Marina Bay: Palmer tops free practice

Carlin driver quickest at Marina Bay in opening session

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By Olivier Ferret

20 September 2013 - 12:03

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.

PosDriverTeamTimeLaps
1. Jolyon Palmer Carlin 1:55.912 13
2. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:56.165 12
3. Marcus Ericsson DAMS 1:56.509 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
8. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1:57.089 12
9. Johnny Cecotto Arden International 1:57.297 12
10. Stéphane Richelmi DAMS 1:57.755 13
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
23. Simon Trummer Rapax 1:59.213 12
24. Stefano Coletti Rapax 1:59.375 12
25. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Hilmer Motorsport 1:69.559 12
26. Gianmarco Raimondo Trident Racing 2:00.990 13

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