Palmer crowned GP2 champion with superb Sochi win

2014 GP2 Series. Round 10.  'Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia.''Saturday 11 October 2014.'Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), celebrates with his team'Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.'ref: Digital Image _SBL0103 SUS-141210-110103002
2014 GP2 Series. Round 10. 'Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia.''Saturday 11 October 2014.'Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), celebrates with his team'Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.'ref: Digital Image _SBL0103 SUS-141210-110103002

Southwater’s Jolyon Palmer has won the 2014 GP2 Championship after storming to victory in the Feature Race at Sochi Autodrom in Russia yesterday.

Palmer’s fourth race win of the season secured him the title with three races in the series remaining and makes him the first Briton to win the championship since Lewis Hamilton in 2006.

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Rising from fourth on the grid, Palmer held second early in the race after a bullish opening lap before timing his pit stop to perfection when the safety car came out on lap eight.

He moved to the front when runners in front pitted, again demonstrating the overtaking prowess which has become his trademark this season, and withstood late race pressure from Mitch Evans to claim the win and the championship.

Palmer now holds an unassailable 66 point lead over his nearest title rival, Felipe Nasr, who endured a nightmare race and could only finish 18th.

Palmer said: Jolyon commented: “This feels amazing. It wasn’t going to be easy to win the championship this weekend, especially today after missing out on pole yesterday. I can’t thank the team enough, they’ve done an incredible job all year, we’ve been fighting for pretty much every Feature Race win and every pole with almost no mistakes. It feels amazing to be champion!

“The pressure is off us now and we’ve got another race tomorrow and another round at Abu Dhabi. We can go out now, enjoy it and have some fun!

“Looking through the list of previous GP2 Champions, they’re all unbelievable drivers, and to be on that list is something which can’t be taken away from me, it’s an incredible feeling.”

The victory means he has amassed 256 points, a GP2 record. In the 19 races so far he has finished in the top three 11 times, with wins at Sakhir in Bahrain, on the streets of Monaco, at high-speed Monza in Italy, and now in Russia.

Palmer joins Nico Rosberg, Hamilton, Romain Grosjean, Nico Hulkenberg and Pastor Maldonando as champion of F1’s premier feeder series.