GP2 Asia, Imola: Opportunity slips away for Jolyon Palmer

By Andy Darley

CalendarSunday, March 20th, 2011

 
 

An encouraging eighth-place qualifying performance by Arden’s Jolyon Palmer saw him challenge for points in the feature race at Imola, until disaster struck in his pitstop.

After qualifying Palmer, runner-up in last year’s Formula Two campaign, said: “My first run was spoiled because the red flag came out before I’d set a time but after the tyres were past their best.

“In the end everything came down to a single run and fortunately it was a pretty decent lap – there was some traffic, but it cost me only a couple of tenths so I can’t really complain.”

He gained places at the start of the race and was soon hassling ART’s Jules Bianchi for fifth. An early pitstop was supposed to gain the advantage of a clear track afterwards, but instead a problem selecting first gear cost him 20 seconds.

He said: “In a flash I had slipped from fifth to last – and we all know Imola is not a circuit that favours overtaking. There wasn’t much I could do really, so I just drove patiently and took any opportunities that came my way, but there weren’t many.”

Worse was to come in the sprint race, where he recorded a retirement for the first time this season. A good start from 18th gained him some places, but the advantage was short-lived as he immediately lost power with an apparent alternator problem and retired before the first lap was over.

Photo gallery


Photos by Drew Gibson and Malcolm Griffiths, GP2 Media Service.

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