One year after his victory in the Principality, Sacha Fenestraz (Josef Kaufmann Racing) did it again in winning the Formula Renault Eurocup race and curtain raiser for the F1 Monaco Grand Prix for the second time. Starting from pole position, the Frenchman took the honours ahead of Robert Shwartzman (R-ace GP) and championship leder, Will Palmer (R-ace GP). Red Bull Junior Team member Daniel Ticktum (Arden Motorsport) was fifth again to claim his second win of the weekend among the rookies.
In contrast to yesterday, Sacha Fenestraz was on pole ahead of Will Palmer. Behind them it was Robert Shwartzman, Daniel Ticktum, Max Defourny (R-ace GP) and Alex Peroni (Fortec Motorsports).
Fenestraz controls from the start
Sacha Fenestraz made the most of starting pole to maintain the lead ahead of Will Palmer and Robert Shwartman. Further back, Yifei Ye (Josef Kaufmann Racing) spun at the exit of Sainte Dévote, while Frank Bird (Fortec Motorsports) fell victim to the traffic at the Loews hairpin.
Shwartzman and Defourny attack
Still on lap one ; Robert Shwartzman took advantage of the unforced error committed by Will Palmer at Piscine to move up to second place. Alone out front, Sacha Fenestraz began to pull away from the Russian thanks to a strong of fastest laps. His lead evaporated with the intervention of the safety car on lap 13 to remove the car of Thomas Neubauer (Tech 1 Racing), which was stopped on the Massenet uphill section.
Despite this, Sacha Fenestraz had no reason to worry as the race concluded behind the safety car. He scored his victory of the season ahead of Robert Shwartzman and Will Palmer. Max Defourny finished just off the podium after overtaking Daniel Ticktum in the Tunnel on lap ten. Alex Peroni, Gabriel Aubry (Tech 1 Racing) and Richard Verschoor (MP Motorsport) were next in the finishing order ahead of two other SMP Racing backed Russians, Alexander Vartanyan (JD Motorsport) and Alexey Korneev (Fortec Motorsports).
Sacha Fenestraz (Josef Kaufmann Racing) : “It is fantastic to have won twice from three starts at Monaco ! It was a long race and I wasn’t sure there much time left when the safety car came out. It is a shame it ended the way it did, but Neubauer’s car was parked in a dangerous area and it would have been better if there was a red flag like last year ! I knew that if I avoided mistakes, the win was practically in the bag. The team has been doing a fabulous job and it is finally paying off. Like last year, I’ve taken my first win of the year at Monaco. I hope it will continue the series of podiums that began at Pau. We know have to be consistent just until the conclusion of the season.”
It is fantastic to have won twice from three starts at Monaco ! It was a long race and I wasn’t sure there much time left when the safety car came out. It is a shame it ended the way it did, but Neubauer’s car was parked in a dangerous area and it would have been better if there was a red flag like last year !
Robert Shwartman (R-ace GP) : “Yesterday, I was unlucky in locking up before turn one. In missing the apex, Max got the advantage going up the hill and there was nothing I could do. Today, I was lucky with Will’s mistake exiting Piscine. He lost the rear of the car and went over the curb. I was able to get around him to finish on the second step of the podium for the first time this year : It is a change from winning and finishing third ! Nevertheless, I must improve and learn from my mistakes. I want to give a big thank you to my fans, the team and SMP Racing, without whom I would be at home watching on television. We will continue this battle in July at Budapest.”
Will Palmer (R-ace GP) : “I was struggling a lot with the brakes compared to yesterday. At the start, I only thought about Sacha to stay right behind him and apply pressure. Unfortunately, I locked up at Piscine and I had to slow down to avoid the guard rail. I lost a position, but I was able to hold off Daniel. It’s a little disappointing, but it has been a solid weekend. A win at Monaco means so much and I am back on top of the general classification after an unspectacular outing in Pau. I hope to continue on like this in Budapest.”
Daniel Ticktum (Arden Motorsport) : “After inheriting fifth place and the win in the rookie category yesterday, I was able to do it again without any intervention. It matches my goal to be the best newcomer and first among the Red Bull drivers. I’m gaining more and more experience, an area that I was weak in at the start of the season. This weekend, the pace was strong, but not enough to compete with the top four. All the same we put in our best qualifying performance. Today, I was able to run right behind Will Palmer before losing ground, especially in the slow corners in sector two because my tyres were overheating. I saw Max Defourny go wide and dip to the inside at Portier. It was a nice move, but we made contact despite the space I left him. As I was aware of this attempt, I think he can feel lucky that it was with me !”
|1. Will Palmer (R-ace GP)||144|
|2. Robert Shwartzman (R-ace GP)||136|
|3. Sacha Fenestraz (Josef Kaufmann Racing)||115|
|4. Max Defourny (R-ace GP)||78|
|5. Alex Peroni (Fortec Motorsports)||67|
* Results subject to confirmation following technical and sporting verifications.