No dream homecoming for Coletti

After two podiums and a fifth place in Spa, Carleton Rode-based Comtec Racing went to Monaco with high hopes for its drivers in the latest round of the World Series by Renault.

After two podiums and a fifth place in Spa, Carleton Rode-based Comtec Racing went to Monaco with high hopes for its drivers in the latest round of the World Series by Renault.

All eyes were on their 21-year-old Mon�gasque driver, Stefano Coletti, but a podium finish in front of his home crowd and Prince Albert II of Monaco was not to be, after he finished a respectable fifth.

As usual, the race took place in front of the huge crowd already gathered for the main event of the day, the Formula One Grand Prix.

Coletti was hopeful of a podium; his main opposition being pole-man Daniel Ricciardo, Mikhail Aleshin and the young Spaniard, Albert Costa, alongside him.


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The first lap was unusually incident free and Coletti tucked in behind Costa for fourth.

Greg Mansell made a sensible start to avoid any first lap incidents, but was down in 19th by the end of the first lap.

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As the race unfolded, Coletti lost touch with the leading three cars.

Oversteer was blamed, which left him having to cool his rear tyres regularly. This allowed American Alexander Rossi, who was on a one-race deal, to put him under increasing pressure, but Coletti did enough to keep his fourth place.

Meanwhile a charging Brendon Hartley did everything within his powers to pass Rossi, who put up a good fight, but eventually the pressure was too great and he made a mistake, causing him to hit the barriers heavily at Casino, ending his race in the process.

Hartley then set his sights on Coletti, but it wasn't until the penultimate lap that he made a controversial overtaking manoeuvre under yellow flags to take fourth place from Comtec's frustrated driver. Meanwhile, Mansell had a fairly uneventful race, but struggled with the car, and eventually finished 15th.

After the race team manager, John Barnett said: 'Although both drivers drove well, the result was slightly disappointing; we believe we need to find more race pace so we shall be working on that between now and the next round at Brno in three weeks time. That said, Stefano Coletti is currently fourth in the drivers' championship with 20 points, and Comtec Racing is equal fourth in the team standings so it's a reasonable place to be after the third round with six rounds to go.'

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