“Palmer heads opening GP2 Series practice”

Palmer was quickest in GP2 FP. © Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service
Palmer was quickest in GP2 FP. © Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service

DAMS’ Jolyon Palmer headed the sole free GP2 Series practice session on the streets of Monte Carlo today.

The Briton secured the top spot, after he set a dazzling 1:20.707, ensuring he was the only driver to break the 1’21” barrier.

Johnny Cecotto Jr continued his improved form with a lap 2nd spot, ahead of Stéphane Richelmi, who made it two DAMS machines in the top three.

Indeed Palmer also showed his pace when he went out on the soft compound Pirelli tyres and led the way as the field changed to super-softs.
Initially Palmer fended off a confident Felipe Nasr, who is still beaming from his first GP2 victory at Spain two weeks ago. Cecotto Jr also displayed some speedy sectors, but lost out when he hit excessive traffic.

The move to the softer tyres saw the field continue to push; however it was Nasr who stepped out of line when he clattered the barrier on a quick run in the second half of the session.
Embarrassingly for Nathanael Berthon, the Venezuela GP Lazarus driver crashed on his outlap and never set a time.

Today’s qualifying session will be split into two groups – one with odd-numbered cars and another with even numbered cars. The group whose quickest man sets the fastest overall lap will take pole and the “good” side of the grid.

2014 GP2 Series (Rd 3, Free Practice, Monaco)
Pos  Driver               Team                Time       Gap
 1.  Jolyon Palmer        DAMS                1m20.707s
 2.  Johnny Cecotto Jr    Trident             1m21.043s  +0.336s
 3.  Stephane Richelmi    DAMS                1m21.573s  +0.866s
 4.  Stefano Coletti      Racing Engineering  1m21.902s  +1.195s
 5.  Mitch Evans          Russian Time        1m21.929s  +1.222s
 6.  Sergio Canamasas     Trident             1m21.933s  +1.226s
 7.  Rio Haryanto         Caterham            1m21.935s  +1.228s
 8.  Felipe Nasr          Carlin              1m21.949s  +1.242s
 9.  Julian Leal          Carlin              1m22.132s  +1.425s
10.  Alexander Rossi      Caterham            1m22.183s  +1.476s
11.  Simon Trummer        Rapax               1m22.237s  +1.530s
12.  Daniel Abt           Hilmer              1m22.296s  +1.589s
13.  Rene Binder          Arden               1m22.386s  +1.679s
14.  Stoffel Vandoorne    ART                 1m22.442s  +1.735s
15.  Raffaele Marciello   Racing Engineering  1m22.937s  +2.230s
16.  Andre Negrao         Arden               1m23.028s  +2.321s
17.  Kimiya Sato          Campos              1m23.353s  +2.646s
18.  Arthur Pic           Campos              1m23.453s  +2.746s
19.  Adrian Quaife-Hobbs  Rapax               1m23.545s  +2.838s
20.  Daniel de Jong       MP                  1m23.605s  +2.898s
21.  Facu Regalia         Hilmer              1m23.821s  +3.114s
22.  Tio Ellinas          MP                  1m24.126s  +3.419s
23.  Takuya Izawa         ART                 1m24.201s  +3.494s
24.  Conor Daly           Lazarus             1m25.356s  +4.649s
25.  Artem Markelov       Russian Time        1m25.694s  +4.987s
26.  Nathanael Berthon    Lazarus             {no time}

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