Jolyon Palmer secured his third GP2 Series pole of the season at Hockenheim today.
Despite running the fewest laps of the session, the DAMS man nailed the one that counted, with a best of 1:23.383s coming on his third of eight laps.
It is a result that gives championship leader Palmer an additional four points, building his lead to 38 over Carlin rival Felipe Nasr.
ART Grand Prix’s Stoffel Vandoorne will line up aside Palmer on the front row; however the Belgian driver’s best lap was still some three-tenths shy of Palmer’s effort.
Stefano Coletti (Racing Engineering) took 3rd on the grid, leading a tightly packed trio, which also consisted of GP2 Series returnee Tom Dillmann (Caterham, 4th) and Nasr (5th).
Campos Racing’s Arthur Pic continued his solid form to secure 6th on the grid, ahead of Raffaele Marciello, who lost two quick laps due to being blocked; first by Takuya Izawa and then by Rio Haryanto, both of whom attracted three-place grid drops.
Rounding out the fourth row will be Haryanto’s Caterham teammate, Alexander Rossi, followed by Rapax racer Simon Trummer. Johnny Cecotto Jr had originally set the 7th fastest time; however the Venezuelan was docked three positions for impeding Haryanto while on a quick tour.
Disappointingly Silverstone race winner Mitch Evans could do no better than 15th in his RUSSIAN TIME entry.
Although not quickest in any of the individual sectors, Palmer pole strung all his personal bests together – a feat matched by only Coletti – to pip Stoffel Vandoorne by over two-tenths.
If anything, this was a qualifying session characterised by inconsistencies throughout the field. As temperatures continued to rise, laptimes faltered from sector to sector while the Pirelli’s peeled away at a dramatic rate.
Some relative parity existed across the middle sector; however it appears Palmer’s opposition lost out through the first and final sector, where driver’s appeared to be losing tenths at a go.
Should similar weather conditions continue tomorrow, it may result in an interesting race, although maybe not a classic – from this point, it seems unlikely those who push the hardest will be the winners.
Watch out for the unflappable one who quietly controls the race under the German heat.
2014 GP2 Round of Hockenheim (Rd 6, Race 1 qualifying) Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Jolyon Palmer DAMS 1m23.383s 8 2. Stoffel Vandoorne ART 1m23.665s +0.282s 12 3. Stefano Coletti Racing Engineering 1m23.722s +0.339s 12 4. Tom Dillmann Caterham 1m23.776s +0.393s 11 5. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1m23.781s +0.398s 12 6. Arthur Pic Campos 1m23.859s +0.436s 12 8. Raffaele Marciello Racing Engineering 1m23.918s +0.535s 12 9. Alexander Rossi Campos 1m23.965s +0.582s 13 10. Simon Trummer Rapax 1m23.983s +0.600s 12 7. Johnny Cecotto Trident 1m23.860s +0.477s 14* 11. Stephane Richelmi DAMS 1m24.024s +0.641s 12 12. Rene Binder Arden 1m24.094s +0.711s 10 13. Nathanael Berthon Lazarus 1m24.253s +0.870s 11 14. Daniel Abt Hilmer 1m24.311s +0.928s 12 15. Mitch Evans Russian Time 1m24.335s +0.952s 11 16. Julian Leal Carlin 1m24.421s +1.038s 11 17. Conor Daly Lazarus 1m24.437s +1.054s 11 18. Jon Lancaster Hilmer 1m24.453s +1.070s 14 19. Andre Negrao Arden 1m24.476s +1.093s 11 20. Artem Markelov Russian Time 1m24.496s +1.113s 11 21. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Rapax 1m24.590s +1.20?s 12 22. Sergio Canamasas Trident 1m24.598s +1.215s 13 23. Takuya Izawa ART 1m24.335s +0.952s 11** 24. Marco Sorensen MP 1m24.888s +1.505s 13 25. Rio Haryanto Caterham 1m24.502s +1.119s 11* 26. Daniel de Jong MP 1m25.189s +1.806s 11
*Cecotto Jr and Haryanto: 3-place grid drops for blocking.
**Izawa: 3-place grid drop for blocking, plus additional penalty following Silverstone round.