Ricciardo triumphs after Vergne receives penalty
15 May 2011 – Daniel Ricciardo secured his first win of the year at Monza in Race 2, benefiting from a post-race penalty for Jean-Eric Vernge after the pair were involved in an intense battle for the top spot. The stewards ultimately decided to penalise the Frenchman when he was deemed to have gained an advantage by cutting the circuit on two occasions, therefore handing the winners’ trophy to Ricciardo.
As the race began a group of cars went off at the Variante del Rettifilo, including pole-sitter Ricciardo. He gained a substantial advantage after the dramatic events at the first corner and therefore gave his position up to Vergne who had also run a little wide. The pair quickly recovered and moved ahead at the front, but Vernge had to cope with a damaged front wing.
The fight for the lead heated up as the race entered double figures, with Vergne eventually coming under attack from Ricciardo on the 11th lap. Despite getting alongside Vergne in an attempt to get past, the Australian failed to move into the lead when his Carlin rival cut the circuit in order to maintain position.
Ricciardo refrained from launching another attack as proceedings drew to a close, inheriting the win after the chequered flag came out. Alexander Rossi was promoted to second as a result of the stewards’ decision, while Vergne had to settle for third. César Ramos was next up in fourth, edging out Albert Costa at the finish.
Chris van der Drift grabbed sixth for Mofaz Racing ahead of Nelson Panciatici, while Sergio Canamasas, Arthur Pic and André Negrão completed the top ten. Vergne remains in the lead of this year’s championship standings after finishing third, raising his points tally to 90, 17 ahead of Fortec’s Alexander Rossi.
Round 4 of the championship will be staged at the Monte-Carlo street circuit in a fortnight’s time