Mixed fortunes for Jolyon Palmer at Silverstone
Young Brit stripped of top ten finish after impressive showing
West Sussex GP2 driver Jolyon Palmer experienced a weekend of mixed fortunes at Silverstone last weekend after showing impressive pace throughout the event. A 30 second penalty denied him an excellent top ten finish in Saturday’s main Feature Race.
The 20-year-old from Southwater was immediately quick at his home round as he secured his best grid position of the season, earning 11th in a qualifying session disrupted by heavy rain. He continued to impress in Saturday’s Feature Race by guiding his Arden International car through changeable wet and dry conditions to finish tenth at the chequered flag. However, the success was short-lived as the 2010 FIA Formula Two Championship runner-up incurred a 30 second penalty after the race for contact during an overtaking move on Esteban Guttierrez. As a result of the stewards’ decision, Jolyon dropped to 21st in the official results.
Despite Saturday’s disappointment, Palmer, son of former F1 driver Jonathan, produced a spirited and encouraging drive from 20th on the grid in Sunday’s Sprint Race. He judged the start perfectly to gain several places on the opening lap and he continued his gutsy drive to eventually come home in 16th position. Jolyon finished ahead of his more experienced Arden team-mate Josef Kral in both races.
Speaking after the weekend the Arden International driver said: “Race one was interesting. It started wet and I stayed in 11th but then as it dried out, we stayed out for a lap or two too long and lost a place. Then I had good initial pace on slicks and I caught and passed some people including Esteban Gutierrez with a bit of contact. I felt it was 50/50 because he turned in on me while I was alongside.
“I made a good start to race two, moving up a couple of positions and I had decent race pace. My rear tyres started to go off slightly towards the end though meaning it was hard to make up further places, but 16th from 20th is not bad. It was always going to be tough after Saturday’s penalty. There have been lots of positives this weekend, though, and I hope to convert those into a points finish at the Nürburgring.”
The next rounds of the 2011 GP2 Series take place at Germany’s Nürburgring circuit on 22-24 July, with full coverage of the race weekend available on Jolyon’s official website.
by: Jolyon Palmer