- GP2, Singapore Grand Prix, Race 1
Palmer snatches victory from team-mate Nasr in Singapore
Jolyon Palmer won the GP2 feature race at the Singapore Grand Prix, snatching victory from his Carlin team-mate Felipe Nasr who desperately needed the win for his championship challenge.
None of the title rivals had it easy in the opening race of the weekend, with championship leader Fabio Leimer back in fifth after losing a position in the closing stages to Stephane Richelmi. Sam Bird salvaged eighth position and the reverse grid pole after starting tenth, while Stefano Coletti's hopes took another hit as he finished a distant 12th outside of the points.
The Carlin duo were the stars of the race, but Palmer did himself no favours with a terrible start that dropped him to fourth. Nasr took the lead ahead if Leimer in second and immediately looked at ease as Palmer started his fightback by passing James Calado for third on the first lap.
By lap four Palmer was past Leimer, who throughout the race drove very conservatively, and then the race turned into a straight fight between the Carlin drivers. Nasr pitted first on lap nine for rear tyres before Palmer followed suit three laps later. The gap of over 10 seconds as Palmer rejoined looked insurmountable in equal machinery but the Briton was in a league of his own, a whole second faster than Nasr and two seconds faster than the rest of the field.
Nasr meanwhile was struggling with his front tyres and after a number of lock-ups wore his front right down to the canvas. Palmer smelt victory and on lap 25 got a better exit than his team-mate out of Turn 5, cruised past him in the kink at Turn 6 and easily fended off the late braking - and lock-up - of Nasr at Turn 7. From that point onwards it was plain sailing for Palmer and Nasr, despite his tyre issues, had a big enough gap to Calado in third to nurse the car home.
Calado was under pressure from Leimer but, despite a few front lock ups, soaked up the pressure and backed the championship leader into Richelmi. The DAMS driver had also been late to pit, and with Leimer still thinking about points in the championship, Richelmi completed an audacious overtaking move two laps from the end by drifting his car out of turn nine and completing the move into Turn 10.
Tom Dillmann finished 10 seconds behind in sixth ahead of Marcus Ericsson in seventh, Bird in eighth, Jon Lancaster in ninth and Dani Clos, who also struggled with his tyres, in tenth.