Jolyon Palmer has won the second race of the 2014 GP2 season in the sprint race at the Bahrain International Circuit today, and seized the championship lead on what was a difficult day for American drivers Conor Daly and Alexander Rossi.
The British driver made an excellent start from sixth to trail Simon Trummer off the line, whilst pole-sitter Felipe Nasr made a poor getaway and fell down the order. Feature race winner Stoffel Vandoorne suffered a puncture when trying to overtake Daniel de Jong, and Alexander Rossi had a similar problem, effectively ending his race before it had really started.
Palmer took the lead of the race from Trummer at the beginning of lap two, and managed to keep the Austrian behind him for the rest of the race despite coming under considerable pressure. Colombia’s Julian Leal also continued his good form from yesterday to tail the leaders right the way to the flag, and claim a second podium finish of the weekend. In second place, the result marked Trummer’s first podium finish, and he was clearly elated on the podium after the race.
Further back, a number of tight battles took place as the rest of the field battled for the final points paying positions. Ferrari junior Raffaele Marciello tussled with Daniel Abt, Nathanael Berthon, Johnny Cecotto Jr. and Jon Lancaster for position, but eventually dropped down the order due to a problem with his car.
American driver Conor Daly appeared to be well-placed to pick up the last few points, but after hitting a piece of bodywork from Rene Binder’s car, he was forced to return to the pits and retire from the race. After suffering a puncture, compatriot Alexander Rossi failed to make up any ground and finished in 25th, albeit with the fastest lap of the race to claim two points.
GP2 now takes a break until the beginning of the European season in Spain (May 9-11), and Palmer will be keen on continuing his scintillating start to the season at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya next time out.