Arden Duo Make Bright Start To Seasonal Finale
Arden racers Jolyon Palmer and Josef Kral are well placed to score a strong result in tomorrow’s opening GP2 Series race at Monza, the first part of this weekend’s two-pronged seasonal finale. The Anglo-Czech duo qualified 11th and 12th, which means they will share neighbouring grid positions on row six.
Both have a strong chance of moving into points-scoring positions during the race, because Monza offers more overtaking opportunities than some circuits and, in performance terms, there is precious little to choose between the leading drivers. Fierce competition tends to be a GP2 staple, but less than one second covered the top 20 today...
“I’m very encouraged because we’ve had two good sessions. We showed strong form in free practice, when we were mostly playing around with downforce levels to find the optimum compromise for qualifying. I set my best time at the end of the session, when my tyres were past their best, so I was happy enough to be 12th.
“My first qualifying run was neat, clean and good enough to put me ninth. The second was messier, because of yellow flags and slow traffic. I was unable to improve my time and ended up losing a couple of positions, but it was still a good performance and I’m in an optimistic frame of mind for tomorrow.”
“Qualifying was quite tough, because the car was completely different from the one I drove this morning! Jolyon and I began with very different set-ups – he went for low downforce and I had quite a bit more wing. It became clear that his set-up was more suitable, so we altered my car after the session and I had to get used to the changes pretty quickly.
“Unfortunately, it was difficult settling into a rhythm this afternoon, with so many yellow flags, and I only managed one clear lap. The time was OK, but I don’t think I was anywhere near the car’s potential. Jolyon and I have a good chance of scoring points, though, and that will be our target in both races.”