Briton untouchable in the streets of Monte Carlo.
Series leader Jolyon Palmer has ruled today’s qualifying session in Monte Carlo with another blazing laptime of 1:20.774 leaving only crumbs to his closest rivals. Rio Haryanto who set the quickest laptime in Group B will start from P2 tomorrow whilst Mitch Evans who was second fastest in Palmer’s group will start from third place on the feature race grid.
The first qualifying group which consisted of all odd numbered cars fed onto the track on super soft Pirelli tyres. Palmer was quick to set the early pace before Johnny Cecotto went top on his fourth lap and dipped under 1m22s. Daniel Abt improved on the Venezuelan’s laptime, but soon after that Cecotto found some extra pace to claim the top spot again. But to no avail: Palmer was on a mission and lapped the track in a 1:20.774. Cecotto tried to deny P1 to Palmer but he hit a bit of traffic at the new chicane hence ruining his efforts. In the dying stages, Evans who had spent the first seven minutes of the sixteen minute long session without a laptime put his head down and edged Cecotto out of P2, but still remained four tenths clear from Palmer.
The second group of the qualifying session consisted of all even numbered cars. Like his teammate, Stéphane Richelmi set the early pace at the wheel of his DAMS car, but it was Sergio Canamasas who became the first man to break the 1m22s barrier. Stefano Coletti went quickest with Stoffel Vandoorne a shy 0.04s behind. Richelmi was on a flier but he hit a bit of traffic at La Rascasse and thus could not improve. On the next lap, Haryanto was able to find some clean air and went top in a 1:21.433. Vandoorne looked set to better the Indonesian’s laptime but failed by just a hairsbreadth. Local hero Richelmi also tried his hardest to shine and claim the top spot but he hit a bit of traffic again in sector 3. He was however able to better Vandoorne’s laptime and moved up to P2 at the chequered flag.
With Palmer’s laptime being the best of all, the Briton pocketed his second pole position this season. He has looked untouchable through free practice and qualifying and has yet to make a mistake in 2014. Behind the top three, Richelmi, Cecotto, Vandoorne, Abt, Coletti, Raffaele Marciello, and Julian Leal complete the top 10 on tomorrow’s starting grid.
Monte Carlo – Qualifying Session Group A
Driver / Team / Laptime / Laps
1. Jolyon Palmer - DAMS - 1:20.774 - 10
2. Mitch Evans - RT RUSSIAN TIME - 1:21.188 - 10
3. Johnny Cecotto - Trident - 1:21.361 - 12
4. Daniel Abt Hilmer Motorsport - 1:21.760 - 10
5. Raffaele Marciello - Racing Engineering - 1:21.917 - 11
6. Alexander Rossi - EQ8 Caterham Racing - 1:22.146 - 11
7. Simon Trumme - r Rapax - 1:22.296 - 10
8. Felipe Nasr - Carlin - 1:22.381 - 11
9. Kimiya Sato - Campos Racing - 1:22.588 - 11
10. Tio Ellinas - MP Motorsport - 1:22.681 - 11
11. Conor Daly - Venezuela GP Lazarus - 1:22.997 - 12
12. André Negrao - Arden International - 1:23.178 - 11
13. Takuya Izawa - ART Grand Prix - 1:23.259 - 12
Monte Carlo – Qualifying Session Group B
Driver / Team / Laptime / Laps
1. Rio Haryanto - EQ8 Caterham Racing - 1:21.433 - 11
2. Stéphane Richelmi - DAMS - 1:21.444 - 10
3. Stoffel Vandoorne - ART Grand Prix - 1:21.508 - 10
4. Stefano Coletti - Racing Engineering - 1:21.649 - 11
5. Julian Leal - Carlin - 1:21.752 - 12
6. Sergio Canamasas - Trident - 1:21.926 - 12
7. Arthur Pic - Campos Racing - 1:22.207 - 9
8. Rene Binder - Arden International - 1:22.270 - 11
9. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs - Rapax - 1:22.277 - 10
10. Facu Regalia - Hilmer Motorsport - 1:22.473 - 12
11. Daniiel De Jong - MP Motorsport - 1:22.488 - 11
12. Nathanaël Berthon - Venezuela GP Lazarus - 1:22.632 - 10
13. Artem Markelov - RT RUSSIAN ROME - 1:23.347 - 11