West Sussex racer Jolyon Palmer is confident he can put the frustration of the last GP2 rounds at Spa behind him and challenge for wins during this weekend’s (7-9 September) penultimate meeting at Monza.
Last weekend the 21-year-old from Southwater was in action at the legendary Belgian circuit racing alongside the Formula One World Championship. Faced with sever rain during Friday’s qualifying session, Jolyon secured an impressive fifth place for the opening Feature Race.
After a slow getaway, Jolyon was running seventh during the early stages but dropped to P12 when he and his iSport team-mate Marcus Ericcson opted to pit around the same time, causing him to ‘queue’ behind Ericcson and costing him valuable positions.
There was further frustration when the race was halted for almost an hour following a heavy crash by Ocean’s Nigel Melker at Eau Rouge. When the race restarted, Jolyon was immediately on the charge, coming back through the field well until an incident at Turn 1 with Arden’s Luiz Razia cut short his race, denying him a likely points finish.
"I got a poor start and lost a couple of positions early on,” said Jolyon. “After that I lost out with the pit stops as I had to queue up behind team-mate Marcus Ericcson. I dropped to P12 at the red flag but then was coming back through the pack until Razia chopped me at Turn 1 and ended my race.”
In Sunday’s Sprint Race Jolyon was forced to start from the back of the grid but drove a brilliant race to work his way up to 10th – making up 12 places. "I had a great first lap to move up from 22nd to 10th but ran over some debris in the process damaging my front wing and floor, losing a chunk of downforce,” he said.
“From there I was doing ok until I made a mistake and lost a place to Fabio Leimer. At the end of the race I was eighth but lost out at the final corner as I went for a move and locked the rear brakes so finished 10th which was disappointing as a top five was possible without the damage."
Jolyon aims to bounce back during this weekend’s rounds 21 and 22 at Italy’s famous Monza circuit – a track he’s won twice on before. “Monza is one of my favourite tracks and one I have had success at before with a double win in Formula Two in 2010. I’m confident with the car at the moment and we have been showing good pace everywhere so hopefully at Monza I can take a pole, and winning the Feature Race is my main target.”
Source: Jolyon Palmer