Palmer clinches first Monza pole

Jolyon Palmer will start Saturday's Formula 2 race at Monza from pole position after triumphing in a four-way shootout in qualifying this afternoon

Palmer clinches first Monza pole

Mihai Marinescu set the early running in and was comfortably fastest at the half-time pitstops for new tyres. But the pace picked up towards the end and Johan Jokinen beat the Romanian's time.

Marinescu was back on top a couple of laps later, but only for a matter of seconds before Jokinen retaliated with an ever quicker lap.

Just as Jokinen seemed to have seen off Marinescu and secured pole, Palmer took advantage of a slipstream from Benjamin Bailly and posted a 1m41.722s lap - seven hundredths quicker - to seal his second pole position of the season.

"I was trying to find a tow but it was fortunate that I got such a run from Benjamin," said Palmer. "But it was a good lap and it's great to be on pole here."

Kazim Vasiliauskas had been in the fight as well, snatching second place with one of the first laps on the second set of tyres, but he ended up fourth - just 0.044s slower than Marinescu.

Those were the only four drivers to break into the 1m41s, with Nicola de Marco leading the rest of the field in fifth place for his home race. Ricardo Teixeira was sixth quickest, ahead of Armaan Ebrahim, Marrakech winner Dean Stoneman, Jack Clarke and Will Bratt completing the top 10. Points leader Philipp Eng qualified just 11th.

Pos Driver Time Gap Laps 1. Jolyon Palmer 1m41.722s 12 2. Johan Jokinen 1m41.796s +0.074 14 3. Mihai Marinescu 1m41.910s +0.188 15 4. Kazim Vasiliauskas 1m41.954s +0.232 15 5. Nicola de Marco 1m42.079s +0.357 14 6. Ricardo Teixeira 1m42.151s +0.429 13 7. Armaan Ebrahim 1m42.192s +0.470 13 8. Dean Stoneman 1m42.275s +0.553 11 9. Jack Clarke 1m42.348s +0.626 15 10. Will Bratt 1m42.362s +0.640 15 11. Philipp Eng 1m42.382s +0.660 14 12. Kelvin Snoeks 1m42.416s +0.694 15 13. Benjamin Bailly 1m42.449s +0.727 14 14. Benjamin Lariche 1m42.512s +0.790 15 15. Paul Rees 1m42.675s +0.953 14 16. Ivan Samarin 1m42.689s +0.967 15 17. Plamen Kralev 1m43.342s +1.620 12 18. Natalia Kowalska 1m43.553s +1.831 14 19. Parthiva Sureshwaren 1m43.701s +1.979 9 20. Ajith Kumar 1m46.790s +5.068 14 
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