JOLYON Palmer equalled his best ever finish in GP2 with a ninth place around the streets of Valencia.
The Southwater racer just missed out on a points finish, despite having never raced around the Spanish circuit, which hosted the F1 European Grand Prix on Sunday. It is Jolyon’s first season in GP2 - the feeder series for Formula 1 - and he enjoyed a strong drive, coming from 17th on the grid to finish in the top ten in Saturday’s feature race.
His decision to pit late meant his tyres stayed fresher for longer and consequently he was able to pass several drivers in consecutive laps, moving him up to 10th before gaining a further position before the chequered flag.
During Sunday’s sprint race, Jolyon started ninth, but a tangle with Romain Grosjean left him with front wing damage before a gearbox problem forced an early retirement.
Jolyon said: “It was a good race on Saturday. I had a great start and moved up to 11th by the end of the first lap.
“I suffered a lot of tyre degradation in the first stint and lost time to those around me.
“After the pit stop I came out a few places further down but I managed to push very hard and made some good passes to finish ninth, just outside the points.
“Sunday was a disappointing end to a decent weekend.”