Palmer quickest throughout GP2 practice in Malaysia

Jolyon Palmer fastest as GP2 2012 season gets underway!



23 March 2012 - 06:07
Palmer quickest throughout GP2 (...)

For the first time since 2008 when GP2 Asia came to Malaysia, the GP2 fraternity will support the 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix. With fellow feeder series GP3 set to continue for it’s third year in May, GP2 enters it’s eighth season as the feeder series to Formula 1.

With practice 1 for Formula 1 only just ending, there was barely enough time to catch your breath before the GP2 cars lined up in the pit-lane eager to get their season underway. First out was Johnny Cecotto jr. for Barwa Addax, as the rest of the field followed the Venezuelan driver out.

As GP3 graduate James Calado set the first timed lap of the day, Sauber’s test driver Esteban Gutierrez collided with Johnny Cecotto jr. on the exit of turn 9. This collision ruined Gutierrez’s session, as the Mexican stopped on track after only completing 4 laps.

After a relatively successful pre-season of testing, Davide Valsecchi then went fastest with a 01:47.005. Valsecchi is now considered a veteran of the sport, as the Italian driver enters his sixth season in GP2 having won only three races in his career so far.

With only 30 minutes of practice time, the track was constantly busy throughout the session as the drivers’ got to grips with the Sepang International Circuit. As the session wore on, Jolyon Palmer went quickest for iSport International with a 01:46.514. This time was the first set on the medium tyre compound, as Palmer remained the only driver to use that particular compound all session. Valsecchi was able to improve on his time, but remained 2nd +0.164 seconds off Palmer’s pace.

As the checkered flag came out signaling the end of the session, Johnny Cecotto jr. ended a miserable session spinning his car at turn 14. The spin brought out yellow flags, which subsequently ended any drivers’ chances of setting a faster time than Palmer.

Qualifying will take place after the second F1 practice session, and could well be rain affected as stormy clouds build up around the circuit. If this is the case, expect the battle for pole in race 1 to be a complete lottery as 26 drivers’ take to the track.

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1. Jolyon Palmer iSport International 1:46.514 10
2. Davide Valsecchi DAMS 1:46.678 12
3. Max Chilton Carlin 1:47.152 8
4. Giedo van der Garde Caterham Racing 1:47.229 11
5. Fabio Onidi Scuderia Coloni 1:47.318 11
6. Felipe Nasr DAMS 1:47.360 12
7. Luiz Razia Arden International 1:47.418 5
8. James Calado Lotus GP 1:47.532 14
9. Stefano Coletti Scuderia Coloni 1:47.533 10
10. Josef Kral Barwa Addax Team 1:47.580 12
11. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:47.616 10
12. Johnny Cecotto Barwa Addax Team 1:47.637 12
13. Esteban Gutiérrez Lotus GP 1:47.639 4
14. Nathanaël Berthon Racing Engineering 1:47.644 11
15. Jon Lancaster Ocean Racing Technology 1:47.681 6
16. Fabrizio Crestani Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:47.699 9
17. Stéphane Richelmi Trident Racing 1:47.862 12
18. Simon Trummer Arden International 1:48.246 12
19 Rio Haryanto Carlin 1:48.259 10
20. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:48.326 12
21. Nigel Melker Ocean Racing Technology 1:48.437 14
22. Tom Dillmann Rapax 1:48.447 12
23. Julian Leal Trident Racing 1:48.746 13
24. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham Racing 1:48.764 11
25. Ricardo Teixeira Rapax 1:50.549 14
26. Giancarlo Serenelli Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:52.306 12


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