Luck deserts Sauber Junior Team in Monaco F2 Feature Race


24 May 2019
The car just switched off. I put some throttle on it and there was no movement.

“The car just switched off. I put some throttle on it and there was no movement.”


callum Ilott  

The Sauber Junior Team showed impressive pace on the tight and twisty Monaco streets but its efforts went unrewarded in a dramatic FIA Formula 2 Championship Feature Race today.

Sauber Junior Team by Charouz – a collaboration between Sauber Motorsport that runs Alfa Romeo Racing in Formula 1 and multi-title winning outfit Charouz Racing System – arrived in the Mediterranean principality buoyed by recent podium success in Azerbaijan and Spain.

That optimism was carried through Thursday’s F2 qualifying session when Ferrari Driver Academy member Callum Ilott’s blistering performance earned a front-row spot on the grid for the all-important opening race.

However, a suspected electrical issue ended the Briton’s challenge before it even started and he was forced to retire prior to the formation lap.

That left Alfa Romeo Racing Development Driver Juan Manuel Correa to fly the flag for the Sauber Junior Team by Charouz squad during the 41-lap race and the American displayed encouraging pace.

Sadly, a red flag period mid-distance wrecked Juan Manuel’s strategy and, in a bid to claw back valuable time, he made contact with the barrier at the unforgiving Swimming Pool chicane and retired.

The F2 rookie will start Saturday’s Sprint Race – scheduled for 17.15 local time – from P17, with Callum lining up P20 on the same grid.

Antonin Charouz, Charouz Racing System team owner, said: “Today’s race showed how cruel Monaco can be, particularly for rookie drivers. The end results are disappointing but the positive is that the pace of both cars has been strong. We’ll focus on that as we prepare for the Sprint Race and hope that the luck is on our side tomorrow.”

Bob Vavrik, Team Principal, said: “This outcome is frustrating because our weekend started so well. Callum’s qualifying lap was outstanding but the unforeseen electrical problem meant he couldn’t build on that in the race. Juan Manuel simply pushed too hard and made a mistake on the kerb. We’ll learn from these experiences and try to use our pace to influence tomorrow’s race.”

Callum Ilott said: “It’s obviously not what you want on the front row in Monaco and it’s disappointing. But I can’t do anything about it. It wasn’t my fault and we’re investigating the cause. The car just switched off. I put some throttle on it and there was no movement. We spent time trying to fix it but we realised it was over. We should have been in the top three today, but that’s racing.”

Juan Manuel Correa said: “With the red flag we lost the strategy. We had to pit at the end of the race and would have been overtaken by the cars who did a stop at the beginning. I knew it was the last lap before my stop and I pushed too much and lost the rear. I’m disappointed, but I will learn from it. I’m particularly sorry for the team. The pace we had was decent.”

The car just switched off. I put some throttle on it and there was no movement.

“The car just switched off. I put some throttle on it and there was no movement.”


callum Ilott  
Partners

Charouz Racing System. The team behind the team. Competing at motorsport’s highest level and helping to develop the driving talent of the future. A professional team that gets results.