Monaco GP2: Jolyon Palmer sets the pace in free practice for DAMS

Points leader Jolyon Palmer set the fastest time in GP2 free practice in Monaco on Thursday morning

Monaco GP2: Jolyon Palmer sets the pace in free practice for DAMS

After a brief rain shower, the track was dry for the 45-minute session. As ever in Monaco, finding a clear lap was the order of the day, but it was not until the end of the session, with dark clouds looming, that drivers tried the much quicker super-soft tyre.

Palmer rattled off his 1m20.707s lap after a red flag, caused when former Carlin team-mate Felipe Nasr crashed at the Nouvelle Chicane.

Trident's Johnny Cecotto Jr proved he will be gunning for pole for the second year in succession, however, with his 1m21.043s best set on his second lap on the softer tyre due to being held up on his first flyer.

Palmer's DAMS team-mate Stephane Richelmi was third quickest, 0.866s off the Briton's mark, with the first of the soft-tyre runners, last year's winner Stefano Coletti of Racing Engineering, ending the session in fourth.

Russian Time's Mitch Evans was fifth fastest despite hitting Andre Negrao - returning to Arden after a back injury kept him out at Barcelona - on the exit of Rascasse.

Nasr had been second fastest when he went off on his first flying lap on supersofts. He ploughed into the tyre wall at Nouvelle Chicane after outbraking himself and getting launched by a kerb. He had clipped the wall exiting Portier just moments earlier.

He fell to eighth in the times, behind Sergio Canamasas in sixth and Rio Haryanto.

Nathanael Berthon was the first car to crash out, going straight on into the barriers at Anthony Noghes at the end of his out-lap.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Jolyon Palmer DAMS 1m20.707s 2. Johnny Cecotto Jr Trident 1m21.043s +0.336s 3. Stephane Richelmi DAMS 1m21.573s +0.866s 4. Stefano Coletti Racing Engineering 1m21.902s +1.195s 5. Mitch Evans Russian Time 1m21.929s +1.222s 6. Sergio Canamasas Trident 1m21.933s +1.226s 7. Rio Haryanto Caterham 1m21.935s +1.228s 8. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1m21.949s +1.242s 9. Julian Leal Carlin 1m22.132s +1.425s 10. Alexander Rossi Caterham 1m22.183s +1.476s 11. Simon Trummer Rapax 1m22.237s +1.530s 12. Daniel Abt Hilmer 1m22.296s +1.589s 13. Rene Binder Arden 1m22.386s +1.679s 14. Stoffel Vandoorne ART 1m22.442s +1.735s 15. Raffaele Marciello Racing Engineering 1m22.937s +2.230s 16. Andre Negrao Arden 1m23.028s +2.321s 17. Kimiya Sato Campos 1m23.353s +2.646s 18. Arthur Pic Campos 1m23.453s +2.746s 19. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Rapax 1m23.545s +2.838s 20. Daniel de Jong MP 1m23.605s +2.898s 21. Facu Regalia Hilmer 1m23.821s +3.114s 22. Tio Ellinas MP 1m24.126s +3.419s 23. Takuya Izawa ART 1m24.201s +3.494s 24. Conor Daly Lazarus 1m25.356s +4.649s 25. Artem Markelov Russian Time 1m25.694s +4.987s 26. Nathanael Berthon Lazarus 
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