Palmer takes spirited Singapore win
21 September 2013 – Jolyon Palmer recovered from a poor start to claim an emphatic victory in the GP2 Feature Race at Marina Bay on Saturday afternoon, masterfully hunting down and passing team-mate Felipe Nasr. ART's James Calado completed the podium.
Having lined up in pole position, Palmer got bogged down as the lights went out, with Nasr, Stéphane Richelmi and Fabio Leimer all moving ahead into the first corner. Calado pushed him further back, sparking a fierce battle throughout the opening lap.
After quickly usurping Calado and Richelmi, Palmer got on terms with Leimer, pulling a clean move on his Racing Engineering rival for second position. And despite Nasr holding a massive lead, a thrilling intra-team battle developed at the pit-stop phase.
With both Carlin drivers opting only to change their rear tyres, finding the balance between setting fast times and preserving rubber became a fine art. It was Palmer who ultimately did the best job, reeling in Nasr at more than a second per lap.
The inevitable pass for the lead came with just four laps remaining, Palmer switching back on Nasr along Raffles Boulevard to steal what would have been the Brazilian's first GP2 victory. The latter dropped off massively over the final three laps, locking up on multiple occasions and taking the chequered flag some 13 seconds in arrears.
Calado rose through the field well to finish third, while a charging Richelmi snatched fourth place from Fabio Leimer on the final lap of the race. Tom Dillmann and Marcus Ericsson followed, with Sam Bird – who suffered another botched pit-stop – crossing the line in eighth and crucially securing pole position for the reverse grid race on Sunday. Jon Lancaster and Dani Clos rounded out the points-paying positions.
In the championship standings, Leimer now holds a 12-point advantage over Bird.
Sunday's Sprint Race in Singapore begins at 4.10pm local time (GMT +8)