Palmer leads the way at Sochi

Series leader quickest in free practice

GP2 Series leader Jolyon Palmer had the perfect start to his weekend setting the best laptime of the free practice session at the Sochi Autodrom in a 1:46.083 – half a second quicker than closest rival Arthur Pic. André Negrao finished third.
 
The session opened in perfect conditions as the drivers fed onto the Russian track for the very first time on Medium Pirelli tyres. Palmer was quick to set the pace dominating the rest of the pack. Stoffel Vandoorne was the first driver to challenge the Brit, setting up a laptime two tenths slower than Palmer. Fifteen minutes into the session, the DAMS racer went on a flyer and extended the gap to Vandoorne by seven tenths whilst Pic moved up to third.
 
Vandoorne was then on a mission: mid-session, he found some clean air to dip under 1m47 and claimed the top spot. Pic and Felipe Nasr also improved to take P2 and P3 respectively. All the drivers re-joined the pits and when the action picked up again, Mitch Evans edged Pic out of P2 with a laptime just four hundredths slower than Vandoorne’s.
 
In the final minutes, Pic went quickest, but Palmer stole the Frenchman’s thunder with one minute left on the clock and reclaimed the top spot. At the chequered flag, Negrao found some extra pace to move up to third ahead of Vandoorne, Evans, Kimiya Sato, Johnny Cecotto, Nathanaël Berthon, Felipe Nasr and Tio Ellinas.
 
With all the drivers now more familiar with the Russian circuit, today’s qualifying session should deliver a great battle.
 
Sochi – Free Practice
 
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Jolyon Palmer
DAMS
1:46.083
18
2.
Arthur Pic
Campos Racing
1:46.618
18
3.
André Negrao
Arden International
1:46.623
20
4.
Stoffel Vandoorne
ART Grand Prix
1:46.740
19
5.
Mitch Evans
RT RUSSIAN TIME
1:46.763
19
6.
Kimiya Sato
Campos Racing
1:46.781
18
7.
Johnny Cecotto
Trident
1:46.889
19
8.
Nathanaël Berthon
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:47.027
19
9.
Felipe Nasr
Carlin
1:47.123
19
10.
Tio Ellinas
Rapax
1:47.359
20
11.
Jon Lancaster
Hilmer Motorsport
1:47.394
17
12.
Rio Haryanto
Caterham Racing
1:47.452
18
13.
Takuya Izawa
ART Grand Prix
1:47.474
20
14.
Raffaele Marciello
Racing Engineering
1:47.589
17
15.
Stefano Coletti
Racing Engineering
1:47.667
17
16.
Marco Sorensen
MP Motorsport
1:47.672
17
17.
Pierre Gasly
Caterham Racing
1:47.702
17
18.
Sergio Canamasas
Trident
1:47.857
19
19
Daniel Abt
Hilmer Motorsport
1:47.862
18
20.
Stéphane Richelmi
DAMS
1:47.882
18
21.
Simon Trummer
Rapax
1:47.903
19
22.
Rene Binder
Arden International
1:47.965
17
23.
Daniel De Jong
MP Motorsport
1:48.276
17
24.
Julian Leal
Carlin
1:48.508
11
25.
Sergio Campana
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:48.623
18
26.
Artem Markelov
RT RUSSIAN TIME
1:48.707
17

 

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About this article
Series GP2
Event Sochi
Sub-event Friday practice
Track Sochi Autodrom
Drivers Johnny Cecotto , Stefano Coletti , Kimiya Sato , Takuya Izawa , Jon Lancaster , Nathanael Berthon , Stéphane Richelmi , Sergio Campana , Marco Sorensen , Julian Leal , Jolyon Palmer , Rio Haryanto , Felipe Nasr , Simon Trummer , Daniel Abt , Sergio Canamasas , Daniel de Jong , André Negrao , Arthur Pic , Mitch Evans , Tio Ellinas , Raffaele Marciello , Rene Binder , Stoffel Vandoorne , Pierre Gasly , Artem Markelov
Teams DAMS , Carlin , ART Grand Prix , Racing Engineering , RUSSIAN TIME , Trident , Campos Racing , MP Motorsport , Rapax , Arden International , Hilmer Motorsport , Lazarus
Article type Practice report