13 September 2009
Parente penalty costs Monza pole.
As if the untimely arrival of torrential rain and the need to start, later than advertised, behind the safety car wasn't enough for the GP2 Series organisers to contend with at Monza, the feature race result had to be altered after the event.
Having already been targeted for cutting the chicane on three occasions, Alvaro Parente was subsequently handed a penalty for speeding in the pit-lane during his compulsory tyre stop, dropping him out of the points after a fight through the field from a poor qualifying slot.
Despite starting from 17th on the grid, however, the weather-affected feature had seen the Portuguese driver fighting with Lucas di Grassi for third place before picking up a drive-thru' penalty for cutting the chicane, but still crossed the line in seventh position. The addition of a 25-second post-race penalty, however, drops the Spa race winner to eleventh in the final standings, with Javier Villa promoted to seventh place and Luiz Razia to eighth, and Sunday morning's pole.
The end result naturally left Parente with a bitter taste in his mouth.
"It was a tough race because of the atmospheric conditions, but a great one in terms of performance," the Portuguese driver admitted, "I was third and closing the gap with the leaders when I was handed a drive-thru' for cutting the chicane three times - but only because of aquaplaning against which I had no control. I lost a lot of positions and the podium was not on the cards anymore, but seventh position was a promising quantum of solace for the second race.
"However, the 25-second penalty I was handed after the race made me fall back to eleventh position. The last penalty was two really because, without the last safety car neutralisation, I would have lost only one position. There is still the satisfaction of having an excellent race but, on the other hand, the result is frustrating."
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