Nelson Panciatici takes top ten finish in Monaco From the very first action on the streets of Monaco, Nelson Panciatici felt confident behind the wheel of Junior Lotus Racing's Formula Renault 3.5 Series car and produced a performance that saw...
Nelson Panciatici takes top ten finish in Monaco
From the very first action on the streets of Monaco, Nelson Panciatici felt confident behind the wheel of Junior Lotus Racing's Formula Renault 3.5 Series car and produced a performance that saw him challenge for pole position during Saturday morning's qualifying session.
Qualification is crucial at Monaco, as the order on the starting grid often decides the final classification at the end of the race, but finding a gap in traffic is notoriously difficult. The Formula Renault 3.5 Series was therefore split into two groups, with Panciatici topping his for much of the session until a succession of yellow flags, followed by a red, prevented him from capitalising on his second fresh set of tyres and dropped him down the order.
Nelson Panciatici: "I am disappointed as I had good pace and I was in front without being at the limit. I was waiting to push harder on my second set of tyres when the track conditions improved. Unfortunately, as soon as I rejoined the track, the flags destroyed my chances and not for the first time this year. On the positive side we had good performance on this very special track which is great following the issues I had here last year."
Peter Crolla, Junior Lotus Racing Team Manager: "Nelson got the most from his knowledge of the track, even though it was from a different category, and kept improving lap after lap. He was top of his group before the flags, which is a shame, but anything can happen in the race. The first lap can be chaotic here and we need to make sure we come out of it ok as we have a fast car for the race and we need to benefit from it. It is not easy to overtake on this track but I am sure that there will be some changes around the top 10 positions."
During the race, the Monaco circuit lived up to its reputation and Panciatici, who started in ninth, finished in the same position just ahead of his team-mate Daniil Move. Despite matching the pace of the front runners, Nelson couldn't find a way past the car in front.
Nelson Panciatici: "I made a good start, was careful to look after my tyres at the beginning of the race and then caught the group of cars ahead of me. From then on I was faster than them but I couldn't find a gap to get past. It is a shame that we couldn't do better in qualifying as the team gave me a car capable of at least a podium finish and possibly even a win."
Peter Crolla: "We are delighted with the performance of Nelson and Daniil. They made a strong start to the race avoiding any contact or incidents. Both our cars had good pace, but the car in front defended its position well and our drivers preferred to finish the race and score points. Following the previous round in Spa-Francorchamps, it was important to come back and start moving forward again and I feel that in Monaco we have made the first steps."
The Formula Renault 3.5 Series now leaves the glamorous Mediterranean resort for the forests of Central Europe and the Brno circuit in the Czech Republic on 5-6 June. Brno is a long and difficult circuit which will welcome the World Series by Renault for the first time. Following the single race during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, the regular format of the championship will return with a race on the Saturday and one on the Sunday.