Jolyon Palmer takes historic maiden victory

Jolyon Palmer takes historic maiden victory
Briton follows father as Formula Two race winner

Race 1 podium and results:
1st Jolyon Palmer (GBR), centre.
2nd Dean Stoneman (GBR), left.
3rd Sergey Afanasiev (RUS), right.
FIA Formula Two Championship, Rd1, Silverstone, England, Sunday 18 April 2010.

Jolyon Palmer took a historic maiden win in Formula Two in the opening race of the season at Silverstone today, the Briton keeping a cool head to control the race from lights-to-flag.

Dean Stoneman was able to exert steady pressure on Palmer during the opening series of laps, but lost ground after a spin at Becketts in the mid stages. Such was the dominance of the top two however, that Stoneman was able to return to the track and maintain second position, eventually finishing the race little over three seconds behind Palmer.

Palmer’s victory is the first for a British driver in the new era of Formula Two and he becomes the first Brit to take a win since his father Jonathan won in Mugello, Italy, in 1983. The former F2 champion and Chief Executive of MotorSport Vision was at Silverstone today to witness his son’s success and hand an ecstatic Jolyon his trophy at the end of the race.

"It’s fantastic, all I could have hoped for really," said Jolyon. "I was under pressure at the start but managed to hold it off and get a small gap. Then I was just concentrating on saving my tyres for the last laps, not making any mistakes and trying to keep focused. I am really delighted with my first F2 win."

The race played into Palmer’s hands from the start, with the 19-year-old enjoying a fantastic getaway off the line whilst his fellow front row racer Johan Jokinen bogged down. Stoneman nipped into second as Jokinen, Afanasiev and Philipp Eng went three wide down to turn one. Afanasiev won the battle into Copse and Jokinen then endured a trip across the grass at Becketts – dropping to 13th place in the process.

Afanasiev and Eng were joined by Kazim Vasiliauskas after the Lithuanian got by Will Bratt, and the trio fought for position in the early stages, allowing Palmer and Stoneman to pull out a gap. Eng and Vasiliauskas could not match Afanasiev’s pace as the race wore on however, and all three drivers maintained position until the finish, which gave Russian driver Afanasiev a podium on his F2 debut.

Will Bratt experienced a lonely sixth place, more than 11 seconds ahead of Mihai Marinescu and Armaan Ebrahim. With Formula Two following the new F1 points system for 2010 it means that points are awarded to the top ten drivers in each race, which will be some consolation for series returnee Nicola De Marco who took ninth ahead of debutant Benjamin Lariche.

FIA Formula Two Championship – Rounds 1 & 2 – Silverstone, UK – Race 1 Classification:
1. Jolyon Palmer, 23 laps
2. Dean Stoneman, +3.011s
3. Sergey Afanasiev, +7.084s
4. Philipp Eng, +9.932s
5. Kazim Vasiliauskas, +11.581s
6. Will Bratt, +12.383s
7. Mihai Marinescu, +23.825s
8. Armaan Ebrahim, +26.881s
9. Nicola De Marco, +31.843s
10. Benjamin Lariche, +34.242s

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