Mixed results on Day 1 for iSport team
iSport returned to the Sakhir Circuit in Bahrain today for the first day of the GP2 Series Round 3 standalone event, with Practice, Qualifying and the Feature race all taking place during the day, with the Sprint Race scheduled tomorrow.
After promising results from last weekend’s Sprint Race, which saw Palmer go from back of the grid to P7, the day started challenging for the team. Palmer suffered the same electrical problem that hit in last weekend’s Round 2, resulting in disappointing Practice and Qualifying session results. However, during the Feature Race this afternoon, the problem seemed to be fixed, and after a challenging start, where the driver had to start from the pit lane after stalling on the grid, and then suffering a steering wheel issue, Palmer went onto show a great performance, securing the fastest lap at one point. The session resulted in 24th place; however his performance showed that better results are achievable.
Team mate Marcus Ericsson however, had a fantastic start to the weekend, securing his first points of the season. After finishing P8 in Free Practice and then qualifying P9, he continued to perform exceptionally well during the afternoon’s Feature Race, where he jumped to P4 in the opening lap and where he remained for the majority of the session. Unfortunately, in the last few laps he suffered with brake and pedal issues, resulting in him dropping to P8, but finishing to secure 4 points.
Paul Jackson – Team Principal “Marcus made a great start and took fourth place at turn one. He was comfortable there until the pit stop when he suffered from heat build up in the brakes and from then on a pedal that went to the floor. This was very frustrating as we were using the latest specification brakes that we were assured would behave the same as the previous ones, clearly there are some differences. Thereafter, Marcus was helpless to protect his fourth place and gradually dropped to eighth as he was passed in the braking areas. So the only consolation is pole position tomorrow rather than a possible podium today. Jolyon unfortunately stalled at the start and when he started from pit lane there was a problem with the steering wheel, which was changed quickly. Jo was then consigned to a tough race, being a lap behind, but his pace was very fast and consistent and he matched the lead group for lap times and he maintained a fantastic pace right through the race. When his luck changes, he should run in the lead pack.”
With Ericsson on pole for tomorrow’s Sprint Race, and Palmer showing a promising performance, iSport feel confident that they will have their first podium finish of the season.