Strakka Racing endured a difficult weekend around the streets of Monte Carlo on a circuit they openly admit does not suit them. Championship contender Will Stevens qualified ninth and finished eighth, while team-mate Matias Lainé started sixteenth and was classified thirteenth after a penalty.
In the split qualifying session, Lainé was in the first group and was eighth fastest which saw him start on the eighth row of the grid. Stevens was in the second faster session and was fifth fastest that saw him qualify ninth overall.
The race saw Stevens jump up to eighth with Sergey Sirotkin stalling his Fortec Motorsport machine ahead of him, and he then held off the early challenge of Roberto Merhi in the Zeta Corse before pulling away from the young Spaniard. At the end of the thirty-lap race he finished ten seconds behind seventh placed Pierre Gasly in the Arden Motorsport machine but seven seconds ahead of ninth placed Merhi.
“It’s been a pretty tough weekend here in Monaco,” said Stevens. “It’s always a great circuit to drive but as it’s so tight and twisty, it’s all about qualifying. So starting P9 was always going to make the race difficult.
“We came home with some points, though, which all add up at the end of the year. We head to Spa knowing we are very strong there so we need to come away with two good points finishes.”
For Lainé, it was a decent race from the Finnish driver. He managed to climb up to eleventh place on the road, just outside the points, but was handed a harsh ten-second time penalty for a track limits offence at the first corner, despite it being obvious that he was avoiding an accident at the time. The penalty dropped him to thirteenth.
“Our pace in qualifying was not too bad until I broke the rear anti-roll bar”, said Lainé. “My race start was very good and I was pretty happy to finish in P11. We got a penalty for track limits, but it was when I was trying to avoid a crash at the first corner so that’s really disappointing. I’m looking forward to Spa now.”
The team now head to Spa will Stevens still fourth in the championship on 44 points, while Lainé sits eighteenth on the one point he earned in the season opening race in Monza. Strakka Racing also sit fourth in the Teams’ championship.