Palmer keeps his cool to win chaotic Monaco GP2 Feature Race

Jolyon Palmer extended his championship lead to 44 points.

Palmer keeps his cool to win chaotic Monaco GP2 Feature Race
Listen to this article

Jolyon Palmer overcame multiple safety cars and a red flag to control the Monaco GP2 Feature Race to secure his second win of the season. It was also his second win in Monaco and his fifth consecutive podium this year, extending his championship lead to 44 points.

Starting from pole position, the DAMS driver was out dragged off the line by Mitch Evans on the run down to St Devote. An early safety car neutralised the race with Jolyon in second place after the Hilmer car of Facu Regalia stopped at Tabac on lap one.

The safety car pitted on lap four and Jolyon set about snatching the lead from Evans in front, who was running on the softer compound tyre. Evans stretched out a small lead of just over a second but on lap nine Jolyon closed rapidly to be running just 0.3 seconds behind after setting the fastest lap at that point. Tucked right under Evans' wing on lap 10, Jolyon made a bold move up the inside of Evans at St Devote at the start of lap 11 and then proceeded to pull out a big lead of nearly four seconds before his advantage was wiped out by a red flag caused when the two Arden cars collided at the Fairmont Hairpin, causing a trademark Monaco traffic jam.

Jolyon Palmer
Jolyon Palmer

Photo by: GP2 Series Media Service

A lengthy delay ensued while trapped cars were recovered, some bump started and the grid for the safety car restart decided. To add another complication to the mix, cars were allowed to change tyres on the grid (although this wasn't considered a mandatory pit stop).

When the race resumed, Jolyon set about building a big lead, lapping with a blistering pace, at times 1.5 seconds quicker than the rest of the field with a string of fastest laps. Holding a lead of 9.3 seconds on lap 25, Jolyon's advantage was wiped out once more when the safety car was again deployed when Jolyon's immediate championship rival Julian Leal crashed at the Nouvelle chicane. Fortunately, such was Palmer's advantage over his nearest rivals, that he was able to pit and emerge in second place behind Stoffel Vandoorne and ahead of the best placed driver who had already pitted, meaning Jolyon was still running in a defacto lead position.

Vandoorne pitted on lap 33 putting Jolyon back into the lead, and from that point on and despite battling well worn tyres he held the lead to claim an exceptional victory by 0.4s.

Having won the race, claimed pole position and set fastest lap, Jolyon has claimed the maximum 31 points from the weekend so far, and now has a championship lead of 44 points over Felipe Nasr.

Speaking after the race, Jolyon enthused: "It was a tough race! Mitch [Evans] was starting on the option tyres and was very quick early on. I got my head down and luckily I managed to pass him just before the red flag which was really important for the race. After the red flag it was a case of putting in qualifying style laps, pulling out a big gap and then the safety car came out again! So someone wasn't making it easy for me today but I'm absolutely delighted.

"During the red flag period I just had to relax, there was nothing I could do about it and it was a case of focussing on what was going to be a 30 lap race instead of a 42 lap race. I still had to do a pit stop but a safety car restart made it easier and we've had the pace all weekend so far so I knew we'd be quick. The safety car came in and I put the hammer down.

"It'll be tough to make it six podiums from six races when I start eighth on the grid tomorrow but it's been a perfect start to the season and everything has gone to plan so far. The race was difficult, we still managed to win it but anything can happen, we've see so much chaos in GP2, even in that race so we'll see what tomorrow has to bring."

Monaco GP2 Feature Race result:

1. J Palmer, DAMS, 40 laps
2. M Evans, Russian Time, +0.4s
3. F Nasr, Carlin, +0.6s
4. J Cecotto, Trident, +2.1s
5. S Canamasas, Trident, +2.8s
6. A Pic, Campos, +6.1s
7. R Haryanto, Caterham +8.7s
8. S Richelmi, DAMS, +9.5s
9. A Quaife-Hobbs, Rapax, +9.7s
10. T Ellinas, MP Motorsport, +10.1s

Jolyon Palmer

shares
comments
Palmer wins action-packed feature race at Monaco
Previous article

Palmer wins action-packed feature race at Monaco

Next article

Richelmi powers to home victory

Richelmi powers to home victory
Load comments
Oscar Piastri: The F1 junior that has run out of places to prove himself Prime

Oscar Piastri: The F1 junior that has run out of places to prove himself

The dominant force of the junior single-seater ranks finds himself without a drive for 2022, but it isn’t stopping Oscar Piastri from plotting his path to the top. With Alpine potentially set for a driver dilemma for 2023, the newly-crowned Formula 2 champion is ready and waiting for his F1 shot.

FIA F2
Dec 14, 2021
What next for "too politically incorrect" for F1 Ticktum? Prime

What next for "too politically incorrect" for F1 Ticktum?

Having by his own admission "blown my chances" of reaching Formula 1, Dan Ticktum is facing an uncertain future. A driver of unquestioned ability who has at times been his own worst enemy, can he apply his lessons and rebuild his career hopes?

FIA F2
Sep 30, 2021
How Piastri could be forced to spend 2022 on the bench Prime

How Piastri could be forced to spend 2022 on the bench

Tipped as the next big thing after winning the FIA Formula 3 championship in his rookie season, Oscar Piastri has taken Formula 2 by storm and looks set to clinch that title too. But with no Formula 1 seat available to him for next year, the Alpine junior may have to wait for his time in the spotlight…

FIA F2
Sep 24, 2021
How Campos Racing has bounced back from its devastating loss Prime

How Campos Racing has bounced back from its devastating loss

After the sudden death of its founder in January, Formula 2 stalwart Campos Racing was left facing its hardest season to date. But new team boss Adrian Jr is determined to honour his father’s legacy and has returned the team to its winning ways

FIA F2
Sep 20, 2021
How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived Prime

How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived

After a chaotic 2020, marred by the coronavirus pandemic, the FIA brought in radical changes to Formula 2 and 3. But less than 12 months later, there are talks of them being reversed after all did not go to plan…

FIA F2
Sep 9, 2021
The Red Bull F1 junior aiming to defy geographical odds Prime

The Red Bull F1 junior aiming to defy geographical odds

It's a long way from Pukekohe New Zealand to Milton Keynes, but Red Bull's Kiwi protege Liam Lawson has defied plenty of odds to reach the rung below F1. He's endured disappointment since winning on his F2 debut in Bahrain, but is determined to turn his season around and prove himself worthy of a place on the F1 grid

FIA F2
Jul 27, 2021
How Red Bull's next F1 hopeful turned around his season Prime

How Red Bull's next F1 hopeful turned around his season

Having impressed in Formula 3, Juri Vips looked to be next cab off the rank in Red Bull's prestigious Junior Team before his 2020 schedule was dealt a heavy blow by the COVID-19 pandemic. After a tough start to life in Formula 2, Vips is showing signs of a recovery - could he be the first Estonian to reach Formula 1?

FIA F2
Jun 14, 2021
How F1 hopeful Pourchaire is re-writing the F2 record books Prime

How F1 hopeful Pourchaire is re-writing the F2 record books

He'd marked himself out as a star of the future in last year's FIA Formula 3 championship, but 17-year-old Theo Pourchaire underlined his credentials by winning his first Formula 2 race in the Monaco feature. Sauber junior status gives him a clear route to the top, but with wisdom beyond his years, he's not getting caught up in his own hype.

FIA F2
Jun 3, 2021