Palmer flies to Bahrain pole

Jolyon Palmer

Jolyon Palmer has started his 2014 GP2 Series campaign in the best possible way: the Briton snatched this season’s first pole position in a blazing 1:38.865 in a tricky session that saw a red flag period. Behind him, rookie Stoffel Vandoorne did not fail to impress the rest of the field: the Belgian ace clocked in a laptime just three hundredths slower than Palmer, but one tenth quicker than Daniel Abt in third place.

The qualifying session opened under the lights of the Bahrain International Circuit and on a much cleaner track compared to this morning’s free practice session. The twenty-six drivers fed onto the track on Pirelli Soft tires. Felipe Nasr set the early pace. Vandoorne was on a flyer when he went too wide in Turn 14, but still managed to go top. However, Mitch Evans went even quicker and bettered the Belgian’s time by six thousandths.

On the ten minute mark, Abt found some extra pace to clock in a laptime of 1:39.073 and claimed the top spot. Vandoorne improved on his personal best, but had to settle for P2 – one tenth slower than the German. At mid-session, all drivers returned to the pits for a set of fresh rubber. As the action resumed on track, newcomer Artem Markelov span on cold tires at Turn one and stopped on track. The session was thus red flagged in order to retrieve the Russian’s car.

At the re-start, and with seven minutes left on the clock, the drivers re-joined the track for one last attempt. Palmer put his head down and dipped under 1m38s. Vandoorne also broke that barrier but was unable to beat the Briton’s laptime. Behind this pair, Abt had to settle for third. Stéphane Richelmi, Rio Haryanto, Stefano Coletti, Evans, Felipe Nasr, rookies Raffaele Marciello and Arthur Pic completed the top ten.

Results

POS NO DRIVERS TEAMS LAPS TIME GAP INT.
1 7 J. Palmer DAMS 10 1:38.865 0.000s 0.000s
2 10 S. Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 10 1:38.895 0.030 0.000s
3 11 D. Abt Hilmer Motorsport 10 1:39.073 0.208 0.178
4 8 S. Richelmi DAMS 10 1:39.081 0.216 0.008
5 18 R. Haryanto EQ8 Caterham Racing 11 1:39.228 0.363 0.147
6 6 S. Coletti Racing Engineering 11 1:39.271 0.406 0.043
7 1 M. Evans RT RUSSIAN TIME 9 1:39.274 0.409 0.003
8 3 F. Nasr Carlin 10 1:39.301 0.436 0.027
9 5 R. Marciello Racing Engineering 10 1:39.449 0.584 0.148
10 26 A. Pic Campos Racing 10 1:39.462 0.597 0.013
11 21 J. Lancaster MP Motorsport 10 1:39.507 0.642 0.045
12 4 J. Leal Carlin 12 1:39.588 0.723 0.081
13 23 J. Cecotto Trident 10 1:39.615 0.750 0.027
14 17 A. Negrao Arden International 10 1:39.647 0.782 0.032
15 19 A. Rossi EQ8 Caterham Racing 10 1:39.651 0.786 0.004
16 27 K. Sato Campos Racing 11 1:39.749 0.884 0.098
17 16 R. Binder Arden International 9 1:39.788 0.923 0.039
18 25 C. Daly Venezuela GP Lazarus 10 1:39.848 0.983 0.060
19 12 F. Regalia Hilmer Motorsport 12 1:39.881 1.016 0.033
20 24 N. Berthon Venezuela GP Lazarus 8 1:39.928 1.063 0.047
21 15 S. Trummer Rapax 11 1:40.059 1.194 0.131
22 20 D. De Jong MP Motorsport 10 1:40.060 1.195 0.001
23 9 T. Izawa ART Grand Prix 11 1:40.401 1.536 0.341
24 14 A. Quaife-Hobbs Rapax 10 1:40.408 1.543 0.007
25 22 A. Jefferies Trident 11 1:40.619 1.754 0.211
26 2 A. Markelov RT RUSSIAN TIME 5 1:41.172 2.307 0.553

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