Both Alex Fontana and Philo Paz Patric Armand score points in their first appearances at Monaco driving Formula Renault 3.5 Series cars, with the Swiss driver on debut taking ninth, one place ahead of his Indonesian Pons Racing team-mate.
Deputising for Roberto Merhi who was racing for the Manor F1 Team in the Formula 1 race, Fontana was able to secure ninth place in Monaco, but bemoaned the defensive tactics of Jagonya Ayam with Carlin’s Sean Gelael, who cut the chicane to keep the Pons Racing driver behind him.
“I enjoyed the race and the fact that I finished ninth and with points, it fills me with even more joy,” revealed Fontana. “After having avoided the contact with several riders in the first corner, I just managed the race.
“Then, after the restart following the red flag, I had Gelael targeted. I put up my best effort to recover on him, but he cut the chicane after the tunnel, taking advantage again, and then I decided to give up.
“I did not want to put this good result in jeopardy”
After crashing during qualifying and starting at the back of the field, team-mate Patric Armand was handed tenth after Nyck de Vries was given a ten-second penalty post-race, enabling the young Indonesian rookie to score his first point of his Formula Renault 3.5 Series career. He revealed he was forced to race with a back pain that worsened as the race went on, especially over the curbs.
“After the crash in qualifying, finishing with some points is really good for me,” said Patric Armand. “Special thanks to the guys at the team who have worked so hard to fix and adjust my car.
“I had a bit of understeer and brakes were not perfect, but it was normal considering that, after the reconstruction of the car, I could not test it before the race.
“After 10 laps, I felt an increasingly nagging back pain every time I passed over the curbs, so I decided not to push hard and to control the position.”