Palmer claims first pole position
Jolyon Palmer claimed the first pole position of the GP2 season at Sakhir. Briton set the fastest time of 1:38.865 in a tricky session that saw a red flag period as the newcomer Artem Markelov span on cold tyres at Turn 1 and stopped on track.
Rookie Stoffel Vandoorne finished second, just three hundredths slower than Palmer, but one tenth quicker than Daniel Abt in third place.
The qualifying session opened under the lights of the Bahrain International Circuit and on a much cleaner track compared to this morning’s free practice session. The twenty-six drivers fed onto the track on Pirelli Soft tyres. Felipe Nasr set the early pace. Vandoorne was on a flyer when he went too wide in Turn 14, but still managed to go top. However, Mitch Evans went even quicker and bettered the Belgian’s time by six thousandths.
On the ten minute mark, Abt found some extra pace to clock in a laptime of 1:39.073 and claimed the top spot. Vandoorne improved on his personal best, but had to settle for P2, one tenth slower than the German. At mid-session, all drivers returned to the pits for a set of fresh rubber. As the action resumed on track, Markelov brought out the red flag.
At the re-start, and with seven minutes left on the clock, the drivers re-joined the track for one last attempt. Palmer put his head down and dipped under 1:38. Vandoorne also broke that barrier but was unable to beat the Briton’s laptime. Behind this pair, Abt had to settle for third. Stéphane Richelmi, Rio Haryanto, Stefano Coletti, Evans, Nasr, rookies Raffaele Marciello and Arthur Pic completed the top ten.
GP2 Series - Sakhir 4th April 2014 - Qualifying
|2||Stoffel Vandoorne||ART Grand Prix||1:38.895||10|
|3||Daniel Abt||Hilmer Motorsport||1:39.073||10|
|5||Rio Haryanto||EQ8 Caterham Racing||1:39.228||11|
|6||Stefano Coletti||Racing Engineering||1:39.271||11|
|7||Mitch Evans||RT RUSSIAN TIME||1:39.274||9|
|9||Raffaele Marciello||Racing Engineering||1:39.449||10|
|10||Arthur Pic||Campos Racing||1:39.462||10|
|11||Jon Lancaster||MP Motorsport||1:39.507||10|
|14||André Negrao||Arden International||1:39.647||10|
|15||Alexander Rossi||EQ8 Caterham Racing||1:39.651||10|
|16||Kimiya Sato||Campos Racing||1:39.749||11|
|17||Rene Binder||Arden International||1:39.788||9|
|18||Conor Daly||Venezuela GP Lazarus||1:39.848||10|
|19||Facu Regalia||Hilmer Motorsport||1:39.881||12|
|20||Nathanaël Berthon||Venezuela GP Lazarus||1:39.928||8|
|22||Daniiel De Jong||MP Motorsport||1:40.060||10|
|23||Takuya Izawa||ART Grand Prix||1:40.401||11|
|26||Artem Markelov||RT RUSSIAN TIME||1:41.172||5|