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Superb maiden GP2 podium for Palmer in Abu Dhabi

Saturday, November 12 2011

Jolyon Palmer produced an outstanding drive on his Addax debut to claim his maiden GP2 podium during today's (Saturday) GP2 Finals Feature race at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi.

The 20-year-old, who enjoyed a string of top 10 finishes this year to end as one of the leading rookies, got away cleanly off the line from his best ever starting position of P5 and made up two places early on to bring his car home in an impressive third place.

As the lights went out, Palmer showed good pace during the early stages easily matching the leader's times and briefly leading the race before pitting mid-way through the 31-lap race.

With fresh Pirelli tyres on he returned to the 5.554km track in P4 but after the pit stop shuffle the Brit was once again in third.

Palmer continued to put in quick and consistent lap times around the Abu Dhabi circuit as he chased down second place man Luiz Razia in the AirAsia car.

In the closing stages, iSport's Marcus Ericsson was beginning to catch but the Addax driver never looked fazed as he crossed the line as the leading Brit and his best finish to date in the F1 feeder-series. His team-mate Jake Rosenzweig, meanwhile, failed to finish.

Speaking after the race Palmer said: "I had a good start and took advantage of a collision at the first corner to run P3 for the first stint. I was starting to catch Razia for second when he pitted. I pitted two laps later and lost time whilst he was on newer rubber. After the stop I had big problems with front flat spots and degradation as we only changed rears in the stop so I didn't have the pace to challenge the top two anymore, but I was able to do enough to hold off Ericsson and take my first podium. I am extremely happy and want to say thanks to Addax for giving me a great opportunity here."

Racing Engineering's Fabio Leimer secured the overall honours just ahead of Razia with Jolyon third meaning he'll start from the third row of the grid (P6) tomorrow.

Jolyon returns to the track on Sunday at 13:30 local time (09:30 GMT) for the final race of the 2011 GP2 Series.

Abu Dhabi, GP2 Finals race one results:

1. F Leimer, Racing, 31 laps
2. L Razia, AirAsia, +6.9s
3. J Palmer, Addax, +28.7s
4. M Ericsson, iSport, +29.8s
5. K Ceccon, Scuderia, +36.6s
6. T Dillmann, iSport, +41.5s
7. A Felix da Costa, Ocean, +42.4s
8. J Calado, ART, +45.6s
9. N Berthon, Racing, +51.3s
10. S Coletti, Scuderia, +62.4s

For more information visit www.jolyonpalmer.com