Circuit de Monaco
Chilton In The Points Again In Monaco
Max Chilton took sixth place and another point today, in round six of the GP2 Series in Monaco. The 20 year-old Briton who took points for seventh yesterday, clung onto sixth despite a slow front left puncture towards the end of the race. Team mate Oliver Turvey made it two Carlin cars in the top eight, despite having started 15th.
Lining up second on the grid, Chilton took Carlin’s first front row start in GP2. Following his penalty yesterday, Turvey lined up 15th. As the lights went out, Chilton seemed to bog down slightly, allowing Josef Kral and Romain Grojean to get past. The Carlin man defended well from Davide Valsecchi and Alvaro Parente however into the first corner. At the end of lap one, Chilton was fourth, while Turvey had already climbed to 11th place.
The safety car came out on lap four while marshals cleared away the car of Kevin Mirocha. The safety car was called in at the end of lap six, with Chilton closing in on third placed man Grojean at the restart. Turvey had made up one further place and was lying tenth.
A second safety car soon appeared to clear away the stranded car of Marcus Ericsson, and racing recommenced again on lap 11. Once again Chilton timed the restart perfectly and stayed close to Grojean and maintained a safe distance from Valsecchi behind. Turvey meanwhile was chasing down Fabio Leimer, and moved up to eighth when Parente took a drive through on lap 12 for jumping the start.
By lap 21, Chilton began to struggle with an apparent steering problem and dropped back towards Valsecchi, with the gap down to just over a second. Without any problems, Turvey was showing the pace of the Carlin car and set the fastest lap of the race so far.
By lap 22 Chilton was having to defend from Valsecchi who was just half a second behind. Valsecchi had his own problems though and was overtaken by Filippi a lap later who now had Chilton in his sights as well.
Chilton drove superbly to keep Filippi behind him but was clearly struggling to hold onto fourth. Filippi finally found a way through on lap 27 with Chilton now having to defend from Valsecchi again. With his problem worsening, Chilton couldn’t hold on and by lap 29 had dropped to sixth. With Leimer right behind him Chilton held on for two more laps, defending perfectly and crossed the line in the final pointes paying position. Turvey finished in a competitive eighth place, meaning Carlin finished as the only team with two cars in the top eight.
On first inspection a front left puncture seemed to be the cause of Chilton’s woes, with the young Brit having done a fantastic job to finish in the points in the circumstances.
Reflecting on his race, Chilton said, “That was one of the most difficult races of my career! It was so hard to hold onto sixth place. It was taking all my strength to steer the car, right hand turns in particular were difficult. We had really good pace early on though and I was able to stay with Grojean without any problems which shows how good our car has been this weekend. It’s a pity we couldn’t come away with a podium but two points paying positions shows we’re moving in the right direction.”
Turvey was happy his performance adding, “I was really happy with our pace this weekend. It’s unfortunate that I was given the penalty yesterday which put me down the grid today, as I think we had the pace to challenge for the win. I’d like to thank Carlin for the unexpected opportunity to race in Monaco this weekend and to McLaren for allowing me to take part. It’s been a great weekend and although the results don’t quite show it, we were extremely competitive from the start.”