Mitch Evans took his maiden GP2 victory after a titanic battle with Jolyon Palmer
Second place at Silverstone sees Palmer extend championship lead
By William Esler
Last Updated: 05/07/14 5:00pm
Mitch Evans took his maiden GP2 victory after a tremendous battle with Jolyon Palmer in the Feature Race at Silverstone.
The Russian Time driver waited a lap longer than Palmer to make his mandatory stop and the crucial tenths he picked up with a qualifying style in-lap as the DAMS man brought his tyres up to temperature made the difference.
The pair were in a league of their own as Evans finished over 25 seconds clear of third-placed Stoffel Vandoorne, but the battle between the top two was physical on occasion. Evans forced Palmer off the track at Village to take second on the opening lap, before the Briton lunged back through at The Loop a couple of laps later.
They would go wheel-to-wheel again later through Brooklands and Luffield as the DAMS man attempted brave moves around the outside of both corners on lap 21, but the end result was his car bouncing across the gravel on the exit of the latter corner.
Palmer cut a dejected figure in parc ferme following the race, but with Johnny Cecotto and Felipe Nasr finishing down in sixth and seventh respectively, the Briton’s lead at the top of the Drivers’ Championship has increased.
“Overall it is good, but to be honest I am gutted not to win as I thought that was in the bag,” the Sky Sports columnist said after the race. “But I am pleased for Mitch and the iSport Russian Time guys who have done a good job. DAMS did a good job as well and maybe we should have won the race, but I'm happy with second.”
Pole-sitter Raffaele Marciello could perhaps have been a closer third to Evans and Palmer than Vandoorne, but ran into reliability problems around half distance. He had run a reverse strategy to the men immediately behind him by starting on the option tyre and stormed into an early lead, but he caught traffic after his early stop which ruled him out of contention for the win long before his Racing Engineering car came to a halt on the side of the track.
Julian Leal recovered from a poor opening lap to take fourth, fractionally ahead of Stefano Coletti who stormed through the pack from 11th on the grid – the pair banging wheels through the final corners in a frantic fight. Sixth for Cecotto saw him close the gap to Nasr in the Championship after a slow pit-stop dropped the Brazilian to seventh, whilst Palmer’s team-mate Stephane Richelmi finished eighth to secure reverse grid pole.
You can see Sunday’s Sprint Race live on Sky Sports F1 from 9:15am.
GP2 Feature Race – Great Britian
1) Mitch Evans (NZL) – Russian Time – 50:56.307
2) Jolyon Palmer (GBR) – DAMS - +4.941
3) Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) – ART Grand Prix - +25.680
4) Julian Leal (COL) – Carlin - +31.912
5) Stefano Coletti (MON) – Racing Engineering - +32.077
6) Johnny Cecotto (VEN) – Trident - +32.225
7) Felipe Nasr (BRA) – Carlin - +32.977
8) Stephane Richelmi (MON) – DAMS - +34.849
9) Marco Sorensen (DEN) – MP Motorsport - +35.055
10) Daniel Abt (GER) – Hilmer Motorsport - +40.275
13) Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (GBR) – Rapax - +45.715
22) Jon Lancaster (GBR) – Hilmer Motorsport - +1:05.083
Raffaele Marciello (ITA) – Racing Engineering – Not classified
1) Jolyon Palmer – 135
2) Felipe Nasr – 90
3) Johnny Cecotto – 84
4) Mitch Evans – 65
5) Julian Leal - 62