Jolyon Palmer has made it a perfect run of podium finishes by winning the action-packed GP2 Series feature race in Monaco.
Palmer, who had qualified on pole position, finished ahead of Mitch Evans and Felipe Nasr who had started the race in 18th. The margin between the three was 0.6 seconds.
Evans started the race on a different strategy to the top ten, electing to run the first stint on the super soft tyres. Initially, the move paid off well as he jumped Palmer at the start and took a commanding lead, setting three consecutive fastest laps.
However his tyres started to wear quickly, allowing Palmer to re-pass Evans for the lead at Sainte Devote on lap 10.
Two laps later, Rene Binder made an optimistic move on team-mate Andre Negrão at the hairpin, spinning him and causing a road block. He was later handed a 10 second stop-go penalty for his actions.
Approximately 15 cars were left lining up from Mirabeau, unable to get past the two Ardens.
The race was red flagged and the cars started to make their way back to the grid. Although it may seem like a simple procedure, some of the cars went into safe mode – where the cars turn off due to overheating – and were stuck on the circuit.
With the help of the marshals, drivers were able to get a push start and make their way back to the grid. Stefano Richelmi and Daniel De Jong needed an extra push and eventually got their cars going whilst in the tunnel.
Alexander Rossi‘s string of bad luck followed him to Monaco, where he too had trouble restarting his car and almost didn’t make it back to the grid. When he did he was informed that he had been given a drive through penalty for pushing Daniel Abt off into the wall prior the red flag.
Facu Regalia was a casualty of the Binder-triggered incident and was forced to retire, seeing both Hilmer Motorsport cars out of the race.
During the red flag drivers took the chance to change tyres; however the change in tyres didn’t count towards their compulsory pit stop.
After a long time under the red flags, the race was finally restarted under the safety car with 29 laps remaining.
Palmer was able to pull away from the field after Evans struggled to warm up his tyres, eventually creating a lead of seven seconds which he needed to counter the threat that Nasr was providing, having made an early pit stop.
Julian Leal was the next driver to hit the wall, after he made a lunge on Raffaele Marciello into the chicane whilst he was pushing for reverse pole position for the sprint race.
This brought out the safety car again, and drivers who were yet to pit got their chance. Three laps later the race resumed under Stoffel Vandoorne, who opted not to pit along with Simon Trummer.
It was after the safety car that Stefano Coletti started to make a charge towards the front after starting in seventh.
He made a stunning move on Nasr on the final corner, then repeated the same move on Evans for third position. When he tried the move for a third time on Trummer who had still yet to pit, the two collided and slid off into the wall. The accident is under investigation by the stewards.
Binder’s horrid day continued as he tried to out muscle Artem Markelov into the chicane with five minutes to run in the race. He ended Markelov’s race and then his own as he ran into the wall at Tabac.
Johnny Cecotto continued his good form finishing in fourth and having some great battles with team-mate Sergio Canamasas, who was right behind in fifth.
Stéphane Richelmi finished in eighth position which will see him start on pole for tomorrow’s feature race.
2014 GP2 Series Race of Monaco – Feature Race Result (40 laps)
|Driver||Team / Entry||Laps||Result|
|2.||Mitch Evans||RT Russian Time||40||+ 0.427|
|3.||Felipe Nasr||Carlin Motorsport||40||+ 0.653|
|4.||Johnny Cecotto Jr||Trident Racing||40||+ 2.175|
|5.||Sergio Canamasas||Trident Racing||40||+ 2.884|
|6.||Arthur Pic||Campos Racing||40||+ 6.187|
|7.||Rio Haryanto||EQ8 Caterham Racing||40||+ 8.718|
|8.||Stéphane Richelmi||DAMS||40||+ 9.594|
|9.||Andrew Quaife-Hobbs||Rapax Team||40||+ 9.785|
|10.||Tio Ellinas||MP Motorsport||40||+ 10.187|
|11.||Daniël de Jong||MP Motorsport||40||+ 10.689|
|12.||Raffaele Marciello||Racing Engineering||40||+ 11.727|
|13.||Conor Daly||Venezuela GP Lazarus||40||+ 12.291|
|14.||Stoffel Vandoorne||ART Grand Prix||40||+ 12.705|
|15.||Kimiya Sato||Campos Racing||40||+ 26.761|
|16.||Alexander Rossi||EQ8 Caterham Racing||40||+ 29.166|
|17.||Nathanaël Berthon||Venezuela GP Lazarus||40||+ 56.107|
|DNF.||René Binder||Arden International||35||Accident|
|DNF.||Artem Markelov||RT Russian Time||35||Accident|
|DNF.||Takuya Izawa||ART Grand Prix||31||Accident|
|DNF.||Simon Trummer||Rapax Team||31||Collision|
|DNF.||Stefano Coletti||Racing Engineering||31||Collision|
|DNF.||Julián Leal||Carlin Motorsport||24||Accident|
|DNF.||Andre Negrão||Arden International||11||Accident|
|DNF.||Daniel Abt||Hilmer Motorsport||9||Accident|
|DNF.||Facu Regalia||Hilmer Motorsport||0||Accident|
Images via GP2 Media