Monza GP2: Jolyon Palmer fastest in practice

Jolyon Palmer set the quickest time in free practice for round nine of the GP2 Series at Monza on Friday morning.

Carlin driver Palmer lapped the Italian Grand Prix venue in 1m32.120s, just three thousandths of a second faster than Racing Engineering’s Fabio Leimer.

Palmer was fastest in the first and third sectors, with Leimer gaining his time in the second.

Leimer’s fellow title contender Sam Bird was third quickest for Russian Time. Stephane Richelmi was a late improver, up to fourth for DAMS, as team-mate Marcus Ericsson was only ninth and forced to pull off at Rettifilo near the end of the session.

Bird’s team-mate Tom Dillmann was fifth fastest, ahead of points leader Stefano Coletti, whose session was ruined when he ran into the back of Johnny Cecotto Jr at the exit of Rettifilo, breaking his front wing, an incident that has been referred to the stewards.

The session was previously interrupted after five minutes when Cecotto ran into the gravel at Parabolica and he spun across the track as he tried to rejoin, stranding him sideways in the middle of track and causing a red flag.

Of the other title contenders, Felipe Nasr was only 15th, but aborted a couple of quicker laps. James Calado, fresh from FP1 running with Force India, set the early pace but ended the session 11th.

Other incidents included Sergio Canamasas spinning off at Ascari, Rene Binder’s engine cover coming off, and Jon Lancaster, returning in place of Robin Frijns at Hilmer, going off briefly at Lesmo 2.

Series debutant Sergio Campana, who replaces Ricardo Teixeira at Trident, was slowest, 2.3s off the pace.

Pos Driver                 Team                  Time      Gap     Laps
 1. Jolyon Palmer          Carlin                1m32.120s   	    12
 2. Fabio Leimer           Racing Engineering    1m32.123s  +0.003  11
 3. Sam Bird               Russian Time          1m32.351s  +0.231  11
 4. Stefano Richelmi       DAMS                  1m32.501s  +0.381  13
 5. Tom Dillmann           Russian Time          1m32.502s  +0.382  10
 6. Stefano Coletti        Rapax                 1m32.532s  +0.412  12
 7. Julian Leal            Racing Engineering    1m32.586s  +0.466  11
 8. Simon Trummer          Rapax                 1m32.634s  +0.514  13
 9. Marcus Ericsson        DAMS                  1m32.711s  +0.591  12
10. Alexander Rossi        Caterham              1m32.743s  +0.623  12
11. James Calado           ART                   1m32.863s  +0.743  13
12. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs    Hilmer                1m32.877s  +0.757  13
13. Mitch Evans            Arden                 1m32.951s  +0.831  12
14. Dani Clos              MP Motorsport         1m32.966s  +0.846  11
15. Felipe Nasr            Carlin                1m33.029s  +0.909  12
16. Jake Rosenzweig        Addax                 1m33.045s  +0.925  11
17. Jon Lancaster          Hilmer                1m33.067s  +0.947  12
18. Daniel Abt             ART                   1m33.092s  +0.972  13
19. Rio Haryanto           Addax                 1m33.172s  +1.052  10
20. Nathanael Berthon      Trident               1m33.174s  +1.054  13
21. Sergio Canamasas       Caterham              1m33.369s  +1.249  11
22. Johnny Cecotto Jr.     Arden                 1m33.389s  +1.269  11
23. Daniel de Jong         MP Motorsport         1m33.447s  +1.327  12
24. Vittorio Ghirelli      Lazarus               1m33.465s  +1.345  13
25. Rene Binder            Lazarus               1m33.943s  +1.823  12
26. Sergio Campana         Trident               1m34.448s  +2.328  12