Circuit de Monaco
Gonzalez has an eventful weekend at Monaco in GP2
Venezuelan racer Rodolfo Gonzalez was competing last weekend in the prestigious Monte Carlo GP2 races racing for Trident Racing, with the GP2 races supporting Formula1.
With less than a week between the last races at Barcelona the teams and drivers were busy with all activity starting a day earlier on Thursday (as Friday is a national holiday in Monaco).
The qualifying session was disrupted by many incidents as drivers tried to find space for a hot lap, but in reality this meant that cars were bunching up for the Swimming Pool complex rather than just La Racasse. This caused some crashes, which brought out red flags and so positions were a bit of a lottery.
Gonzalez showed some great potential and an ongoing improvement from the beginning of the season. At Monte Carlo, he captured his career best qualifying result in 13th, without making mistakes, and on old tyres.
After qualifying Gonzalez commented “It's been my best qualifying session so far, so I'm really satisfied with how it went today. I just regret not having put all my best sectors together during my fastest flying lap. Today it was really difficult to put together even a single flying lap, so no complaint, that's the way it went. I'm happy not to have committed mistakes on one of this season's toughest tracks, and I hope to avoid any inconvenience tomorrow. I think that a points finish could definitely be in the frame”.
Race 1, set to run for a 42-lap distance, took place at 11:15 on Friday, followed on Saturday by Race 2 (30 laps) at 16:10. The longer Race 1 featured a mandatory tyre stop for all drivers.
In Race 1 Gonzalez, and the rest of the drivers, had to avoid pole sitter Bird who had stalled but all made it through without incident. With the nature of the circuit being difficult to overtake on Gonzalez was looking to his strategy around pitstops along with other incidents to make up places. Unfortunately a crash in front of him meant he picked up a piece of debris under his car so he ended up in the barriers.
As Gonzalez commented “I was pretty satisfied with my race. Then cars in front of me collided, and a bit of bodywork from Guitterez’s car flew off. After they touched, I collected this piece of debris that got suck under my car. Suddenly I basically lost the steering so the car wasn't turning anymore, and I ended up against the barriers.”
In Race 2 Gonzalez started towards the back after his DNF on Friday but was able to make up places and finished in 14th place, even though he was suffering with brake issues.
He is now looking forward to another Spanish race weekend, this time at the street circuit in Valencia on 25th/26th June at a circuit he likes. This is another bumpy track but not quite a severe street race as Monaco, but Gonzalez likes the track and layout and is looking for a continued improvement is his qualifying and then into the races.