Palmer sprints to Sakhir victory

Briton wins to grab early title lead

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By Olivier Ferret

6 April 2014 - 14:10
Palmer sprints to Sakhir victory

Jolyon Palmer has topped a dominant weekend in Bahrain with victory in this morning’s sprint race: the win, along with pole position, a podium and fastest lap yesterday allowed the Briton to head home with the lead in the 2014 GP2 Series championship after standing on the top step between Simon Trummer and Julian Leal.

The win was set up at the start: Felipe Nasr had a poor start from pole position while Palmer had a brilliant one, slotting in behind front row starter Trummer into turn one from P6, with Leal following him to push up from P7 to P3 and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs a third impressive starter to move up behind them, and ahead of Nasr, from P10 on the grid.

With temperatures even higher than yesterday’s feature race, tyre preservation was going to be key: the first lap was the main opportunity for bravery and Palmer took full advantage, lining himself up behind Trummer to get a tow down the main straight, slicing inside and through for the lead at turn one, a move echoed by Stéphane Richelmi on Daniel de Jong for P8 behind them as everyone watched their tyres carefully.

It wasn’t until the closing laps that the drivers were let loose once again: Trummer and Leal threw everything they had at Palmer but the Englishman was up to the challenge, holding on for a strong victory and the points lead, while behind them was chaos. Nasr and Quaife-Hobbs swapped positions a few times before the Brazilian finally made P4 his own with 3 laps remaining, Richelmi and Arthur Pic came together before the Monegasque blew through, later taking the Briton for P5, while the Frenchman lost out in a last lap fight to Mitch Evans and Rene Binder for a points finish.

With Stoffel Vandoorne having a torrid race which resulted in an unplanned pit stop, Palmer took a strong lead in the championship, 38 points to Leal’s 28, with the Belgian stuck on 25 points ahead of Trummer on 18, with Nasr and Stefano Coletti on 12 as the teams turn their focus towards the next round in Barcelona.

PosDriverTeamTime
1. Jolyon Palmer DAMS 23 laps - 41m02.484
2. Simon Trummer Rapax +0.809
3. Julian Leal Carlin +1.430
4. Felipe Nasr Carlin +8.719
5. Stéphane Richelmi DAMS +16.416
6. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Rapax +17.680
7. Mitch Evans RT RUSSIAN TIME +18.012
8. Rene Binder Arden International +19.791
9. Arthur Pic Campos Racing +19.977
10. Artem Markelov RT RUSSIAN TIME +20.678
11. Daniiel De Jong MP Motorsport +21.086
12. Takuya Izawa ART Grand Prix +21.713
13. Daniel Abt Hilmer Motorsport +29.171
14. Johnny Cecotto Trident +33.500
15. Jon Lancaster MP Motorsport +34.017
16. Rio Haryanto EQ8 Caterham Racing +35.778
17. Nathanaël Berthon Venezuela GP Lazarus +38.028
18. André Negrao Arden International +38.524
19. Kimiya Sato Campos Racing +39.439
20. Facu Regalia Hilmer Motorsport +44.065
21. Axcil Jefferies Trident +48.583
22. Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix +49.324
23. Stefano Coletti Racing Engineering +80.944
24. Raffaele Marciello Racing Engineering +1 lap
25. Alexander Rossi EQ8 Caterham Racing +1 lap
26. Conor Daly Venezuela GP Lazarus DNF
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