Tiago Monteiro ended the double event of the French Formula 3 at Belgium's Spa-Francorpchamps on a positive note, scoring a 3rd and 4th place and obtaining his fourth podium position this season. Starting Saturday's race in the fifth position, the...
Tiago Monteiro ended the double event of the French Formula 3 at Belgium's Spa-Francorpchamps on a positive note, scoring a 3rd and 4th place and obtaining his fourth podium position this season. Starting Saturday's race in the fifth position, the Portuguese driver made a great recovery to the leading pack, overtaking his teammate Tristan Gommendy and Signature's driver Mathieu Zangarelli. On Sunday, however, the ASM ran into some difficulties to find the perfect set-up when Monteiro attained the 10th grid position in a rainy qualifying session, but soon recovered magnificently to the 4th position, proving once again to be a determined and tough driver who doesn't turn his back on strife.
During the free practice session, Monteiro set the fastest time, but wasn't really happy with the set up of the car on dry conditions." The qualifying session didn't run that well. I started out fast and at once made the best time, but during the third lap, when the tyres are at their best temperature, I caught up with the slower cars and lost some time. When I got a clear track, the tires were too worn out to obtain the Pole position", remarked Tiago Monteiro, who, because of his excellent start, managed a good position before arriving at the famous Eau Rouge corner, as he later explained:" I started out well and went into fourth. Then on the 3rd lap, at les Combes, I overtook my teammate, to move into 3rd position. I thought I was still able to reach Derlot, since I have always been faster than him, but, by then, he was already too far away".
Monteiro was somewhat satisfied to finish both races high in the points, but was disappointed not to have achieved a victory he was capable of. <pre> Overall Standings of the 6th French Formula 3 race:
1st Ryo Fukuda 10 laps in 22m32,134s. 2nd Renaud Derlot at 1,9s. 3rd Tiago Monteiro at 5,3s. 4th Bruno Besson at 7,3s. 5th Tristan Gommendy at 8,7s </pre> In Sunday's race, Tiago took 4th position. Starting 10th on the grid after the second qualification session, which took place during the morning on wet tarmac. Set-up problems with the Dallara Renault made competitive lap times difficult, but Tiago refused to be defeated.
As is his trademark, the young Monteiro fought a tough battle right from the beginning of the race, occupying the 5th position after only 3 laps. After another amazing overtake at the Radillon, Tiago ended Sunday's race in an impressive 4th position.
"Unlike the first race, the qualification session for the Sunday race was run entirely under rain. The team took the wrong decision on the set-up as the tarmac was drying. Unfortunately I was only able to get the 10th time, compromising the final result of my race", recalled Tiago Monteiro.
Unlike the qualification session, the race itself was run on dry tarmac:" Again complicating things, given that we had to change set-ups once again. Anyhow, I managed a good start and immediately gained two positions. Later I was involved in an interesting fight with four drivers during several laps. I was able to overtake them and consequently ended in 4th position," continued the Portuguese driver.
Tiago's thoughts on the race:" It was a good recovery. It was very positive and it deserved a better compensation. I was planning on a better result in Spa-Francorchamps, but with all the problems in the qualification session, I wasn't even expecting this result. When I arrived in the forth position, the first three were so far away, it was impossible to catch up". <pre> Overall Standings after the 7th race F3 Championship:
1st Ryo Fukuda, 22m 40.280s; 2nd Renaud Derlot, at 0.591s; 3rd Bruno Besson, at 1.932s; 4th Tiago Monteiro, at 6.508s; 5th Jeremy de Souza, at 9.234s; 6th Tristan Gommendy, at 9.488s
French Formula 3 Championship after 7 races:
1st Ryo Fukuda 126 points 2nd Tiago Monteiro 108 p. 3rd Bruno Besson 96 p. 4th Renaud Derlot 86 p. 5th Mathieu Zangarelli 67 p. 6th Lucas Lasserre 54 p.