DAMS driver snatches first pole position of the 2014 season.
Jolyon Palmer has started his 2014 GP2 Series campaign in the best possible way: the Briton snatched this season’s first pole position in a blazing 1:38.865 in a tricky session that saw a red flag period. Behind him, rookie Stoffel Vandoorne did not fail to impress the rest of the field: the Belgian ace clocked in a laptime just three hundredths slower than Palmer, but one tenth quicker than Daniel Abt in third place.
The qualifying session opened under the lights of the Bahrain International Circuit and on a much cleaner track compared to this morning’s free practice session. The twenty-six drivers fed onto the track on Pirelli Soft tyres. Felipe Nasr set the early pace. Vandoorne was on a flyer when he went too wide in Turn 14, but still managed to go top. However, Mitch Evans went even quicker and bettered the Belgian’s time by six thousandths.
As the action resumed on track, newcomer Artem Markelov span on cold tyres at Turn one and stopped on track. The session was thus red flagged in order to retrieve the Russian’s car.
At the re-start, and with seven minutes left on the clock, the drivers re-joined the track for one last attempt. Palmer put his head down and dipped under 1m38s. Vandoorne also broke that barrier but was unable to beat the Briton’s laptime. Behind this pair, Abt had to settle for third. Stéphane Richelmi, Rio Haryanto, Stefano Coletti, Evans, Felipe Nasr, rookies Raffaele Marciello and Arthur Pic completed the top ten.
Sakhir – Qualifying Session
1. Jolyon Palmer - DAMS - 1:38.865
2. Stoffel Vandoorne - ART Grand Prix - 1:38.895
3. Daniel Abt - Hilmer Motorsport - 1:39.073
4. Stéphane Richelmi - DAMS - 1:39.081
5. Rio Haryanto - EQ8 Caterham Racing - 1:39.228
6. Stefano Coletti - Racing Engineering - 1:39.271
7. Mitch Evans - RT RUSSIAN TIME - 1:39.274
8. Felipe Nasr - Carlin - 1:39.301
9. Raffaele Marciello - Racing Engineering - 1:39.449
10. Arthur Pic - Campos Racing - 1:39.462
11. Jon Lancaster - MP Motorsport - 1:39.507
12. Julian Leal - Carlin - 1:39.588
13. Johnny Cecotto - Trident - 1:39.615
14. André Negrao - Arden International - 1:39.647
15. Alexander Rossi - EQ8 Caterham Racing - 1:39.651
16. Kimiya Sato - Campos Racing - 1:39.749
17. Rene Binder - Arden International - 1:39.788
18. Conor Daly - Venezuela GP Lazarus - 1:39.848
19. Facu Regalia - Hilmer Motorsport - 1:39.881
20. Nathanaël Berthon - Venezuela GP Lazarus - 1:39.928
21. Simon Trummer - Rapax - 1:40.059
22. Daniiel De Jong - MP Motorsport - 1:40.060
23. Takuya Izawa - ART Grand Prix - 1:40.401
24. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs - Rapax - 1:40.408
25. Axcil Jefferies - Trident - 1:40.619
26. Artem Markelov - RT RUSSIAN TIME - 1:41.172