Circuit de Monaco
Chilton In The Points In Monaco
Carlin’s Max Chilton finished in a very strong seventh place in the GP2 Monaco Feature race today, following a chaotic race around the Principality. Team mate Oliver Turvey finished seventh on the road, but was later handed a 30 second penalty for not having taken a drive-through penalty. Turvey’s penalty meant he was classified 15th, the position he will take on the grid tomorrow. Chilton will line up second in tomorrow’s reverse grid race, taking Carlin’s first front row start in GP2.
A brief rain shower a few minutes before the race this morning caused a few moments of concern for the GP2 drivers, but the sky soon cleared and the sun emerged. Lining up on the grid for race one, Chilton was seventh, while Turvey was 15th.
As the lights went out the stalled car of pole sitter Sam Bird provided an immediate obstacle for Chilton, who was forced to swerve to the left to avoid him. In the melee both Jules Bianchi and Esteban Gutierrez managed to get through. In the run down to the first corner Chilton was wheel to wheel with Jonny Cecotto, but the young Brit held his ground and kept the position. At the end of the first lap Chilton was eighth.
After a compromised qualifying session yesterday, Turvey started in the middle of the field and was boxed in at the start. The Racing Steps graduate lost out to Luiz Razia and Dani Clos and by the end of the first lap was 17th, just ahead of Romain Grojean.
By lap seven, Chilton was still eighth behind Gutierrez and holding a comfortable two second gap from Cecotto in ninth. Turvey meanwhile was 15th.
Chilton pitted from eighth on lap nine, the Carlin team changed both rear tyres, with the 20 year-old returning to the track in 14th, just behind Bird and in front of Charles Pic. Bird pitted a lap later elevating Chilton to 13th.
By lap 14, Chilton had cleared both Bianchi and Gutierrez during the pit stop window and was 10th. Turvey meanwhile was making his way through the field and had climbed to third when he made an unexpected pit stop on lap 16. With his radio broken, Turvey was unable to tell his team he was pitting, but the Carlin mechanics did well to return Turvey to the track in a promising ninth place. Almost immediately the team were notified of a drive through penalty for Turvey who was deemed to have jumped the start.
With no radio contact with his team, Turvey was unaware of the penalty and continued to race, and was running seventh on lap 24, with Chilton just behind him in eighth.
The safety car was deployed on lap 34 to clear away debris following an accident between Marcus Ericsson and Sam Bird, with Ericsson’s rear wing lying on the exit of the tunnel. The racing resumed on lap 36, with both Turvey and Chilton still holding onto position in seventh and eighth respectively.
At the chequered flag Turvey was seventh with Chilton eighth, which would effectively have given Carlin a front row lock out in tomorrow’s reverse grid race. However, Turvey was handed a 30 second penalty for not having taken his drive through and was finally classified 15th . That elevated Chilton to a very strong seventh place, which will give him a front row start on the grid tomorrow.
Speaking about his race, Chilton said, “It was a great race, although it felt quite long! I made a good start but had to find a way past Bird and Bianchi made a good start and got past me. In the early stages I had a good pace and was able to stay quite comfortably ahead of Cecotto. In the second half of the race, the team had told me that Oliver had a drive though, so I didn’t want to risk anything trying to pass him, especially as he is my team mate. Then the safety car closed us all up again, but I held my place at the restart. I think we did a good job as a team today, I’m pleased to have taken some points and we’re in a great position on the grid tomorrow.”
“It was a very exciting and challenging race for the team and drivers with a major element of confusion thrown in due to radio failure on Oliver’s car. This affected our ability to inform him of his drive through penalty and as importantly to notify him when to pit. Under the circumstances the mechanics did a fantastic job. Max drove a faultless race and richly deserved to score points this morning. Oliver was unlucky in that his car moved slightly when he put it into gear on the grid and it wasn’t a jump start as such, but rules are rules.”