Friday, July 27 2012
Jolyon Palmer just missed out on pole by 0.1s during today's
(Saturday) closely fought GP2 qualifying session at the
Hungaroring, with the Brit securing an excellent P3 for the opening
On a damp but drying track, Jolyon, like a number of drivers, elected not to go out straight away; instead waiting for conditions to improve. With 10 minutes gone, the 21-year-old headed out onto the 4.381km circuit using the option tyres and was immediately on course for provisional pole until he pushed too hard on his first flying lap to run wide.
He quickly recovered though to go seventh on his next quick lap before heading to the pits for fresh tyres. When he re-emerged, there was just six minutes remaining with Jolyon showing blistering pace and setting personal bests in all three sectors to lie P2.
Jolyon then almost went even quicker on his final lap, claiming the fastest time of all in sector two, but lost a precious few tenths in the closing stages to end P4 following Max Chilton's late pole lap.
However, a two-place grid penalty for James Calado meant Jolyon was classified third and equalling his best ever qualifying position. The session was also one of the closest on record with a remarkable 19 drivers covered by less than a second.
Speaking afterwards Jolyon said: "At the start of the session a couple of corners were slightly damp so we waited for a while in the pits. I didn't manage to get a decent time in on the first set of tyres but straight away was comfortable on the second set. My best lap was nice but not perfect and then at the end I was on a lap that good enough for pole until I cooked the braking in the last sector and lost three tenths. For tomorrow I think we can fight for the win and achieve a minimum of a podium after the pace we had today."
Tomorrow's Feature Race gets underway at 14:40 (UK time) with full coverage on Jolyon's official website www.jolyonpalmer.com
GP2 Hungaroring, qualifying results:
1. M Chilton, Carlin, 1:28.980s
2. D Valsecchi, DAMS, +0.054s
3. J Palmer, iSport, +0.113s
4. J Calado, Lotus GP, +0.023s*
5. L Razia, Arden, +0.197s
6. G VD Garde, Caterham, +0.222s
7. E Gutierrez, Lotus GP, +0.268s
8. F Leimer, Racing, +0.354s
9. M Ericsson, iSport, +0.365s
10. J Cecotto, Addax, +0.387s
* After two place grid penalty