Palmer leads the way in Monza

Briton fastest in free practice


By Olivier Ferret

6 September 2013 - 13:16
Palmer leads the way in Monza

Jolyon Palmer set a benchmark for his rivals with a scorching late lap to claim the top spot in this morning’s free practice session in Monza, although it was tight at the top: the Briton’s best lap of 1:32.120 was just 0.003 ahead of Fabio Leimer and two tenths to the good over Sam Bird.

The session opened in hot and sunny conditions, with all drivers heading straight out as the lights went green. James Calado set the early pace, fresh from his earlier F1 practice session with Force India, but when Johnny Cecotto spun at the parabolica five minutes in the session had to be red flagged to sweep the gravel from the track.

When the session restarted Alexander Rossi, Marcus Ericsson, Sam Bird and Leimer all took their turn at the top of the timesheets, and with the usual pitstops now staggered because of the red flag there seemed to be more space than ever for the drivers to find their own grooves. Until around 20 minutes in, that is, when Stefano Coletti and Cecotto came together at turn one, with the Monegasque driver breaking his wing in the process to his clear displeasure.

Palmer had been on the pace all session, and claimed his prize with 8 minutes to go: his rivals had little answer, and were perhaps mindful of avoiding damage with qualifying only hours away, although Bird popped up to third with 5 minutes to go. He displaced Stéphane Richelmi, Tom Dillmann, Coletti, Julian Leal, Simon Trummer, Ericsson and Alexander Rossi with just one second covering the top 17 positions, this afternoon’s qualifying session promises to be dramatic.

1. Jolyon Palmer Carlin 1:32.120 12
2. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:32.123 11
3. Sam Bird RUSSIAN TIME 1:32.351 11
4. Stéphane Richelmi DAMS 1:32.501 13
5. Tom Dillmann RUSSIAN TIME 1:32.502 10
6. Stefano Coletti Rapax 1:32.532 12
7. Julian Leal Racing Engineering 1:32.586 11
8. Simon Trummer Rapax 1:32.634 13
9. Marcus Ericsson DAMS 1:32.711 12
10. Alexander Rossi EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:32.743 12
11. James Calado ART Grand Prix 1:32.863 13
12. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Hilmer Motorsport 1:32.877 13
13. Mitch Evans Arden International 1:32.951 12
14. Dani Clos MP Motorsport 1:32.966 11
15. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1:33.029 12
16. Jake Rosenzweig Barwa Addax Team 1:33.045 11
17. Jon Lancaster Hilmer Motorsport 1:33.067 12
18. Daniel Abt ART Grand Prix 1:33.092 13
19. Rio Haryanto Barwa Addax Team 1:33.172 10
20. Nathanaël Berthon Trident Racing 1:33.174 13
21. Sergio Canamasas EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:33.369 11
22. Johnny Cecotto Arden International 1:33.389 11
23. Daniel De Jong MP Motorsport 1:33.447 12
24. Vittorio Ghirelli Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:33.465 13
25. Rene Binder Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:33.943 12
26. Sergio Campana Trident Racing 1:34.448 12


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