GP2 LogoBriton untouchable in the streets of Monte Carlo

Series leader Jolyon Palmer has ruled today’s qualifying session in Monte Carlo with another blazing laptime of 1:20.774 leaving only crumbs to his closest rivals. Rio Haryanto who set the quickest laptime in Group B will start from P2 tomorrow whilst Mitch Evans who was second fastest in Palmer’s group will start from third place on the feature race grid.

Group A
The first qualifying group which consisted of all odd numbered cars fed onto the track on super soft Pirelli tyres. Palmer was quick to set the early pace before Johnny Cecotto went top on his fourth lap and dipped under 1m22s. Daniel Abt improved on the Venezuelan’s laptime, but soon after that Cecotto found some extra pace to claim the top spot again. But to no avail: Palmer was on a mission and lapped the track in a 1:20.774. Cecotto tried to deny P1 to Palmer but he hit a bit of traffic at the new chicane hence ruining his efforts. In the dying stages, Evans who had spent the first seven minutes of the sixteen minute long session without a laptime put his head down and edged Cecotto out of P2, but still remained four tenths clear from Palmer.

Group B
The second group of the qualifying session consisted of all even numbered cars. Like his teammate, Stéphane Richelmi set the early pace at the wheel of his DAMS car, but it was Sergio Canamasas who became the first man to break the 1m22s barrier. Stefano Coletti went quickest with Stoffel Vandoorne a shy 0.04s behind. Richelmi was on a flier but he hit a bit of traffic at La Rascasse and thus could not improve. On the next lap, Haryanto was able to find some clean air and went top in a 1:21.433. Vandoorne looked set to better the Indonesian’s laptime but failed by just a hairsbreadth. Local hero Richelmi also tried his hardest to shine and claim the top spot but he hit a bit of traffic again in sector 3. He was however able to better Vandoorne’s laptime and moved up to P2 at the chequered flag.

With Palmer’s laptime being the best of all, the Briton pocketed his second pole position this season. He has looked untouchable through free practice and qualifying and has yet to make a mistake in 2014. Behind the top three, Richelmi, Cecotto, Vandoorne, Abt, Coletti, Raffaele Marciello, and Julian Leal complete the top 10 on tomorrow’s starting grid.

Monte Carlo – Qualifying Session Group A
Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Jolyon Palmer DAMS 1:20.774 10
2. Mitch Evans RT RUSSIAN TIME 1:21.188 10
3. Johnny Cecotto Trident 1:21.361 12
4. Daniel Abt Hilmer Motorsport 1:21.760 10
5. Raffaele Marciello Racing Engineering 1:21.917 11
6. Alexander Rossi EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:22.146 11
7. Simon Trummer Rapax 1:22.296 10
8. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1:22.381 11
9. Kimiya Sato Campos Racing 1:22.588 11
10. Tio Ellinas MP Motorsport 1:22.681 11
11. Conor Daly Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:22.997 12
12. André Negrao Arden International 1:23.178 11
13. Takuya Izawa ART Grand Prix 1:23.259 12

Monte Carlo – Qualifying Session Group B
Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Rio Haryanto EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:21.433 11
2. Stéphane Richelmi DAMS 1:21.444 10
3. Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 1:21.508 10
4. Stefano Coletti Racing Engineering 1:21.649 11
5. Julian Leal Carlin 1:21.752 12
6. Sergio Canamasas Trident 1:21.926 12
7. Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1:22.207 9
8. Rene Binder Arden International 1:22.270 11
9. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Rapax 1:22.277 10
10. Facu Regalia Hilmer Motorsport 1:22.473 12
11. Daniiel De Jong MP Motorsport 1:22.488 11
12. Nathanaël Berthon Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:22.632 10
13. Artem Markelov RT RUSSIAN ROME 1:23.347 11