Palmer Extends Championship Lead with Sprint Race Win

by Paul Hensby

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

1 Jolyon Palmer GBR DAMS 36m38.991s
2 Stefano Coletti MON Racing Engineering +1.501s
3 Stephane Richelmi MON DAMS +3.024s
4 Marco Sorensen DEN MP Motorsport +4.881s
5 Andre Negrao BRZ Arden International +7.980s
6 Felipe Nasr BRZ Carlin +10.602s
7 Arthur Pic FRA Campos Racing +11.238s
8 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs GBR Rapax +12.453s
9 Daniel de Jong NED MP Motorsport +16.157s
10 Daniel Abt GER Hilmer Motorsport +20.311s
11 Simon Trummer SWI Rapax +21.036s
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
17 Julian Leal COL Carlin +38.858s
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*


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