28 May 2012
Palmer and iSport turn their luck around in Monaco
"I'm really happy: it's not normal, two podiums in Monaco, but we managed it! I'm very happy also for the team, and for myself," he told the GP2 Media Service at the post-race press conference. "It was a good start and I was just patient, patient, patient and in the end I was flying, some really fast laps in the end.
"Now we have to work hard again and keep the momentum going," he pointed out. "Let's go to Valencia: I like the track there, so let's see."
But as good as it had been for some, the Monaco sprint race was a disaster for the Trident Racing team despite having their man start on pole position.
"The start hasn't been one of my best, although I didn't lose to much time compared to Calado, who was alongside me," said Stéphane Richelmi who led the field off the starting grid. "I was checking his car in the mirrors when I saw Palmer pulling alongside me on the right. When we got close at Ste. Devote, where the track gets narrow, I just couldn't move. I didn't block Palmer but Calado, who was behind me, did not brake and hit me.
"It's pretty bitter because even though Palmer had gone through, there was all the race in front of us," he sighed. "A second place would also have rewarded the team for their great job over the weekend."
His team mate Julian Leal barely made it any further into the race before getting caught up on the Massenet melée at the top of the hill that eliminated eight cars in all from the race. His car wasn't directly involved, but he stalled the car as he waited to get through the multi-car road block.
“In the chaotic situation created by the crash on lap 1 I hoped to find some space to go around the backup," explained Leal. "Unfortunately, a tyre from another car was in front of my car and the stewards rightfully helped the drivers to come out of their cars before removing the debris.
"I kept my engine on for a lot of time and the temperatures rose: once I got going again everything seemed right but then the engine cut off and I was forced to retire," he added.
Over at Racing Engineering, the outcome was simply rather mixed - with Fabio Leimer and Nathanaël Berthon both surviving the first lap chaos but Leimer becoming a casualty of the Armco barriers on lap 9 when trying to pass his team mate for position.
"The start was really good and I was lucky I got away without any damage," recalled Leimer. "After that I saw I could go faster than the cars ahead of me, I waited for some laps and saw no one made any mistakes. When I saw Nat make a little mistake I tried to pass him. I pushed too much though when on the curbs and I had oversteer which forced me to open up the steering and I hit the wall. Unfortunately the damage was too heavy to continue in the race."
Giedo van der Garde
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