Jolyon Palmer tops Day 1 at Yas Marina

DAMS driver quickest on first day of pre-season testing in Abu Dhabi


By Olivier Ferret

11 March 2014 - 14:33
Jolyon Palmer tops Day 1 at Yas (...)

The 2014 GP2 Series has officially started today at Yas Marina Circuit with the opening of the first of two three day test sessions. All twenty-six drivers were eager to take to the track and it was rookie Stoffel Vandoorne who was the first man in action in his ART machine. The rest of the field followed to complete their installation laps on Pirelli Medium tyres.

On a dirty track, Daniel Abt set the early pace, but it was a majorly quiet first half of the session with the drivers playing the waiting game and hoping for a cleaner circuit. An hour and a half into the session, it was Vandoorne who had covered the most laps (fifteen). The laptimes started to drop and it was Mitch Evans who took top spot before a red flag period after the Kiwi’s teammate Artem Markelov stopped his car at Turn 4. At the restart, Alexander Rossi and Felipe Nasr took turns at the top of the standings. The proceedings were briefly halted a second time after Facu Regalia also stopped on track.

In the final stages, Rio Haryanto found some extra pace and set a laptime of 1:50.862 which was good enough to head the timings. At the chequered flag, the Indonesian driver was leading teammate Rossi, Jolyon Palmer, Stéphane Richelmi, Nasr, Johnny Cecotto, Julian Leal, Jon Lancaster, Rene Binder and Evans.

After the lunch break, the action returned with the DAMS pair quick to take to the track, and Richelmi setting the early pace in a 1:50.715. Nasr bettered the Monegasque driver’s time by three tenths right before his teammate Leal stopped on the circuit at Turn 20 briefly stopping the proceedings. When the track went live again, Nasr was able to improve some more and became the first man to dip under 1m50s. Soon after that, it was Cecotto’s turn to shine and steal the top spot from the Brazilian with a laptime of 1:49.892.

With one hour left on the clock, Palmer was able to set a laptime of 1:49.143, seven tenths quicker than Cecotto. Evans managed to improve on his personal best, but remained one tenth behind the Briton. Palmer even found some extra pace in the closing stages to set a time of 1:49.126. A final red flag period briefly interrupted the session after rookie Axcil Jefferies span and stopped at Turn 19. At the chequered flag, Palmer remained top ahead of Evans. Richelmi moved up to third in the dying minutes to finish ahead of Abt, Vandoorne, Cecotto, Nasr, Stefano Coletti, Rossi and newcomer Arthur Pic.

Tomorrow’s session will start at 9am local time.

Morning results

1. Rio Haryanto EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:50.862 13
2. Alexander Rossi EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:51.135 12
3. Jolyon Palmer DAMS 1:51.232 11
4. Stéphane Richelmi DAMS 1:51.479 11
5. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1:51.590 16
6. Johnny Cecotto Trident 1:51.599 9
7. Julian Leal Carlin 1:51.609 12
8. Jon Lancaster MP Motorsport 1:51.765 13
9. Rene Binder Arden International 1:51.893 9
10. Mitch Evans RT RUSSIAN TIME 1:51.928 17
11. Stefano Coletti Racing Engineering 1:52.121 10
12. Kimiya Sato Campos Racing 1:52.179 24
13. Daniel Abt Hilmer Motorsport 1:52.259 18
14. Facu Regalia Hilmer Motorsport 1:52.398 10
15. Nathanaël Berthon Trident Racing 1:52.586 12
16. Raffaele Marciello Racing Engineering 1:52.621 16
17. Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1:52.820 23
18. Conor Daly Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:53.022 16
19. Simon Trummer Rapax 1:53.041 8
20. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Rapax 1:53.163 10
21. Axcil Jefferies Trident 1:53.686 20
22. Artem Markelov RT RUSSIAN TIME 1:53.807 12
23. Takuya Izawa ART Grand Prix 2:23.231 27
24. Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 2:23.750 28
25. André Negrao Arden International 0
26. Daniiel De Jong MP Motorsport 0

Afternoon results

1. Jolyon Palmer DAMS 1:49.126 24
2. Mitch Evans RT RUSSIAN TIME 1:49.292 13
3. Stéphane Richelmi DAMS 1:49.756 28
4. Daniel Abt Hilmer Motorsport 1:49.777 22
5. Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 1:49.790 28
6. Johnny Cecotto Trident 1:49.892 19
7. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1:49.896 29
8. Stefano Coletti Racing Engineering 1:49.963 23
9. Alexander Rossi EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:50.018 25
10. Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1:50.204 19
11. Takuya Izawa ART Grand Prix 1:50.219 37
12. André Negrao Arden International 1:50.241 22
13. Rio Haryanto EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:50.256 24
14. Raffaele Marciello Racing Engineering 1:50.261 24
15. Daniiel De Jong MP Motorsport 1:50.265 6
16. Facu Regalia Hilmer Motorsport 1:50.289 17
17. Jon Lancaster MP Motorsport 1:50.434 17
18. Rene Binder Arden International 1:50.496 23
19. Julian Leal Carlin 1:50.541 27
20. Artem Markelov RT RUSSIAN TIME 1:50.925 21
21. Conor Daly Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:50.933 25
22. Nathanaël Berthon Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:51.026 20
23. Simon Trummer Rapax 1:51.043 23
24. Axcil Jefferies Trident 1:51.300 29
25. Kimiya Sato Campos Racing 1:51.331 20
26. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Rapax 1:51.437 16


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