Mitch Evans made it a double helping of points for RT Russian Time in Monte Carlo when he improved on his seventh starting position to finish sixth in Saturday’s reverse grid race.
With overtaking nigh on impossible around the tight streets of the principality, Kiwi Evans made up a place at the start but then spent a frustrating 30 laps in a multi-car train behind fourth-placed Johnny Cecotto. After a lap 14 safety car, there was just 8s covering fourth to 14th places when the chequered flag fell.
The safety car was in response to an accident to RT Russian Time’s 19-year-old rookie Artem Markelov, who carried a bit too much speed into Turn 1 and hit the barrier at the exit of Sainte Devote. It was an incident-packed afternoon for Markelov, who had already received a drive through penalty following a first lap coming-together with Tio Ellinas.
The race was won by Monagasque driver Stephane Richelmi, ahead of Spaniard, Sergio Canamasas, with Indonesian Rio Haryanto completing the podium finishers.
Mitch Evans: “I made a really good start but almost found myself pincered going into the first corner. I still managed to pick up a place but after that it was only realistic to make progress if the guy in front made a mistake. It’s so easy to lose a front wing here if you are too aggressive. On the positive side, I leave Monaco with only Palmer outscoring me here, and look forward to the next round in Austria.”
Artem Markelov: “I think I will have to put this weekend down to experience! Going up the hill to Massenet on the first lap there were cars everywhere and unfortunately I received a stop/go penalty when I collided with Ellinas. I was pushing as hard as I could and just got as little bit too ambitious at the first corner.”
Paul Jackson, Team Manager: “The first two broke away and had some reasonable pace, then Haryanto had a bit of a lonely race and there was a log-jam behind Cecotto but he did what he had to do, so it was tough for Mitch. Artem had some contact on the first lap, which can’t have helped him, but then just ran a little bit wide into Turn 1, which is easily done. It’s all part of his learning experience.”
Svetlana Strelnikova, Team Principal: “We all know how hard it is to overtake in Monaco and I think Mitch achieved everything that was possible this weekend. Artem obviously had a difficult race but, as a team, only DAMS took home more points, so that was positive progress.”