Ricciardo rules in the Principality Pole-man Daniel Ricciardo (Tech 1 Racing) claimed his first win in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series in the streets of Monaco. The Red Bull Junior Team's Australian driver led from start to finish, taking the ...
Ricciardo rules in the Principality
Pole-man Daniel Ricciardo (Tech 1 Racing) claimed his first win in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series in the streets of Monaco. The Red Bull Junior Team's Australian driver led from start to finish, taking the win ahead of Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin) and Albert Costa (Epsilon Euskadi), on the podium for the first time this season.
At 11 am on Sunday morning, the twenty four single seaters competing in Formula Renault 3.5 Series lined up at the Monaco circuit's start grid, in front of already full-to-capacity stands. Robert Kubica and Jaime Alguersuari, both former drivers in this discipline, were there to encourage their successors, and in particular the two drivers on the front row, poleman Daniel Ricciardo, and championship leader Mikhail Aleshin.
When the lights went out, Daniel Ricciardo made a perfect start and was first out of Sainte-Devote, ahead of Mikhail Aleshin, Albert Costa, Stefano Coletti (Comtec Racing) and Alexander Rossi (ISR). In a single lap, the Australian pulled away to a two second lead over Mikhail Aleshin. Ricciardo, flying his Red Bull Junior Team colours, extended the gap on his rivals in the early stages of the race.
Back in the peloton, Nathanael Berthon (International Draco) was caught out in Mirabeau. Brendon Hartley (Tech 1 Racing) got the better of Jon Lancaster (Fortec Motorsport) and grabbed 8th place. The New Zealander then - in the space of a few turns - started to hone in on Filip Salaquarda (ISR), lying 7th. Ten laps into the race, the gap stabilised between Daniel Ricciardo and the pair Aleshin/Costa. Stefano Coletti, Alexander Rossi and Sten Pentus were some way further back, and the battle between Filip Salaquarda and Brendon Hartley continued to rage.
The New Zealander succeeded in getting the better of the Czech in the Casino descent in the twelfth lap. Jon Lancaster got past too. Hartley was now 7th, ahead of Lancaster. On a spree, Brendon Hartley moved into 6th position a few laps later, getting past Sten Pentus. Growing in confidence, he came back wheel to wheel with the Coletti / Rossi duo. Hartley tried to pass and touched Rossi exiting Rascasse. Despite a damaged nose, the New Zealand driver went all out, but the American, freshman in the discipline this weekend, fought to defend his ground. But the pressure from Hartley eventually told, and Rossi made an error and hit the barriers at Casino. This put Brendon Hartley in 5th place after starting 8th on the grid.
In the last lap, Hartley won another position, getting past Stefano Colette in the Grand Hotel hairpin, to finish 4th. Out ahead, Daniel Ricciardo managed his lead. So, for the third successive year, a rookie took the win at Monaco. Daniel Ricciardo picked up his first win in the discipline, the third Monaco victory for Tech 1 Racing, ahead of Mikhail Aleshin and Albert Costa. Aleshin keeps the overall leadership in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, seven points ahead of Ricciardo.
Daniel Ricciardo: "I came to Monaco with my family when I was eight. We were able to do a lap of the circuit and I could already describe all the turns -- I never dreamt then that one day I would win here! I got a good start today, I didn't look in my mirrors and pushed hard every lap. I've never been congratulated by so many people at the finish of a race. It's my first win, and now I'm going to fight to win the championship."
Mikhail Aleshin: "It's true I'd like to win all the races, but honestly this is a good result today with a view to the championship. It was all decided at the start and if the straight had been longer, I'd have got past, I think. The thing now is to concentrate on Brno. There's still plenty of the season to go."
Albert Costa: "My hand was still painful today, but I so wanted to be on the podium in Monaco that I didn't feel it too much. I'm still in a learning curve with this car, so this podium is my reward for the early part of the season. I want to win races now and I'll do everything I can to get into the fight for the title."