VITALY PETROV SECOND IN MONZA UNLUCKY NOT TO WIN. VALSECCHI 14th BARWA ADDAX TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP HOPES STILL ALIVE Vitaly Petrov drove a superb race at the Italian circuit of Monza, finishing second, after having led the race almost from...
VITALY PETROV SECOND IN MONZA UNLUCKY NOT TO WIN. VALSECCHI 14th
BARWA ADDAX TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP HOPES STILL ALIVE
Vitaly Petrov drove a superb race at the Italian circuit of Monza, finishing second, after having led the race almost from start to finish, despite being terribly hampered by a terrible elbow infection which caused him a lot of pain throughout the race and limited his movement in his left arm. Davide Valsecchi driving on his home circuit finished in fourteenth position.
The race was delayed for up to 45 minutes due to a torrential downpour that left the race track completely waterlogged. When the race finally started Vitaly Petrov led the way for five laps behind the Safety Car. The Russian driver had time to try out the grip on the circuit, which was obviously tricky after all the rain that had fallen before. Vitaly set the pace after the Safety Car had retired and even managed to pull away from the group, a gap which he held until he came in for his compulsory pit stop, with tyre change included, with just three laps to go.
After holding off the attacks of Van der Garde, the only driver capable of keeping up with the pace, it was obvious that the Russian driver would protect his lead by going into the pits one lap after his iSport rival. Unfortunately things didn't go as planned because his lap was ruined by a spin by one of the back markers, which meant that Vitaly had to brake sharply to avoid colliding with him. He came into the pits and the strategy had backfired, so when he got back on track the Barwa Addax Team driver had lost his lead and he had to settle for second, which he managed to hold on to till the end of the race.
It was yet another stroke of bad luck because Petrov had done everything right and really deserved victory, which would have also meant a couple of more points, in his fight to try and catch the leader in the driver's championship. It really has been an unfortunate season for the Russian driver, particularly with mechanical problems which have spoilt the second half of his season. It seems incredible that Vitaly still has mathematical options of winning the driver's title and is testimony to his courage and never say die attitude. He would have loved to dedicate a victory to the medical staff who have looked after him so well this weekend.
Davide Valsecchi had an up and down race. He started well and was in the same times as the leading drivers and fighting for points. He even tried to overtake the championship leader a couple of times but he made two or three mistakes, which meant he dropped back in the field. He recovered and started to fight back but he was penalized with a drive through, leaving him back in 14th position. Nevertheless, he seems to be getting to grips with the car and there are hopes that tomorrow will be a better affair.
Vitaly keeps reducing the gap with the overall leader which keep his faint hopes alive. In the team championship the situation is even tighter, as Barwa Addax Team still have options in the race for the title. Tomorrow's race will start at 10.30 local time and will be raced over 21 laps.