Palmer wins incident-packed Monaco opener
23 May 2014 – Jolyon Palmer won a chaotic GP2 Feature Race in Monaco on Friday. In an encounter interrupted by a red flag phase, the DAMS driver ultimately led home Mitch Evans and Felipe Nasr, who rose from 18th.
As the start lights went out in the Principality, pole-sitter Palmer got bogged down and lost his lead to Evans, who was the only frontrunner to choose the Super Soft tyres over Softs.
After a short Safety Car phase, caused by Facu Regalia's parked Hilmer Motorsport machine, Palmer reeled Evans in and moved back into the lead with a fine move at Ste Devote.
The race took a dramatic turn soon afterwards when René Binder tipped Arden team-mate André Negrão into a spin at the hairpin, blocking the entrance to the corner and subsequently bringing out the red flags.
After a lengthy delay, the race got resumed and Palmer bolted clear. The Briton carved an advantage of almost 10 seconds before Julián Leal hit the barriers at the Nouvelle Chicane and signalled another Safety Car period.
While the majority of drivers, including Palmer, pitted for fresh rubber, ART's Stoffel Vandoorne stayed out.
But the Belgian's lead was short lived, as he came in for his mandatory stop a few laps later en route to 14th.
Palmer's victory had looked under threat in the closing stages, with Racing Engineering's Stefano Coletti carving his way through the field. Having passed Evans and Nasr with bold moves at the final corner, his day came to an end when he attempted to pull the same pass on Simon Trummer, who chose not to leave the room required.
After this, Palmer experienced little drama to take the chequered flag and extend his championship lead.
For the runner-up spot, Evans narrowly fended off Nasr, who delivered an incredible race recovery.
Trident team-mates Johnny Cecotto Jr. and Sergio Canamasas followed in fourth and fifth places, while Arthur Pic, Rio Haryanto, Stéphane Richelmi, Adrian Quaife-Hobbs and Tio Ellinas completing the points positions.
Having finished eighth, Richelmi will start from pole position in the second race of the weekend.
Saturday's Sprint Race in Monaco gets underway at 4.10pm local time (GMT +2)