It was another successful race weekend for the ART Grand Prix team when rookie driver Lewis Hamilton dominated the entire weekend with the fastest time in practice, securing a brilliant pole position and then taking the win around the tight and ...
It was another successful race weekend for the ART Grand Prix team when rookie driver Lewis Hamilton dominated the entire weekend with the fastest time in practice, securing a brilliant pole position and then taking the win around the tight and twisty streets of Monte Carlo.
Lewis was one of the first on track and set the early pace, a time that was never really challenged with Franck Perera's best time of 1:20.717 for second on the grid was the closest anyone came to Hamilton's stunning time of 1:21.044. Meanwhile teammate Alex Premat qualified fourth after several red and yellow flags interrupted the session, making it extremely hard for the Frenchman to improve on his times, despite giving it every possible effort.
Lewis took to a perfect start and drove a strong race to take a very impressive victory, his third of the season, crossing the line 8.4 seconds ahead of Perera while teammate Alex Premat joined him on the podium after some brilliant overtaking manoeuvres to make it a one three for the ART team. Lewis is now in the lead of the driver's championship on 49 points, ten ahead of Nelson Piquet while Alex is third on 33 points. ART Grand Prix leads the teams challenge with 82 points ahead of Arden International on 50 and Piquet Sports on 43 points.
Frederic Vasseur: A weekend that we could describe as nearly perfect and it is a credit to the whole team. Our two drivers did not make the smallest mistake and had the perfect race, being aggressive when it was necessary and careful when the race conditions forced them to be cautious. According to our ideal plan, Lewis opened a gap from the very start of the race, and then drove with great maturity. After a chaotic start, Alex delivered a fantastic race, with two overtaking manoeuvres in one lap that should be shown in all the driving schools. The overall result is very positive since Lewis and Alex are now 1st and 3rd in the Drivers standings and ART Grand Prix has quite a nice gap in the Teams championship.
Alexandre Premat: The weekend was overall positive, even if my ambition was to add Monaco to my prize list, as it is the only street race that I have not won yet. Qualifying was a little disappointing for me after free practice had given me an excellent basis. I could not get a clean lap and all the red and yellow flags certainly disrupted things, which caused some damage because the front row was within my range. At the beginning, of the race my car moved slightly when the lights were still red; so I jumped on the clutch a split second, which affected my take off a little. I allowed two competitors past while waiting for the best moment to attack but I had a lot of oversteer on my first set of tyres. With the second set the car was a lot better and I could attack and work my way through the field. With a flat spot on a front tyre, I preferred to ease off a little near the end to ensure a place on the podium, which now sees me in a good position in driver's classification.
Lewis Hamilton: Securing the Pole Position was a great start of what turned out to be a great weekend. The atmosphere in Monaco is awesome and quite unique, as is the driving in these narrow streets where you can't afford the smallest mistake. I took a good start and opened up a gap, then stay focused all the way long to the chequered flag. To win here in Monaco is quite an emotional experience, a one that I love! Monaco is historic and when you grow up you kind of dream to be on the top of the podium here. To come into GP2 in only my first year and win here, and from pole, I couldn't ask for more. The team worked so hard and so well that it deserved this success, and I want to thank each member of ART Grand Prix. Now it's time to focus on Silverstone!