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Monaco WS 2005: Montanari all the way.


Starting from pole position, Christian Montanari remained unopposed in the first World Series by Renault round to support Formula One, clinching a comfortable victory on the mean streets of Monaco.

The Draco driver took full advantage of his pole position to lead into Ste-Dévote and, despite Adrian Valles hitting the brakes hard as he attempted to make up ground, the head of the field got through without any problems. Montanari's team-mate, Markus Winkelhock, however, veered off to the right of the corner and was out on the spot - a major blow after setting the pace in Thursday practice.

Montanari quickly built up a lead of almost three seconds on the first lap while, behind him, the order remained largely unchanged from that of the grid, with Jaap van Lagen, Valles, Robert Kubica, Tristan Gommendy, Milos Pavlovic, Enrico Toccacelo, Damien Pasini and Daniel la Rosa following in line.

The inexperience of several drivers told even in the early stages, with errors delaying Tomas Kostka and Giovanni Tedeschi, who both spun, and removing Karun Chandhok and Frédéric Vervisch, who both ran into the barriers.

Despite the mayhem at the back of the field, Montanari gradually increased his lead, putting together a series of fastest laps to ease away from the chasing van Lagen, Valles and Kubica, who had, in turn, broken away from the rest of the field, led by Gommendy.

Felix Porteiro was the next to go, crashing out of twelfth position at Massenet, but not coming to rest until Casino Square. The stewards deemed the incident treatable without the safety car allowing the field to continue unabated even after the trouble of Thursday.

After ten laps, Montanari's lead had been trimmed back to 2.5secs as van Lagen pulled away from Valles, who was now being closely pursued by Kubica. Gommendy continued to lap on his own in fifth place, and the gap behind him grew further when Milos Pavlovic, who had been doing a tremendous job of fighting off Enrico Toccacelo's attacks, was forced to abandon. Promoted to sixth spot behind the Italian was Damien Pasini, who was putting in a great race performance on his home territory.

Despite van Lagen's stealth attack continuing to the halfway point of race, Montanari appeared to have things under control, the Draco driver perfectly capable of keeping a three-second lead over his Dutch pursuer. Not quite so controlled despite the absence of any real pressure, Gommendy lost a part of his front wing against the barrier and Toccacelo, who was by then lapping the quickest in the race, closed up on the Frenchman.

More important incidents also continued down the order, with Tedeschi spinning for a second time, this time with terminal consequences. Rookie Medhi Bennani, who was also lapping near the back of the field, then made a costly mistake at the Swimming Pool chicane and, due to the dangerous position in which his car was left, the safety car finally made an appearance.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
AUTO - RENAULT DAYS 2005 - MONACO 22/05/2005 - PHOTO : JEAN MICHEL LE MEUR / DPPI
AUTO - RENAULT DAYS 2005 - MONACO 22/05/2005 - PHOTO : JEAN MICHEL LE MEUR / DPPI
AUTO - RENAULT DAYS 2005 - MONACO 22/05/2005 - PHOTO : FREDERIC LE FLOC`H / DPPI
Photo credit: ISR Formula Renault 3.5 team
Photo: Jean Michel Le Meur/DPPI
Photo: Alexandre Guillaumot / DPPI / Renault Sport Media
Photo: Alexandre Guillaumot / DPPI / Renault Sport Media
Photo: Gregory Lenormand / DPPI / Renault Sport Media
Photo: Gregory Lenormand / DPPI / Renault Sport Media
Photo: Renault Sport/DPPI
Oliver Turvey celebrates his maiden World Series win with Carlin Motorsport in Monaco   [pic credit: Renault Sport]
Adrian Zaugg - Interwetten.com Racing   [pic credit: Renault Sport]
Brendon Hartley - Tech 1 Racing   [pic credit: Renault Sport]
Charles Pic - Tech 1 Racing   [pic credit: Renault Sport]
Jules Bianchi - SG Formula   [pic credit: Renault Sport]
James Walker - P1 Motorsport   [pic credit: Renault Sport]
James Walker - P1 Motorsport   [pic credit: Renault Sport]
James Walker - P1 Motorsport   [pic credit: Renault Sport]

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