Ricciardo wins 2nd in row
Daniel Ricciardo secured his second World Series by Renault victory in a row on the streets of Monte Carlo this morning, backing up his Race 2 victory at Monza two weeks ago. The ISR driver controlled the race from the start, jumping off the line well to ultimately lead home rivals Robert Wickens and Brendon Hartley.
As the lights went out Ricciardo was untroubled at the front, but Alexander Rossi a couple of places behind dropped down to fifth after being forced to take a wide line into the first corner by Hartley. In doing so the New Zealander was also passed, as Wickens made his way through into second at the same time as numerous drivers - who were penalized with ten second penalties at the checkered flag - cut the circuit at Turn 1.
The top three quickly pulled away, with the trio exchanging fastest laps throughout the race. Wickens was edging ever closer to the gearbox of Ricciardo early on, but his ISR rival remained calm and never looked like making a mistake. A little error from Hartley at the Nouvelle Chicane saw him temporarily lose time, as he was overcautious when rejoining the circuit in a bid to avoid being penalized.
A series of accidents further down the field saw the Safety Car take to the track on two separate occasions as the race entered its final stages, with the first being initiated when Jan Charouz's car was hit into the air by Anton Nebylitskiy just after the Loews hairpin. Alexander Rossi had a nasty accident on the exit of Massenet soon after, leading to another pause in the racing action while his car was recovered.
When the Safety Car pulled in for a second time it was a smooth run to the flag for Ricciardo, comfortably holding off the attentions of Wickens and Hartley. Behind the top three, Albert Costa grabbed fourth at the wheel of his EPIC Racing machine, just ahead of Kevin Korjus and Nelson Panciatici. Arthur Pic was next up in seventh, while Adrien Tambay, Chris van der Drift and Daniel Zampieri completed the top ten.
The 10-second penalties that were applied to the drivers who cut the circuit at St. Devote on Lap 1 changed the order slightly, with current Championship Jean-Eric Vergne one of those men. Despite holding onto his place at the top of the Driver’s Championship, the Frenchman now leads Carlin team-mate Wickens by just one point.