Racing Engineering's Christian Vietoris finishes fourth in Monza Starting today's feature race from 9th and 10th positions respectively, Dani Clos and Christian Vietoris knew that points were well within reach at the Autodromo di Monza. While ...
Racing Engineering's Christian Vietoris finishes fourth in Monza
Starting today's feature race from 9th and 10th positions respectively, Dani Clos and Christian Vietoris knew that points were well within reach at the Autodromo di Monza. While Christian was the luckier of the two Racing Engineering drivers, finishing the race in an excellent 4th place, Dani Clos' race came to an early end on the opening lap when he spun in turn 4 after being hit by van der Garde.
Saturday's GP2 feature race at Monza was not an easy one for both Racing Engineering drivers. While red and yellow flags affected their qualifying results and keeping them from finishing flying laps, Dani and Christian started the race from the challenging starting positions of 9th and 10th on the grid. Although both Racing Engineering drivers had a safe getaway, Dani's luck changed in turn 4. Entering the second chicane, Dani, who was so optimistic and eager to score points after his great recovery after the accident in Spa, was lucky to not be directly affected by a dangerous maneuver from Filippi. However, the Italian hit the car of van der Garde quite hard and the Dutch driver touched the back of Dani's car, sending the Racing Engineering driver into a spin. Dani's race was over as his engine stalled and the young Spaniard was left without any chance to fight for points and therefore defend his third position in the championship standings.
With three cars stopped in the chicane, the safety car was deployed and the race neutralized. Christian Vietoris was lucky to escape the accident scene without any damage to his car. Seeing Dani kicked out of the race right in front of him, the German had little time to react and chose to take the normal race line through the chicane. Several other drivers cut the chicane at that moment and Christian dropped back to 12th position.
When the race restarted at the end of the following lap, an accident involving several cars in the first chicane was the next breathtaking moment for the Racing Engineering driver. With several cars stopped in the middle of the chicane, Christian was once more lucky to avoid an accident putting him in 9th position when the safety car deployed again.
The second restart went well for all drivers and the Racing Engineering crew opted for an early pit stop for the young German on lap 7. A very fast tyre change allowed Christian to rejoin the race in 11th position and take advantage of his track position to set several fastest lap times. This meant that Christian would jump several drivers in front of him as soon as they went into the pits for their obligatory pit stops. The Racing Engineering driver gained positions until he running in 4th by lap 18. Christian was held this position until the end of the race, finishing in a fantastic fourth place after having started from 10th.
Christian will start Sunday's sprint race, which is scheduled for 10.35 CET, from 5th position due to the reverse grid rule.
Christian Vietoris: "The start was good, but then chaos broke out during the opening lap. I was behind Dani when he spun. While many drivers cut the chicane, I kept the line and lost some positions. When there was the other big accident in turn 1, it was a similar situation. I didn't know where to go to avoid impact and stayed on the outside, lucky to not be affected by the other cars which were struggling. After that, we had a really good strategy and fast pit stop. Our pace was really good with the new tyres and I was able to overtake some drivers. In the end it wasn't enough to catch and pass Turvey, but from 10th to 4th is not bad and a good base for tomorrow's race."
Dani Clos: "I had a normal start and was able to maintain my position through the first chicane. Then Filippi made a strange maneuver overtaking me, but this dangerous move had him crash into the car of van der Garde. I was still able to avoid both cars, but lost control when van der Garde hit the back of my car. It's a shame as the points lost from these races are very important for the championship."
Andrew Ferguson, Chief Engineer of Racing Engineering: "Unfortunately, contact with another car sent Dani into a spin and he stalled his engine. That was the end of his race. Then, due to a number of incidents on the circuit, we switched Christian's strategy to an early pit stop, which gave him a good track position and proved to be the optimal decision for the race. The driver had a race without any issues, to finish in a strong 4th position after having started from 10th. The pit stop was perfect and our guys have done a really good job today."