Brands Hatch, 3 May 2009: Team Monaco has finished its inaugural A1GP World Cup of Motorsport in 9th place in the 2008/9 championship with 35 points from 14 race starts. The respectable results achieved by the series' newest team include one...
Brands Hatch, 3 May 2009: Team Monaco has finished its inaugural A1GP World Cup of Motorsport in 9th place in the 2008/9 championship with 35 points from 14 race starts. The respectable results achieved by the series' newest team include one podium finish, seven top ten finishes and one pole position.
Clivio Piccione started the morning's 18-laps Sprint race from 14th place on the grid. After the usual first corner battle for racing position, Clivio slipped down a couple of places and his race was to prove short lived from there. As Clivio made his way down the pitlane from the team's mandatory pitstop on lap 8 the car was stopped at the end of pitlane with a bodywork fire which ended Team Monaco's Sprint race.
It was an action packed 50-laps Feature race this afternoon with Clivio starting alongside pole-sitter and championship contenders team Ireland. The safety car was deployed immediately after an incident at turn one on lap one between teams India, USA and China. When it returned to the pits on lap five Clivio was hot on the tail of Ireland up until the Irish team made its first mandatory pitstop. From leading the race Monaco made a longer than anticipated pitstop two laps later, which meant that Clivio rejoined the race in fifth position. With pace in the car but nowhere for Clivio to overtake, the order of the race remained the same until the second mandatory pitstop window opened with 21 laps remaining. Monaco made its last stop immediately, overtook team Portugal and was running in fourth place after all the cars had pitted. With six of his eight PowerBoost's remaining, Clivio pushed team Switzerland hard, but again with fast laps times and pace in the car he was unable to pass the third placed team all the way to the chequered flag due to the tight configuration and narrow Brands Hatch track.
Clivio Piccione, Driver and Seat Holder: "The start of the last race was good, but not perfect. I could not get in front of Ireland at turn one and as we both pulled away I was catching up to them in the first stint. Everything was feeling good and we had good lap times, but the first stop was too long. I believe this is where we lost out on a podium finish. I was playing catch up after that. I had to follow Portugal who was slower than our car and I could not go anywhere. The second stop was okay, we managed to pass Portugal, but after that I was playing catch up with Switzerland and we were quicker than them too. We ended in fourth place, which is a bit disappointing, as there was no opportunity to overtake, but that's the way it is at Brands Hatch. Our final championship position is a good result. We were hoping to be in the top ten at the end of our first season and we have achieved that, although a couple of missed podium opportunities at the last round and here today meant that a better position was within our grasp. The team improved throughout the season and our car was one of the strongest. To put the team together and to produce these results within eight months is a pretty good job, so now we shall focus on getting everything together for next season. I would like to thank the whole team for their hard work this year."
Graham Taylor, Team Principal: "It has been a long journey in a short period of time. I would like to thank everybody involved with the A1 Team Monaco project -- all their hard work, dedication, motivation and abilities - for bringing us to this position at the end of our first season. We are all disappointed not to be standing on the podium at the end of the final race and this emotion shows how far we have come as a team. Clivio and Hubertus have created a great project and I look forward to helping them bring more successes to A1 Team Monaco."