Singapore GP2: Jolyon Palmer denies Felipe Nasr in spectacular race

Jolyon Palmer won a stunning GP2 Series feature race in Singapore, overcoming Carlin team-mate Felipe Nasr in the closing stages as high tyre degradation made for a thrilling spectacle

Singapore GP2: Jolyon Palmer denies Felipe Nasr in spectacular race

After making a poor start from pole position, as his anti-stall kicked in, Palmer watched Nasr, Stephane Richelmi (DAMS) and Fabio Leimer (Racing Engineering) jump ahead of him on the run to Turn 1.

ART's James Calado further demoted him, but Palmer managed to regain positions from Richelmi and Calado on a frantic opening lap to run third.

That set the tone for the race, as Palmer charged past Leimer for second at Turn 7 on lap four.

At this point Nasr was up the road by 5.2s, but Palmer cut that gap to 3.6s by the time Nasr stopped for fresh soft-compound rear tyres on lap 10.

Palmer stayed out longer, but haemorrhaged time to Nasr at this point, so when he stopped three laps later, he rejoined over 10s behind the Brazilian.

The gap between them went out to as much as 13.4s by lap 15, but Palmer then rattled in a sequence of fastest laps having sensibly nursed his fresh rear tyres in his early laps on them.

As the race entered its closing stages, it was clear that by stopping earlier Nasr was suffering with tyre degradation much more than Palmer. This was exacerbated by Nasr badly flatspotting his front-right tyre with seven laps to go.

After a thrilling chase, during which he was warned "your pace is too hot!" over the radio, Palmer caught and passed Nasr with three laps to go, using his superior traction along the Raffles Boulevard. Nasr tried to defend, but only succeeded in damaging his tyre even more with a massive lock-up into Turn 7.

Nasr trailed home over 13s behind Palmer at the finish, as he had to nurse his vibrating car home, admitting that "the front tyres were destroyed".

Calado gained positions in the pitstop cycle, and clung on to third place despite a late attack from points leader Leimer.

But Leimer lost his fourth place on the final lap, as Richelmi mugged him, even though they had pitted on the same lap and had the same tyre life.

Leimer's title rival Sam Bird suffered a poor start and a slow pitstop, but battled back to take reversed-grid pole for Sunday's sprint race. The gap between them is now out to 12 points, with Nasr moving up to third in the title race.

Stefano Coletti again failed to score, and finished down in 12th.

Tom Dillmann and Marcus Ericsson finished ahead of Bird in sixth and seventh respectively, with Jon Lancaster and Dani Clos rounding out the point scorers.

With many drivers going for a soft/soft tyre strategy, Sunday's sprint race will mean they will have to re-use tyres.

Those who started on the super-soft, including Leimer and Bird, should have a big advantage as they will have fresh soft rubber all round.

Results - 28 laps: Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Jolyon Palmer Carlin 57m14.130s 2. Felipe Nasr Carlin +13.095s 3. James Calado ART +25.126s 4. Stephane Richelmi DAMS +25.713s 5. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering +28.296s 6. Tom Dillmann Russian Time +38.577s 7. Marcus Ericsson DAMS +45.448s 8. Sam Bird Russian Time +45.685s 9. Jon Lancaster Hilmer +51.981s 10. Dani Clos MP +56.906s 11. Mitch Evans Arden +57.227s 12. Stefano Coletti Rapax +1m04.741s 13. Daniel Abt ART +1m05.265s 14. Johnny Cecotto Jr Arden +1m19.683s 15. Jake Rosenzweig Addax +1m33.492s 16. Simon Trummer Rapax +1m43.894s 17. Daniel de Jong MP +1m52.806s 18. Rene Binder Lazarus +1m53.422s 19. Sergio Canamasas Caterham +2m06.253s 20. Rio Haryanto Addax +1 lap 21. Gianmarco Raimondo Trident +1 lap 22. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Hilmer +1 lap Retirements: Alexander Rossi Caterham 23 laps Vittorio Ghirelli Lazarus 9 laps Nathanael Berthon Trident 7 laps Julian Leal Racing Engineering 7 laps 
shares
comments
Singapore GP2: Jolyon Palmer leads Felipe Nasr in Carlin front row
Previous article

