The GP2 Series went green today at Monte Carlo in the fifth round of the 2012 soeason. Race 1 has been exciting for Trident Racing, as the team followed a positive race ending up with a valuable 8th place scored by Stéphane Richelmi. For the Monaco-based driver it's been a great result as he will now be able to start on pole tomorrow thanks to the reversed top-8 grid.
Qualifying hadn't been particularly lucky for Richelmi and Julian Leal. In the 14 minutes available, the first couldn't do more than the 7th best laptime of his group and settled for a 7th row position, just in front of the latter.
Richelmi had a really quick start as he managed to get up to 5th by the end of the opening lap. The work was completed by the Trident Racing pit wall with a perfect strategy. The pit-stop happened in the right moment for Richelmi to be back on-track and push harder than he could. By the time all the others stopped, he was in 8th place and held the position until the finish.
Leal saw his chances vanish in the early stages. A slight move befor the start cost him a drive-through, and a T1 contact damaged his wing, compromising his car's set-up. The weekend's GP2 Series schedule will be completed tomorrow with the running of Race 2, starting at 16:10.
Stéphane Richelmi, 8th
"Finally I made a great start. I recovered a couple of positions and was behind Dillmann. I was faster than him but passing at Monte Carlo is almost impossible without a mistake from your opponent. The pit-stop has been perfect both in terms of speed and timing so I pushed really hard while profiting from the fresh tires. I'm extremely happy because going from 14th to 8th is a great result on this track. I hope for a positive ending tomorrow in Race 2. A good start will be key".
Julian Leal, 21st "My race has been compromised in its very early stages. I moved on the grid, just a little, and the steward assessed me a drive-through. Then, after the start, a couple of cars I had in front touched at St. Devote. In the melee I slightly hit one of them, damaging my front wing and that took its toll on the car's handling. The first part of the race has been particularly difficult, then during the pit-stop the team changed my wing and I logged the kind of laptimes I was expecting beforehand. We know we have a great car, but in order to use its full potential we have to avoid mistakes."