Southwater’s Jolyon Palmer narrowly missed out on his third GP2 win of the year on Saturday (2 November) as the 2013 GP2 season drew to a close at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit.
Rossi had pitted slightly earlier, and when Jolyon emerged from the pits, Rossi had overtaken him for the lead. Jolyon set about closing down the gap, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process, but Rossi held firm to take the win, with Jolyon having to settle for second place, his third visit to the podium this year.
"I was happy with second, but a little frustrated as I think the win was there” Jolyon commented afterwards. “The car felt great and we had good pace, I think we just lost out on the strategy a little bit.”
Starting seventh for the final round of the season on Sunday, Jolyon endured a difficult race, forced to take avoiding action after a first corner collision between Felipe Nasr and Johnny Cecotto which dropped him into the mid pack.
Jolyon fought his way back into the top 10, including a great move around the outside of Rio Haryanto at the turn four chicane. Eyeing further progress, he moved past Julian Leal for ninth place on lap 14, but the pair made contact, which ultimately contributed to Jolyon’s retirement from the race on lap 17.
"I had a bad start and then I had to avoid Nasr and Cecotto at the first corner so lost a lot of places there. I made up a few places before the safety car came out, but unfortunately afterwards I made a little mistake and lost a couple of places. I passed Leal twice and the second time we had contact, and there was some damage to the car which forced me to retire. Everything that could have gone wrong did really, not the way to end a season which has been so strong in the second half of the year."
Jolyon ends the year seventh overall in the GP2 Drivers Standings, his best classification in GP2 to date, while his Carlin team scored the same amount of points as Team Champions Russian Time, but were classified second overall having won less races.
Jolyon will now focus on a winter testing programme with plans for 2014 to be revealed in due course.