Marina Bay: Palmer tops free practice
Carlin driver quickest at Marina Bay in opening session
Jolyon Palmer wasted no time to put pressure on his rivals: the Brit set the best laptime in today’s free practice in Singapore in 1:55.912, two tenths faster than Series leader Fabio Leimer. Marcus Ericsson finished third.
The session opened in high temperatures and humidity. James Calado was the first driver to feed onto the track on Pirelli soft tyres as soon as the pitlane opened. The ART man set the early pace, but Felipe Nasr bettered the Brit’s laptime and sat at the top of the standings until his teammate set a time of 1:56.607 ten minutes into the session.
Leimer was on a mission and lit the first two sectors in purple, but a little bit of traffic ruined the Swiss’ efforts. He had to settle for second best, two tenths slower than Palmer. The drivers returned to the pits and when the action resumed on track, Ericsson enjoyed a clear lap and put his DAMS car at the top of the standings with a laptime of 1:56.509. However, shortly after that, Palmer was able to find the extra pace to light all three sectors in purple and reclaimed the top stop going half a second quicker than the Swede.
In the dying minutes, Leimer put his head down and finally found a clean lap and a quick sector 2. He improved enough to promote himself to P2, but not enough to deny Palmer of the top spot. At the chequered flag, Palmer (who escaped from a huge slide towards the closing stages) led Leimer. Ericsson remained third ahead of Alexander Rossi, Mitch Evans, Calado, Sam Bird, Nasr, Johnny Cecotto and Stéphane Richelmi.
The qualifying session will take place tonight at night-time.
|2.||Fabio Leimer||Racing Engineering||1:56.165||12|
|4.||Alexander Rossi||EQ8 Caterham Racing||1:56.758||12|
|5.||Mitch Evans||Arden International||1:56.885||12|
|6.||James Calado||ART Grand Prix||1:57.067||13|
|7.||Sam Bird||RUSSIAN TIME||1:57.089||13|
|9.||Johnny Cecotto||Arden International||1:57.297||12|
|11.||Rio Haryanto||Barwa Addax Team||1:57.822||12|
|12.||Nathanaël Berthon||Trident Racing||1:57.919||12|
|13.||Tom Dillmann||RUSSIAN TIME||1:58.017||12|
|14.||Rene Binder||Venezuela GP Lazarus||1:58.135||12|
|15.||Sergio Canamasas||EQ8 Caterham Racing||1:58.358||12|
|16.||Jon Lancaster||Hilmer Motorsport||1:58.376||12|
|17.||Julian Leal||Racing Engineering||1:58.377||11|
|18.||Dani Clos||MP Motorsport||1:58.495||12|
|19.||Daniel Abt||ART Grand Prix||1:58.518||12|
|20.||Jake Rosenzweig||Barwa Addax Team||1:58.916||12|
|21.||Vittorio Ghirelli||Venezuela GP Lazarus||1:58.939||12|
|22.||Daniel De Jong||MP Motorsport||1:59.063||12|
|25.||Adrian Quaife-Hobbs||Hilmer Motorsport||1:69.559||12|
|26.||Gianmarco Raimondo||Trident Racing||2:00.990||13|