Son of former F1 driver Jonathan wins at world famous street circuit
British GP2 star Jolyon Palmer secured a sensational maiden win after dominating today's (Saturday) Sprint Race at the iconic Monaco street circuit - adding his name to previous GP2 Monaco winners Lewis Hamilton, Sergio Perez, Bruno Senna and Pastor Maldonado.
The 21-year-old from Southwater in West Sussex, is racing in his second season of the F1-feeder-series with iSport International having previously finished as runner-up in the 2010 FIA Formula two Championship and rising the ranks of the single-seater ladder.
Until now, Palmer, who is the son of former Formula 1 driver Jonathan, has had his season blighted by a reoccurring electrical problem to his 612bhp GP2 car, cruelly denying him the results his pace and undoubted potential has deserved.
Racing as a support race to this weekend’s Formula One World Championship, Palmer began the 30 lap race from third on the grid. As the lights went out, he made a blistering start and stormed into the lead at Turn 1, making a brave move up the inside to pass pole-sitter Stéphane Richelmi.
Richelmi then collided with James Calado leaving Palmer clear to pull away at the front, while behind Johnny Cecotto Jr spun going up the hill to Casino Square, colliding with at least seven cars and forcing a three lap safety car period.
Palmer then sat patiently behind the safety car until it came in and immediately launched into a 0.6s second lead before stretching that to 1.8s by the end of the first racing lap. In clear air, Palmer began to increase his lead further and taking full advantage of the slower Calado behind who was suffering wing damage from the earlier incident.
By the halfway stage, his lead had stretched to almost 10s from second place man Max Chilton after Calado had pitted to repair his damage. Despite Chilton now being free of Calado, Palmer was still able to dominate the field whilst carefully managing his prime Pirelli tyres around one of trickiest circuits in motorsport.
Chilton then began to close the gap in the closing stages, but Jolyon remained completely unfazed to cross the line to claim his first, and very much deserved, maiden GP2 win at the most glamorous venue on the calendar.
He now adds his name to a prestigious list of previous GP2 Monaco winners who have gone on to compete in the pinnacle of motorsport Formula One.
Speaking afterwards a delighted Palmer said: “I got an awesome start to jump into the lead, and after the safety car I was able to build a good lead. Then I just managed the gap to Max Chilton without taking any risks. I have to say a big thank you to iSport for all their hard work after an unlucky start to the season. Hopefully now we can carry this momentum through to the next rounds at Valencia and be fighting at the front again.”