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Canada’s Wickens Scores Monaco Podium

Carlin Racer Takes Second on the Streets of Monte Carlo 

Robert Wickens celebrates a second place finish in Monaco. Photo by Paulo PellegriniRobert Wickens claimed his fourth podium finish of the 2011 Formula Renault 3.5 Series season on Sunday as the Canadian racer claimed a well-earned second place in Round 4 of the championship hosted on the illustrious streets of Monte Carlo in support of the Monaco Grand Prix.

After the disappointment of a double no-score last time out in Monza, the 22-year-old welcomed the 18 points in Monaco having finished second to pole-sitter and race winner, Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo.  As a result, Wickens climbs back up a spot to second in the Driver Standings behind Carlin team-mate, France’s Jean Eric Vergne, (90-89).

Second fastest in practice around the 3.34km street circuit, Robert’s pace again saw him lead much of his Group A qualifying session on Saturday – the field split into two groups to accommodate the tight confines of Monaco’s layout.  A late hot-lap from Ricciardo denied Wickens the pole leaving him to start third behind his Australian rival and Group B’s fastest qualifier, New Zealand’s Brendon Hartley.

With Monaco famed for its processional racing, fast starts are essential and Robert’s launch from third proved to be perfect as he trumped Hartley into the first turn.  Racing under perfect conditions, the sun beating down on Monaco all week, Wickens duly gave chase to Ricciardo followed closely by Hartley.

The trio enjoyed a break from the chasing pack but despite a couple of brief safety car periods in the second half of the 30-lap, the running order remained unchanged with Robert shadowing Daniel in a faultless performance to the checkered flag.

“It’s always tough to pass here so second on the day was as good as it was going to get for me having taken the position at the start,” said Wickens, who is supported by Marussia Motors.  “I was probably a bit faster than Daniel in the first part of the race but he drove well and didn’t make any mistakes for me to capitalize on.  I’m happy to get back on the podium.  It’s always good to come to Monaco and stay off the barriers.  We’re right up there again in the points which is what I wanted after Monza.”

Round 5 of the ‘World Series by Renault’ heads to Germany’s Nurburgring Circuit, Saturday 18th – Sunday 19th June 2011. For further information on the World Series by Renault please log on to: www.worldseriesbyrenault.com

Next up on Robert’s agenda however is a return to Canada, with a few days in Ontario before heading to Quebec for the Canadian Grand Prix, Friday 10th – Sunday 12th June, at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.

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