Circuit de Monaco
Podium Finish Crowns Kral’S Monaco Weekend, Improving Palmer Nets 11th
Josef Kral notched up his best result of the GP2 Series season in today’s Monaco sprint race, with a sterling run to second place. From third on the grid, the Arden driver made a flying to start to pass front-row qualifier Max Chilton (Carlin) before Turn One, then kept his cool and made strong restarts after two early safety car periods. Late in the race the Czech came under fierce pressure from former grand prix driver Romain Grosjean (DAMS), but he did not put a foot wrong and went on to join Grosjean and winner Charles Pic (Addax) on the fêted Monaco podium.
Team-mate Jolyon Palmer had a productive afternoon, too. Only 17th on the grid in the wake of a braking malady that marred yesterday’s race, the Englishman drove tenaciously in a tightly packed midfield group and capitalised on others’ errors to move up to 11th.
“I made a very good start and for a moment thought I might take the lead, but Charles Pic had the inside line and I didn’t want to risk an accident. I pushed Charles hard during the first part of the race, but my tyres then started to deteriorate so I had to look after them. I was expecting a harder time from Romain Grosjean towards the end, but although he applied pressure he never actually tried to pass and I was able to maintain second place.
“Every driver dreams about finishing on the podium in Monaco, so I feel very happy. I’d like to thank the team for preparing such a competitive car this weekend – we’ve had two strong races and picked up some useful championship points: our next task is to make sure we continue the trend.”
“I didn’t get the best of starts because I had to back off to avoid one of the Coloni cars, which almost stalled in front of me. That cost me a place or two, but I managed to pass Kevin Ceccon during the first lap. After that I was just stuck in traffic, really, but my pace on a clear track was good and I didn’t make any mistakes. Overall I’m happy that I’ve made progress this weekend. I wasn’t expecting too much from Monaco, because it’s a difficult circuit for rookies, but I have learned quite a few valuable lessons.”