Karun Chandhok drove a perfect race in Monaco this afternoon, but sadly a mechanical failure (transmission) prevented him from collecting a well deserved victory on the most demanding circuit on GP2 Main Series Championship calendar. Starting ...
Karun Chandhok drove a perfect race in Monaco this afternoon, but sadly a mechanical failure (transmission) prevented him from collecting a well deserved victory on the most demanding circuit on GP2 Main Series Championship calendar. Starting second on the grid, the Indian driver made a magnificent start and overtook pole sitter Pastor Maldonado (ART Grand Prix) into braking for the first turn. Karun continued his run at the front withstanding all pressure and was on the verge of crossing the finishing line as a winner when the transmission on his single-seater failed with just nine laps to go. Chandhok constantly maintained a two second lead over Maldonado and controlled the race perfectly, recording several fastest laps in the process. The pace of the n.24 driver is a proof of the quality of work carried out by the Ocean Racing Technology team as well as the extent of its progress. As well as being out in front from the start of the race, even if Maldonado managed to keep him in his sights, third place was more than 20 seconds behind and while Karun was so close to his third victory in the GP2 Main Series, the team could not have anticipated the mechanical failure that so cruelly robbed him of it. "I don't know what to say... We had everything we need to win the race. I made a perfect start and then I stayed focused in order to try and open a gap to be able to control the race in the final stages. My car was very fast and well balanced, it was not destroying the tyres at all. All of a sudden, everything stopped and it's a huge disappointment. Honestly, we could not foresee such a conclusion," explained Karun Chandhok, whose only consolation was to have secured the team's first two points in the first race.
Meanwhile, teammate Alvaro Parente started down in 18th place and then suffered from early contact with the barriers and had his work cut out in order to move up the field on a circuit where it is extremely difficult to overtake. At the half way point, the Portuguese driver was up to 15th, not a very flattering position, but a reflection on the difficulty of passing in Monaco. Parente finally gave up with 13 laps to go, following a slow puncture obtained at the beginning of race. Starting from the back, Alvaro knew that it would be difficult for him to finish in the points to Monaco. "The contact I had in the first race compromised my whole weekend and the second one, at the beginning of the sprint race, put me in an even more difficult situation. I overtook two rivals but the car became more and more difficult to handle. Things were not good for me but we have to start thinking about Turkey. Motivation is intact!"
In Monaco, Tiago Monteiro and Jose Guedes' new team reached a rare performance level for an outfit that is only just taking its first steps in an extremely competitive championship. They were so close to securing their first victory when a mechanical problem put a brutal end to their ride at the head of the race. The directors of Ocean Racing Technology cannot be satisfied by this result, but they are thrilled by the overall progress carried out by the team.
On June 5 in Turkey, Ocean Racing Technology will have just one objective, to finish on the podium.