Singapore GP2: Jolyon Palmer leads Felipe Nasr in Carlin front row

Next article

Singapore GP2: Sam Bird dominates to set up title showdown

Singapore GP2: Sam Bird dominates to set up title showdown
What racing in Australia means for the future of F1's junior series Plus

What racing in Australia means for the future of F1's junior series

The announcement that FIA Formula 2 and 3 would race alongside the Australian Grand Prix from 2023 came as a surprise, not only to fans but to the series’ teams too. But with Formula 1’s boom in popularity bringing more fans to the championships, team principals are relishing the opportunity

FIA F2
Jun 28, 2022
The other Doohan charting his way to motorsport success Plus

The other Doohan charting his way to motorsport success

Heading into FIA Formula 2 this season, there was a lot of pressure on Jack Doohan. The 2021 F3 runner-up joined a new team for his next challenge, as well as signing up to the Alpine Academy. He told Autosport how he’s tackling the step up - with some help from his motorcycle legend father

FIA F2
Jun 16, 2022
The Brazilian F2 driver hoping to return his country to motorsport's top tier Plus

The Brazilian F2 driver hoping to return his country to motorsport's top tier

With a chaotic but “pretty much perfect” FIA Formula 2 weekend in Saudi Arabia behind him, Felipe Drugovich now leads the drivers’ standings in his third crack at the series. The Brazilian driver explains how he's improved amid some difficult years, and shares his dreams of ending his nation's absence from the F1 grid

FIA F2
Apr 1, 2022
The Red Bull junior aiming to emulate Piastri in F2 Plus

The Red Bull junior aiming to emulate Piastri in F2

Norwegian talent Dennis Hauger has a tough act to follow in Oscar Piastri’s footsteps on his graduation to F2 as the reigning F3 champion with Prema. Here’s what he makes of the task ahead of him

FIA F2
Mar 16, 2022
The other Mercedes F1 young gun facing a big 2022 Plus

The other Mercedes F1 young gun facing a big 2022

With a disappointing 2021 season behind him, Frederik Vesti makes the move up to FIA Formula 2 with a reinvigorated sense of determination. Could this finally be the breakthrough year for the talented Mercedes junior?

FIA F2
Mar 14, 2022
Ranking the 10 best drivers of an F1 junior series stalwart Plus

Ranking the 10 best drivers of an F1 junior series stalwart

DAMS has been one of the most prolific teams below Formula 1 since its foundation in 1989, launching 32 drivers into grand prix racing. Following the team's sale to ex-F1 racer Charles Pic, formally closing the book on the ownership of the Driot family, Autosport picks out its 10 best drivers during their spell with the team

FIA F2
Feb 27, 2022
How an F2 enigma hopes ‘coming home’ can reopen doors to F1 Plus

How an F2 enigma hopes ‘coming home’ can reopen doors to F1

After a disappointing 2021, Marcus Armstrong is returning to FIA Formula 2 for another shot at the title in 2022 with Hitech – this time without the backing of Ferrari. This year, he says, he’s ready to give it his all in a last-shot bid to reach Formula 1

FIA F2
Feb 19, 2022
The hardships that haven’t dented an F2 rookie’s American F1 dream Plus

The hardships that haven’t dented an F2 rookie’s American F1 dream

Faced with no options for 2021, Logan Sargeant’s Formula 1 dreams looked set to crumble. But a last-minute Formula 3 seat and a strong season secured him an F1 junior berth and a Formula 2 drive for 2022. He told Autosport how his transformative season has affected both his personality and his future

FIA F2
Jan 29, 2022