Cecotto wins first GP2 race in Monaco
|1.||J. Cecotto Jr.||59:42.521|
|3.||G. van der Garde||+5.040|
25 May 2012 – After two seasons of trying, Johnny Cecotto Jr. has converted his maiden GP2 pole position into a career-first victory in Monaco. Maintaining Venezuela’s impressive run of results, with Pastor Maldonado having won the Spanish Grand Prix, he was joined on the podium by Marcus Ericsson and Giedo van der Garde.
The result also marks the first podium finish for Cecotto, whose father had – before Maldonado – scored the best F1 result for his country in 1983. A strong start saw him pull away from Max Chilton, who had just missed pole yesterday, with Swede Ericsson diving down the inside of Sainte Devote while van der Garde took the outside line, to seize second and third positions respectively.
On the tight confines of the Principality, pit-stops were as crucial as ever. James Calado attempted to rise up from 14th place by coming in on Lap 11, with Ericsson and van der Garde staying out until Lap 22; Cecotto pitted a lap later and just stayed ahead of the leading iSport, confirming the first Addax victory of the season.
It was a bad morning for Sauber F1 reserve driver Esteban Gutiérrez, who was attempting to make up lost time after losing ground during the pit-stop window. His race ended when coming through lapped traffic, running wide at the Nouvelle Chicane before bouncing over the kerbs and into the wall; the resultant debris punctured a rear tyre of championship contender Luiz Razia.
Davide Valsecchi pulled off an effective damage limitation exercise from seventh on the grid, where he had remained when the lights went out. Having risen to fourth by the chequered flag, the Italian retains his points advantage, driving for the DAMS team which took Romain Grosjean to the crown last year. He now leads the non-scoring Razia by 37 points ahead of Saturday’s Sprint Race.
Race 2 begins at 4:10pm local time (BST +1) on Saturday