Korjus triumphs in opening Monza race
14 May 2011 – Kevin Korjus won the opening race of the weekend on Saturday, taming the Monza circuit to collect the winner’s trophy for second time this season. The Estonian driver led home Jean-Eric Vergne who started the race from 12th place, while Daniil move completed the podium for P1 Motorsport.
"It was a tough race," Korjus explained. "I made a very good start and I got past César Ramos very early. But then Robert Wickens came back strong and I made a big mistake that could have cost me dearly. I got my concentration back after that. It's really great to win here, after a difficult weekend in Spa."
Pole-sitter César Ramos got away well at the start, leading from Korjus and Wickens early on. The man who made the biggest impression was vergne, progressing from 12th to sixth in the space of just two laps. Seventh place starter Sergio Canamasas suffered a premature retirement, spinning into the gravel early on.
Korjus soon became a real threat for the lead as the race progressed, closing in on the gearbox of Ramos. He promptly made a move and despite a big lock up in the process, he recovered and set about creating a comfortable gap to the cars behind. Ramos then turned his attentions to Wickens and Vergne behind, as the Carlin duo closed in on the second podium spot.
Drama ensued when Wickens made a move for the position, leading to a collision which saw Ramos slip a long way down the order. Wickens made his way through into second, while Vergne jumped up to third. The action failed to end there, as Wickens endured what appeared to be clutch issues, leaving him out of the running with 10 laps remaining after an intense fight earlier on.
Behind the top three, Chris van der Drift led home compatriot Brendon Hartley, while Daniel Ricciardo fought back to sixth after losing his front row grid slot due to a penalty earlier in the day. Stephane Richelmi was next up ahead of Walter Grabmuller, while Oliver Webb and André Negrão completed the top ten.
Jean-Eric Vergne moves into the lead of the championship following his second place finish, while Carlin team-mate Robert Wickens still remains within touching distance despite his retirement.
Qualifying 2 begins at 5.30pm local time (BST +1)