Russian Time +0.427s
3 Felipe Nasr BRZ Carlin +0.653s
4 Johnny Cecotto Jr VEN Trident Racing +2.175s
5 Sergio Canamasas ESP Trident Racing +2.884s
6 Arthur Pic FRA Campos Racing +6.187s
7 Rio Haryanto INO EQ8 Caterham Racing +8.718s
8 Stephane Richelmi MON DAMS +9.594s
9 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs GBR Rapax +9.785s
10 Tio Ellinas CYP MP Motorsport +10.187s
11 Daniel de Jong NED MP Motorsport +10.689s
12 Raffaele Marciello ESP Racing Engineering +11.727s
13 Conor Daly USA Venezuela GP Lazarus +12.291s
14 Stoffel Vandoorne BEL ART Grand Prix +12.705s
15 Kimiya Sato JAP Campos Racing +26.761s
16 Alexander Rossi USA EQ8 Caterham Racing +29.166s
17 Nathanael Berthon FRA Venezuela GP Lazarus +56.107s
RET Artem Markelov RUS RT Russian Time 35 Laps
RET Rene Binder AUT Arden International 35 Laps
RET Simon Trummer SWI Rapax 31 Laps
RET Stefano Coletti MON Racing Engineering 31 Laps
RET Takuya Izawa JAP ART Grand Prix 31 Laps
RET Julian Leal COL Carlin 24 Laps
RET Andre Negrao BRZ Arden International 11 Laps
RET Daniel Abt GER Hilmer Motorsport 9 Laps
RET Facu Regalia ARG Hilmer Motorsport 0 Laps