It was a very frustrating weekend for Thomas Maxwell and the Tech 1 Racing team in the Monaco round of the Formula Renault Eurocup. While the weather shone on the legendary streets of the Principality, their sunny smiles soon turned to frowns when things didn’t go as planned.
With four victories in Monaco to their credit, the Toulouse based squad were hoping to use its experience and a promising dynamic to make the most of their drivers’ potential. Sadly, this did not happen for the young Aussie racer.
Thomas spent most of Thursday dialling themselves in on his first outing on the famous track, up until the session was stopped before the end, leaving his languishing down the order.
Qualifying on Friday decided the grids for the weekend’s two races but unfortunately Lady Luck didn’t smile on young Thomas with the intervention of the virtual safety car just at the decisive moment when he was bringing his tyres up to the right working temperature. However he did manage to break into the top 10.
“It was an amazing opportunity to be able to race around such an iconic track,” Thomas said. “The atmosphere at the event was amazing and the stands were packed. To be able to race alongside Formula 1 was great, it’s just a shame we didn’t get to showcase what we are capable of. We’ve got to work on getting the car a bit better on new tyres because it’s effecting our qualifying.”
Thomas fought hard to try and find openings on a track reputed for its processional races but he was forced to pit and have his front wing changed before continuing to accumulate experience.
The next day he managed to pull back five places but sadly left Monaco empty handed.
“Thomas Maxwell overdid it in both races by damaging his wing twice in Fairmont. He too was very frustrated with his performance. We have to intensify our efforts to help him to progress consistently over a meeting as a whole,” said Sarah Abadie, the Tech 1 Racing team manager. “This way he’ll be a regular points scorer. In Monaco drivers mustn’t be afraid to go for it as they have to get to grips with the track in practice, find the limits and brush the walls otherwise they’ll be left behind.”
“It wasn’t easy to string together three meetings on the trot, but it was the same for everybody. When we think about our success on city circuits and our victory here last year, the whole team and the drivers are feeling frustrated and disappointed.”
This event has slowed the positive momentum built up after Silverstone and Pau, but the team will now be doing some testing at the Red Bull Ring before the next round at Monza on 24-25 June for the Formula Renault NEC.
“After a pretty intense May our drivers can get on with the job without being under pressure,” Abadie continued. “We’ll work hard with the aim of helping them to enjoy themselves and build up their confidence. From our point of view we’ll be able to judge the progress of our debutants on a circuit on which they’ve already raced in the Eurocup. This will give them the ideal opportunity to tackle Budapest (29 June-2 July) in the best possible conditions and transform their potential into results.”