Montanari all the way Starting from pole position, Christian Montanari (Draco Multiracing USA) led the first support race of the 63rd Formula 1 Grand Prix of Monaco F1 from start to finish. The San Marino driver was joined on the podium by Jaap...
Montanari all the way
Starting from pole position, Christian Montanari (Draco Multiracing USA) led the first support race of the 63rd Formula 1 Grand Prix of Monaco F1 from start to finish. The San Marino driver was joined on the podium by Jaap Van Lagen (KTR) and Adrian Valles (Pons Racing).
Christian Montanari took full advantage of his pole position to lead into the Sainte-Devote corner. Adrian Valles hit the brakes hard but head of the field got through without any problems. Markus Winkelhock (Draco), however, veered off to the right at this first corner.
Montanari built up an impressive lead of almost 3 seconds on the first lap. Behind him, the order of the field was unchanged from that of the start grid with Jaap Van Lagen, Adrian Valles, Robert Kubica, Tristan Gommendy, Milos Pavlovic, Enrico Toccacelo, Damien Pasini and Daniel La Rosa.
Several drivers made errors during the first few laps. Tomas Kostka (Victory Engineering) and Giovanni Tedeschi (RC Motorsport) span their cars, while Karun Chandhok (RC Motorsport) and Frederic Vervish (GD Racing) both ran into the barriers.
Montanari gradually increased his lead, putting together a series of fastest race laps. Van Lagen, Valles and Kubica broke away from the rest of the field, led by Gommendy.
Felix Porteiro (Epsilon Euskadi), who was in 12th position at the time, got caught out at Massenet. The Spaniard hit the barriers and was forced to abandon his race at Casino.
After ten laps, Montanari's lead is cut back to 2.5 seconds. Van Lagen had pulled away from Valles, in turn closely pursued by Kubica. Gommendy lapped on his own in 5th place. Milos Pavlovic, who was doing a tremendous job fighting off Enrico Toccacelo's attacks, was forced to abandon. Behind the Italian, then promoted to 6th place, Damien Pasini (Cram Competition) put in a great race performance on his home territory.
Half-way through the race, Montanari had things under control. The Draco driver was perfectly capable of keeping a 3-second lead over Van Lagen. Gommendy lost a part of his front wing by hitting a barrier and Toccacelo, who was by then lapping the quickest in the race, closed up on the Frenchman!
Giovanni Tedeschi span his car again and was forced out of the race, opposite the Casino. Medhi Bennani, who was lapping near the back of the field, also made a costly mistake at the Swimming pool chicane. Due to the dangerous position in which his car was left the Safety car was brought out.
The race resumed for four laps, and with the drivers having been bunched up behind the safety car, some changes in the race order were to be expected! But Montanari managed the situation perfectly to move a few lengths ahead. Despite the earlier loss of his wing, Tristan Gommendy pushed Robert Kubica hard for 4th place on the last lap. Alex Lloyd (Dams) had a poor finish to his race, as he hit the barrier on the penultimate corner--
Christian Montanari: "The race went off smoothly, without any problems. It was hard to maintain the tempo from a physcial point of view. I was a little bit apprehensive when the Safety car was brought out, but I was able to handle the situation."
Jaap Van Lagen: "I got off to a very good start but I couldn't get past Christian. After the Safety car was brought out, I had a problem with first and second gear. It is very difficult to overtake here, because the cars take up so much of the track."
Adrian Valles: "It is very special to finish on the podium at Monaco. I tried to attack Jaap one or twice because I was quicker, but it was too risky."