Palmer wins classic Monza opener

Jolyon Palmer won the opening Formula 2 race of the weekend after surviving a traditional Monza slipstreaming assault from behind

Palmer wins classic Monza opener

Palmer lost his lead at the start when Johan Jokinen drove around the outside of him into the second chicane. But Jokinen had to surrender the place after eight laps when he received a drive-through penalty for re-taking his front row starting spot after failing to make it away on the green flag lap.

Palmer still had to work for his win, though. Just as Jokinen peeled off to serve his punishment, Mihai Marinescu hit the back of Jack Clarke on the main straight and Clarke spun into the barrier, bringing out the safety car.

Dean Stoneman had started eighth, jumped up to fourth on the first lap and then passed Kazim Vasiliauskas for what was, at the time, third. After the restart, he was left to challenge Palmer for the win and homed in on the leader.

Stoneman was within range for the last three laps but, despite several good tows and runs, he was never able to seriously threaten Palmer's second win of the season.

"It wasn't an easy one," said Palmer. "When Johan came through the pits, I was leading with a comfortable gap. The safety car changed everything and after the restart the car wasn't feeling as good, but I had a lot of boosts left.

"The closing stages were tense, Dean was right behind me and I was delighted to keep him there."

Behind Vasiliauskas, Will Bratt passed Marinescu and Ricardo Teixeira just after the restart to complete his rise from 10th to fourth.

Marinescu remained fifth, surviving a late scare when Sergei Afanasiev lunged to his inside into the Parabolica. The pair touched and Afanasiev spun, but Marinescu escaped unscathed. Teixeira was less fortunate and collected Afanasiev's stricken car, handing sixth to Benjamin Bailly.

Jokinen eventually raced back to seventh after his drive-through, from which he had emerged in 15th place.

Pos Driver Time/Gap 1. Jolyon Palmer 38m49.352s 2. Dean Stoneman +0.812 3. Kazim Vasiliauskas +5.010 4. Will Bratt +5.750 5. Mihai Marinescu +11.671 6. Benjamin Bailly +12.857 7. Johan Jokinen +16.708 8. Benjamin Lariche +22.610 9. Paul Rees +24.033 10. Plamen Kralev +26.196 11. Philipp Eng +26.907 12. Ivan Samarin +29.867 13. Kelvin Snoeks +35.673 14. Ajith Kumar +1:10.141 15. Parthiva Sureshwaren +1 lap Not classified Ricardo Teixeira 19 laps Sergei Afanasiev 18 laps Jack Clarke 7 laps Natalia Kowalska 5 laps Nicola de Marco 0 laps Armaan Ebrahim 0 laps Fastest lap, Jokinen 1m41.416s on lap 6 
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