Monegasque driver Stefano Coletti has won the GP2 sprint race on his home circuit in Monte Carlo as he stormed to an almost lights to flag victory after overtaking pole sitter Adrian Quaife-Hobbs on the first lap into Nouvelle Chicane in a true sneak move – diving down the inside after exiting the tunnel and getting clean through.
The result means that the Rapax driver is the first Monegasque to win in Monaco on a grand prix weekend in more than 80 years when Louis Chiron won for Bugatti.
MP Motorsport’s Quaife-Hobbs hung on to finish in second having been put under pressure for the majority of the race by eventual third place man Mitch Evans as well as fourth place Felipe Nasr and fifth place James Calado.
In a largely uneventful race, albeit with some superb pieces of driving, only two penalties were given out – Daniel Abt and Simon Trummer were both given drive-through penalties for jumping the start.
One man at the receiving end of most of the action was Feature race winner Sam Bird, the Russian Time racer had to cut Nouvelle Chicane twice in four laps as first Kevin Ceccon, who eventually gained the place at Tabac, and then Stéphane Richelmi both tried to cut up the inside.
After this move it became clear that Bird had picked up damage, necessitating a pit stop and the loss of a lap – he eventually finished 24th.
Some of the best overtaking came further back in the pack with Jon Lancaster the head of a five car chain for a good portion of the race’s second half. The Hilmer Motorsport man was forced out of his tenth position on lap 22 having been sent into a half spin at Loews Hairpin by Addax’s Jake Rosenzweig. Lancaster finished 17th.
These results means Coletti stretches his lead in the points table and is now on 120 points heading on to Round 5 at Silverstone at the end of June. Carlin’s Felipe Nasr is leading the chasing pack on 96 points with Sam Bird stuck on 58.