Palmer triumphs in the dramatic feature race at Monaco
Jolyon Palmer got the win in the GP2 feature race at Monaco. Evans and Nasr joined him on the podium in the Principality.
By: Sofia Tera
Drama, action and incidents are the three words that can describe the GP2 feature race in Monaco. Jolyon Palmer won in a difficult race where the strategy had a vital importance due to the numerous accidents that happened during the race. Mitch Evans and Felipe Nasr were second and third respectively.
The race had a clean start in which Evans took the lead of the race, ahead of the two DAMS drivers , with Palmer ahead of Richelmi. Evans had opened a small gap when the Safety Car came out because Regalia stopped on the track. After two laps, the SC left the track, and the race resumed.
The positions did not change after the first few corners. Cecotto, in fourth place, seemed to get closer to Richelmi, but he lost ground and Vandoorne and Coletti joined him. Coletti, at the same time, was putting Vandoorne under pressure and looking for some space to try to overtake the Belgian driver.
Evans was on supersoft tyres, while the DAMS drivers were on softs, which made him lose pace compared to his rivals and Palmer managed to catch the kiwi driver. Abt had an accident when Rossi tried to pass him and crashed into the barriers. Palmer was still ahead of Evans and the latter was under the pressure of Richelmi. The drivers who were behind them joined the battle due to the slow pace of Evans.
The Safety Car came out when Binder tried to make an impossible move on his teammate Negrao and the latter crashed into the barriers. Due to the placement of the car, all the drivers were blocked and the race was red flagged.
According to the GP2 regulations, the drivers could change their tyres on the grid, but they had to do his mandatory stop anyway and put the two compounds. The race would restart behind the Safety Car.
The race restarted with 28 laps to go and Palmer pulled away from Evans, who had Richelmi and Cecotto just behind. Rossi received a Drive Through because of his incident with Abt and Binder was penalized with a Stop and Go 10 seconds for causing the red flag period.
Palmer set fastest lap after fastest lap as he had to make his mandatory stop, like the other drivers in the top 12. Leal had an accident at the chicane exiting the tunnel that caused another Safety Car period.
Palmer –suffering a pit lane incident when he hit the wheel that the DAMS mechanics had prepared for Richelmi– and Evans made their pit stops and rejoined the track ahead of Nasr, who was the first driver that made his pit stop before the red flag. Vandoorne had the lead since he did not make his pit stop, just like Trummer in third place.
The race restarted and Coletti, who had stopped, found a quick pace and passed Canamasas and Nasr. The local boy overtook Evans too and was in a virtual second place. Izawa had an accident and right after, Coletti, while trying to pass Trummer the same way he did with his rivals for second place, collided with the Rapax driver and both crashed into the barrier, with both drivers retiring from the race. The Safety Car came out again.
The race would finish with time. Palmer took the lead of the race when Vandoorne made his stop. Evans and Nasr were second and third, but they were under the pressure of Cecotto, who had Canamasas close to him. Markelov was stopped on track after being hit in the chicane exiting the tunnel by Binder, causing a yellow flag. The Arden driver finished against the barrier because of the damage on his car.
The distances decreased in the last lap, but Palmer scored a difficult victory. Evans was second and Nasr finished third. The top 10 was completed by Cecotto, Canamasas, Pic, Haryanto, Richelmi –who took the pole for the sprint race–, Quaife-Hobbs and Ellinas. With this win, Palmer increased his lead in the championship.