DPR DRIVERS GO THE DISTANCE ON MONACO DEBUT The DPR drivers, Michael Herck and Giacomo Ricci completed their first races on the famous Monaco street circuit, finishing 16th and 14th respectively in the GP2 series feature race today. Herck, a...
DPR DRIVERS GO THE DISTANCE ON MONACO DEBUT
The DPR drivers, Michael Herck and Giacomo Ricci completed their first races on the famous Monaco street circuit, finishing 16th and 14th respectively in the GP2 series feature race today.
Herck, a resident of the principality, was familiar with the winding streets that are used for this unique track, but only from the driving seat of his road car, and this week was his first experience of racing along the roads in his GP2 car. Ricci is also making his first visit to the Monaco F1 event.
Both drivers used the limited practice session to better understand the contours, lines and characteristics of the temporary street track, with their steep learning curve continuing through into the qualifying session. Their inexperience compared to most of the other drivers in the GP2 field was evident, but both put in solid qualifying laps, with Ricci lining up in 23rd place and Herck just behind in 24th position.
The start of the Monaco GP2 race often produces the initial drama but today proved an exception, with the pack of cars all streaming away and funnelling through Ste Devote, without major incidents. However Herck was unlucky to sustain minor damage to his front wing and dropped back a few places on the opening lap. Although his damage compromised his performance, he stayed out on track until his mandatory pitstop, using this opportunity for the DPR crew to change to a new nose and front wing assembly. Unfortunately this lost Herck some time, but he was able to resume racing and improve on his pace. Keeping his car off the barriers and pushing hard until the chequered flag, Herck crossed the line in 16th place.
Ricci had a good start and maintained position in the early stages, gradually moving up the field as other drivers made mistakes and the young Italian driver upped his pace. He pitted for new tyres midway through the race and after a quick, clean stop from the DPR crew he rejoined to push on to the finish. Completing the race distance and finishing in 14th position was a well deserved reward for Ricci's first Monaco race experience.
DPR Team Manager, Leon Price, said after the race, "Monaco is one of the toughest challenges for a young racing driver and with a field of predominantly experienced GP2 racers, this was always going to be a baptism of fire for Giacomo and Michael. They both drove really well, avoiding the numerous incidents and inevitable brushes with the barriers that we saw. Nine of the 25 cars weren't able to finish the race, but our guys came through to the end, which sets them up well for the sprint race tomorrow."
The second of the two GP2 races at the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix takes place after F1 qualifying tomorrow afternoon.