Although both cars will be repaired for tomorrow’s Sprint Race, Fabio Leimer and Julián Leal will have to start towards the rear of the grid...
The day was overcast and air and track temperatures were lower than yesterday at 18° and 26° respectively. The start of the race was delayed by approximately fifteen minutes due to barrier repairs that were required following an earlier incident in the Porsche race that also left oil at Massenet which had been heavily covered with cement dust.
As the lights went off at the start of the 42 lap race Fabio made a great start to move up to third but, as the cars entered Sainte Devote, Cecotto missed his braking and drove into the barrier, Fabio had no place to go and made contact with Arden car.
Immediately most of the following cars tried to take avoiding action but numerous collisions left about 15 cars stopped on the circuit with varying degrees of damage and the race was instantly red-flagged.
Julián had a clean start, but he arrived at Sainte Devote to find several cars stopped and the circuit blocked, he was unable to avoid making contact and he was left stranded on the track with damage to the front of his car.
Once all the cars had been cleared it was clear that the damage done to the cars of both Fabio and Julián meant that they would be unable to take the restart. Although both cars will be repaired for tomorrow’s Sprint Race, Fabio and Julián will have to start towards the rear of the grid and with overtaking so difficult at Monaco their chances of a good result are not good.
Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering: "An extremely disappointing race for us today. As we had both drivers starting at the front, we could only hope for a podium and a lot of points. Unfortunately due to the messy accident in turn 1, where both our drivers were involved, it wasn't possible to repair the cars and race. The points lost today, but also tomorrow, hurt twice as much given the team and driver championships."
Fabio Leimer: "The start was very, very good and I immediately overtook Bird and was ahead of Cecotto. He tried to get by me in turn 1 and by doing so; he only concentrated on me and not on the upcoming corner at all. He braked way too late, blocked me and put me into the barriers. It's really, really disappointing as a lot was possible today and I could have scored a lot of points. But once more due to another driver I lost out, while my competitors in the battle for the championship are scoring."
Julián Leal: "I had a normal start without winning or losing any positions but shortly after, in turn 1, Palmer was braking at the exit of the corner because of Cecotto's accident. I had no space to go and crashed into him. It's a shame as I had no chance to restart my car. I had a good starting position and once more lost important points."