Jolyon Palmer takes his maiden GP2 pole in Singapore as Carlin lock out front row
Championship leader Fabio Leimer third, Sam Bird starts tenth
By William Esler. Last Updated: 20/09/13 6:42pm
Jolyon Palmer: On pole in Singapore
Jolyon Palmer took his maiden GP2 pole position under the floodlights in Singapore as Carlin locked out the frontrow.
Having set the pace during practice, the British driver was once again comfortably quickest when it mattered on the streets around the Marina Bay with a time of 1:53.600, over a quarter of a second faster than team-mate Felipe Nasr.
Drivers' Championship leader Fabio Leimer will start third for Racing Engineering and has great chance to extend his advantage with nearest challenger Sam Bird only tenth fastest.
The RUSSIAN TIME driver was visibly furious throughout the session and in the pits after the chequered flag had fallen after he failed to get a clear lap in. Most of that anger was directed at Arden's Johnny Cecotto whom the Brit was blocked by on two of his final flying laps.
The Venezuelan was subsequently handed a three-place grid penalty for impeding Bird. Julian Leal picked up the same penalty for blocking Cecotto at turn six.
Mitch Evans in the second Arden was the first victim of the new turn ten - the Kiwi carried too much speed into the corner and a slide into the barriers ending his session and causing a caution period which would last five minutes. He will have to rely on dispensation from the stewards to start the race having not set a time with 107% of Palmer.
No sooner had the debris been cleared the session was halted when Daniel Abt's ART stopped on one of the quicker points of the circuit whilst series debutant Gianmarco Raimondo collected the barriers at turn 18.
With 14 minutes remaining qualifying resumed and at that point it was Leimer who was setting the pace, but it was clear there was more to come for the Carlins. Having brought his tyres up to temperature, Palmer blitzed all three sectors to go almost three tenths quicker than the Swiss driver, before Nasr moved himself up to second as he looks to keep his own title hopes alive.
GP2 Qualifying - Singapore
1) Jolyon Palmer (GBR) - Carlin - 1:53.600
2) Felipe Nasr (BRA) - Carlin - +0.252
3) Fabio Leimer (SWI) - Racing Engineering - +0.270
4) Alexander Rossi (USA) - Caterham Racing - +0.685
5) Stephane Richelmi (MON) - DAMS - +0.803
6) Tom Dillmann (FRA) - RUSSIAN TIME - +1.095
7) Sergio Canamasas (ESP) - Caterham Racing - +1.212
8) James Calado (GBR) - ART Grand Prix - +1.222
9) Marcus Ericsson (SWE) - DAMS - +1.387
10) Sam Bird (GBR) - RUSSIAN TIME - +1.563
11) Stefano Coletti (MON) - Rapax - +1.651
18) Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (GBR) - Hilmer Motorsport - +2.547
20) Jon Lancaster (GBR) - Hilmer Motorsport - +2.610