Circuit de Monaco
Strong Pace From Carlin In Monaco Qualifying
Max Chilton qualified in a competitive seventh place in Monaco today, following a chaotic GP2 session around the principality this afternoon. Team mate Oliver Turvey was 16th quickest, having been taken out mid way through the session by eventual pole man Giedo van der Garde.
A 30 minute practice session this morning allowed the GP2 drivers to familiarise themselves with the Monaco circuit. Predictably, it was a session filled with disruptions, with several yellow flags and one red flag period. Chilton was on the pace in the early stages; the 20 year-old was fourth quickest with ten minutes to go while Turvey was 11th.
The main interruption came with 13 minutes to go, when a red flag was needed to clear debris at turn 16. Heading back out on track after the interruption, Chilton was 12th while Turvey was 19th. Chilton would improve in his final laps to finish inside the top ten in ninth.
If this morning’s practice session was eventful, this afternoon’s qualifying session was chaotic. Several drivers were involved in collisions on track and as the pressure mounted, driving standards seemed to suffer.
Both Carlin drivers were on the pace in the first half of the session and were both in the top ten, with Turvey seventh and Chilton ninth. Turvey was soon the innocent victim of an accident however which effectively ended his session. Giedo van der Garde closed in on the Carlin driver through the swimming pool complex and rammed Turvey off the track, bending his front right track rod in the process.
Several red and yellow flags disrupted proceedings with seemingly an accident every lap at Rascasse. With three minutes remaining on the clock Chilton was 10th while Turvey was 12th, but the times soon started to tumble as drivers tried to make the most of new tyres.
Having been forced to pit for repairs, Turvey saw his qualifying session seriously compromised. With no time to make a full repair, the Racing Steps Foundation graduate returned to the track still with a damaged front right corner and wasn’t able to complete a flying lap on his new tyres and finished the session 16th.
Chilton meanwhile found space on his final lap and improved to 8th, which becomes 7th when Jules Bianchi’s five place grid penalty from Barcelona is taken into account.
Speaking about his qualifying session, Chilton said, “Today’s qualifying session was a really good performance by the whole team. I was well within my target to qualify within the top ten and was able to get a couple of clear laps and push really hard with a good car. It sounds like I was pretty fortunate and missed a lot of incidents this afternoon. There was more and more debris on track with every lap but I managed to stay out of trouble and push when the circuit was green. I’m really looking forward to the first race tomorrow.”
The GP2 drivers will take to the track again at 11.15 local time tomorrow for Race 1.