After starting the GP2 Series Feature race at Monza from the very back of the grid and climbing his way up to eighth place on Saturday, Jolyon Palmer took victory in the Sprint race after dominating from pole position.
The DAMS driver survived an early safety car period and the late challenge of Racing Engineering driver Stefano Coletti to that the victory, with the Monegasque driver climbing through from ninth to finish just 1.501s behind in second place.
Coletti passed Stephane Richelmi for second, but could not get close enough to Palmer and was forced to settle for the runners-up spot after he used the best of his Pirelli tyres. Richelmi claimed his first podium finish since his win in Monaco back in May.
Marco Sorensen started on the front row for MP Motorsport but made a mistake early that cost him a place to Richelmi at the second chicane, and was unable to keep the charging Coletti behind him so was forced to settle for fourth, equalling his best result of the season.
Andre Negrao scored points for the fourth race in a row for Arden International in fifth, and survived a clash with Mitch Evans at the first chicane with three laps to go that damaged the front suspension of the Russian Time driver.
Jon Lancaster finished sixth on the road for Hilmer Motorsport but was handed a 20-second post-race penalty for passing Arthur Pic with all four wheels off the circuit and being deemed to have gained an advantage that saw the Briton fall out of the points to sixteenth.
A disappointed Felipe Nasr therefore inherited sixth, but the Carlin driver will leave Monza having fallen further behind in the championship to Palmer, and with four races of the season to go in Russia and Abu Dhabi, he sits 41 points behind.
Race one runner-up Pic was classified seventh for Campos Racing, while the final point on offer eventually went to Briton Adrian Quaife-Hobbs of Rapax. Race one winner Stoffel Vandoorne stalled his ART Grand Prix machine on the start line and dropped to the back of the field but could only recover to thirteenth, finishing on the tail of Kimiya Sato.
The safety car was deployed to clear up a crash between EQ8 Caterham Racing’s new Red Bull-backed driver Pierre Gasly and Russian Time’s Artem Markelov in the middle of the straight on the run down to the Parabolica corner on the opening lap after Sergio Canamasas bunched the field up by running through the Ascari chicane and clipped the back of Quaife-Hobbs as he rejoined the circuit in a dangerous manner. Gasly was given a post-race penalty for the incident and will drop five places on the grid in the Feature race in Sochi.
Trident Racing’s Canamasas had an eventful race, ultimately ending up with the Spanish driver being disqualified after forcing Rene Binder of Arden International into retirement and then forced Raffaele Marciello of Racing Engineering off the road.
Monza Sprint Race Result
|2||Stefano Coletti||MON||Racing Engineering||+1.501s|
|4||Marco Sorensen||DEN||MP Motorsport||+4.881s|
|5||Andre Negrao||BRZ||Arden International||+7.980s|
|7||Arthur Pic||FRA||Campos Racing||+11.238s|
|9||Daniel de Jong||NED||MP Motorsport||+16.157s|
|10||Daniel Abt||GER||Hilmer Motorsport||+20.311s|
|12||Kimiya Sato||JAP||Campos Racing||+22.906s|
|13||Stoffel Vandoorne||BEL||ART Grand Prix||+23.187s|
|14||Takuya Izawa||JAP||ART Grand Prix||+26.461s|
|15*||Jon Lancaster||GBR||Hilmer Motorsport||+28.448s|
|16||Rio Haryanto||INO||EQ8 Caterham Racing||+31.247s|
|18||Raffaele Marciello||ITA||Racing Engineering||+1 Lap|
|19/RET||Nathanael Berthon||FRA||Venezuela GP Lazarus||+2 Laps|
|20/RET||Mitch Evans||NZL||RT Russian Time||+2 Laps|
|DSQ||Sergio Canamasas||ESP||Trident Racing||15 Laps|
|RET||Rene Binder||AUT||Arden International||9 Laps|
|RET||Sergio Campana||ITA||Venezuela GP Lazarus||5 Laps|
|RET||Johnny Cecotto Jr||VEN||Trident Racing||0 Laps|
|RET||Pierre Gasly||FRA||EQ8 Caterham Racing||0 Laps|
|RET||Artem Markelov||RUS||RT Russian Time||0 Laps|
*20 Second Penalty for Track Limits*