Motor Sport –
Jolyon Palmer twice fought through the field after enduring double frustration at the start of the GP2 season.
The Southwater driver was a lowly 22nd on the grid for the feature race in Malaysia after a throttle problem, but he gained nine places on the opening lap despite a collision caused by Marcus Ericsson towards the end of the first tour.
Palmer and his Carlin team chose to start the race with hard tyres, a strategy which paid off as he led the race before half distance and emerged from his late pit stop in sixth place after 20 of the 31 laps.
Palmer earned his first points of the season by finishing sixth, 34 seconds behind race winner Fabio Leimer.
He lined up for the sprint race in third place, as the top eight places in the feature race were reversed to form the front of the grid, but started from the pit lane after stalling at the start of the green flag (formation) lap.
He was up to 14th by half distance and finished ninth, 24 seconds behind race winner Stefano Coletti and only 0.6 seconds adrift of Rene Binder in eighth, the final points-paying position.
Palmer said: “I made a great start in the feature race and had a good first two laps, then I just focused on pushing as hard as possible. We had a good strategy and the pit stop was perfect.
“I think one more lap in the sprint race and I would have been in the points. It’s good to know that if I’d started third we could have won the race comfortably, but at the same time it’s frustrating to have dropped points.”
Palmer is next in action in Bahrain on April 19-21.