DAMS Lucas Oil takes Feature Race top-five at Monaco after superb comeback

DAMS Lucas Oil’s Juan Manuel Correa produced a stunning drive after a perfectly executed strategy by the team to climb from 13th to fifth in the FIA Formula 2 Championship Feature Race at Monaco.


After a rain-soaked practice, qualifying was the first dry-running of the weekend at the Monte Carlo circuit. Fine margins made the difference for Correa, who was seventh but just a tenth off third in his group. A frustrating session on Jak Crawford’s side of the garage saw him unable to set a crucial final lap at the end, going ninth.

A penalty for impeding dropped Correa to 16th overall on the grid for the Sprint Race, one place ahead of Aston Martin Driver Development Programme member Crawford. The pair avoided incidents in front to finish 12th and 13th respectively, unable to fully demonstrate their strong pace with overtaking difficult around the narrow streets of the Principality.

In the Feature Race, Correa made a superb getaway to jump two places to 11th into Turn 1. Crawford was looking to gain positions from 18th on the alternate strategy, but received rear-left contact at the Fairmont Hairpin and was forced to retire the car with suspension damage.

With several drivers ahead making an early stop, the team opted to go long on Correa’s strategy, switching from the soft compound tyres to supersoft rubber on lap 31. The American came out in eighth overall and fourth of the drivers who had made a stop, and putting pressure on the car ahead. A late Virtual Safety Car meant Correa had to settle for fifth across the line, marking his best result of the season.


Juan Manuel Correa: “I’m really proud of what we were able to achieve in the Feature Race after a tough start to the weekend. The team made a great call on the strategy to get me out in contention for the podium, which we didn’t think would be possible starting outside the top 10. Thanks to the mechanics for an excellent pit stop as well, everyone did an awesome job. Obviously we were compromised by the qualifying, it was very tight and with just over a tenth more we could’ve started in the top seven on the grid. A first top-five of the campaign for me and hopefully we can build on that through the rest of the season.”

Qualifying: 13th |  Sprint Race: 12th  |  Feature Race: 5th (+10 points)


Jak Crawford: “We lost a lot of valuable track time in the wet Free Practice, but it was good to get the experience. Qualifying was interrupted by red and yellow flags. Unfortunately, some confusion at the end made me miss my last two laps, which cost us a better position. We showed we were quite quick in the Sprint Race, I was making a gap ahead and then pushing for some fast laps. I just had to avoid the chaos at the end and overall I was happy with the performance. Then in the Feature Race, I got tapped at the hairpin which ended our race early. A frustrating way to finish because it looked like the alternate strategy worked well.”

Qualifying: 18th  |  Sprint Race: 13th  |  Feature Race: DNF


Charles Pic, Team Owner: ““After a disappointing qualifying, we showed good pace in the Sprint Race, but there isn’t much you can do to make up places with overtaking difficult. We split the strategies on our two cars in the Feature Race, but sadly it ended early for Jak after contact on the opening lap damaged his suspension. The idea was for JM to overtake the drivers ahead on the alternate strategy, then go longer into the race. We were looking for the right moment to pit and when the car in front of the net-race leaders pitted we decided to come in, which put us fourth. Then, a bit of luck for our competitor ahead with the VSC timing meant we finished fifth. Once again, we were competitive in the race, it was a very good job from the team and the mechanics at the pit stop. This gives us good confidence heading into the next few races.”


Image: Dutch Photo Agency