RUSSIAN TIME‘s Sam Bird flew to victory in the GP2 Feature Race at Monaco after what can only be described as a first corner shambles led to a red flag and nine retirements before a full lap was completed.
The chain reaction started as pole sitter Johnny Cecotto Jr. went very deep into Ste Devote – hitting the barriers and taking Fabio Leimer with him.
The result saw fourteen cars caught up in the melee and led to an immediate red flag with the excellent Monte Carlo marshals quickly sorting out the carnage and lifting cars clear of the circuit with one lucky not to be injured after a rogue front wing flew over the barriers.
A new rear wing for Bird was necessary after receiving a hit from Kevin Ceccon but was otherwise free to take the safety car led restart.
The win for the RUSSIAN TIME man meant he has essentially “doubled up” with Monaco victories – he also won in the principality last year in World Series by Renault.
After the restart New Zealander Mitch Evans was the initial leader on the super softs but found it hard to keep Bird, who was running on softs, behind and on lap 13 – as Evans pitted – Bird took what would be an unassailable lead.
Trident Racing‘s Ceccon will feel cheated out of a victory as he was stuck behind the late stopping Rene Binder meaning he was stuck with a 22 second deficit in second as the cars took the checkered flag. Evans completed the podium men.
Among those not classified include Jolyon Palmer, taken out on the initial start, and Robin Frijns
The results mean Bird has jumped Leimer into third place with 58 points but still 30 points shy of second place Felipe Nasr and a whopping 42 points shy of GP2 points leader Stefano Coletti who finished fourth and sixth respectively.
With the sprint race tomorrow afternoon there is still the opportunity for the grid to topple Russian Time’s Monte Carlo dominance but Bird will be the favourite to sweep the races.
The sprint race will lack one driver however, as Cecotto has been suspended from the race after being penalised for “failing to negotiate turn one.”