PENALTY COSTS PALMER TOP-TEN FINISH
Jolyon Palmer maintained yesterday’s good form with a strong run to 10th place on the road in the first GP2 Series race of the weekend at Silverstone. He was subsequently penalised for his part in a mid-race collision, however, and thus slipped to 20th. Team-mate Josef Kral found progress difficult in the tricky wet-dry conditions: he started and finished 22nd.
With heavy rain falling in the wake of the Formula One qualifying session, stewards opted for a safety car start on the puddle-strewn track and competition did not begin in earnest until the end of lap three. Palmer ran 11th from the start and switched to slick tyres on lap 14, as drying conditions triggered a flurry of pit stops. He rejoined in 11th place, but moved in to the top 10 when he passed Valencia sprint winner Esteban Gutierrez (ART) on lap 18. During the course of the manoeuvre, however, he touched his adversary and stewards ruled that he had gained an advantage unfairly. They added 30 seconds to his race time, a penalty that pushed him down the order but did nothing to dilute his spirited performance.
“It was an interesting race that began in very wet conditions. I held my 11th place initially and felt I was losing time behind Johnny Cecotto during the first few laps. I probably stayed out too long on wet tyres, too, which cost me a few more seconds. My pace on slicks was good, though, and I managed to pass Esteban Gutierrez. There was contact between us, but I felt it was 50/50 because he turned in on me when I was alongside. I have been penalised, though, and that means I’m in for a difficult race tomorrow.”
I am confident that things will be better in the sprint race.
“I was unable to gain any places during the early stages of the race, because there was too much standing water and it was difficult to see. As the track dried my car began to understeer more and more, so I was unable to push as hard as those around me. I was one of the last drivers to pit for dry tyres, because I had to wait for Jolyon to make his stop, and that cost me a bit of time. The car felt good on slicks, but I wasn’t particularly fast and we need to run through the data this evening to understand why. I am confident that things will be better in the sprint race.”
by: arden international