Double points for maxwell at Majestic monaco
By Megan Cantle
It was two points finishes out of two races this weekend for Thomas Maxwell around the world-famous Circuit de Monaco in the Principality of Monte Carlo for the fourth round of the Formula Renault Eurocup series.
The Australian suffered some bad luck in the qualifying session on Friday, having been on a good lap but getting stopped short when the yellow flags were brought out. He wasn’t able to improve leaving him a mere 2 tenths of a second off pole.
Maxwell started just outside of the top ten for the first race of the weekend on Saturday morning, meaning that a point’s finish was a possibility but would be a tough ask. It was a clean start from the whole grid with Thomas gaining a position around the outside of Fairmont hairpin. The drivers at the very front of the field pulled a gap to everyone else, but the midfield fight really began to get exciting when a battling Max Defourny and Max Fewtrell bunched the pack up, meaning Maxwell was able to close up to a string of cars.
Sitting in tenth place at the start of the lap, Maxwell knew he had the opportunity to gain some places and some more all-important points. He made a good pass on Lorenzo Colombo early on in the lap, setting him up well to attack the vulnerable Defourny, who had sustained contact from an earlier battle. The saying ‘you can’t overtake in Monaco’ obviously isn’t applicable to Formula Renault cars as Maxwell made a great move and swept around the outside of Defourny to take eighth place. It then became a case of maintaining his position to the line, which he did with ease, setting fast laps and pulling out a 17 second gap from behind crossing the line 8th.
It was a twelfth-place start for Maxwell in Sunday morning’s race two, which would require another hard drive to work his way into a points paying position. He gained a place almost immediately after a great getaway, and the set about hunting down a spot in the top ten.
It turned out that he wouldn’t have to battle too hard around the narrow streets to gain the place, with fifth place runner Lorenzo Colombo taking a trip down the escape road and promoting everyone behind him a position. Maxwell grabbed the last points paying position and now had to hold onto it to the line in order to keep his near perfect run of results up.
Maxwell simultaneously was closing up to the group ahead of him on the road and also having to defend from the rapid Alex Smolyar behind him, but a faultless drive meant that he was able to maintain his position, and add to the all-important points tally. He has now scored 25 points, and sits in eleventh place in the Driver’s standings.
“It was a very special weekend and event to be a part of,” he said.
“Driving around a track you've grown up watching and dreaming of is something very cool.
“It's by far my favourite event of the year, and not much comes close to the commitment you put in during that qualifying session, scraping the car past the walls.
“We deserved to start a lot further up the grid with the pace I felt we had but we did our best to make our way into the points for both races putting on some pretty cool overtakes.
“A special thank you to everyone who's followed and supported me so far, it's incredible to have the support of so many people driving me along.”
The series now takes a short break before the next round at the Red Bull Ring in Austria on the weekend of the 21st-22nd of July. Maxwell will be hunting down more points and looking to move back into the top ten of the standings.