It was a mixed result for Richard Verschoor after finishing in a strong fourth position in the Sprint Race on Saturday in Monte Carlo. The Dutchman was hustling Jak Crawford throughout the 30-lap race but couldn’t quite find a route through to the podium before the end.
Going from fifth on the Sprint grid, Verschoor said he had a strong start but quickly ran out of road to use, a trademark of the famous Monte Carlo street circuit. From that point on, his persistence was unending, but the American ahead kept his composure and denied the Van Amersfoort Racing driver the result he felt was possible.
“My start was incredible, I was like a rocket, but I just couldn't go anywhere because of the guy next to me, but you cannot really go anywhere here. It’s so difficult the whole way but it’s very exciting too.
“I was trying the whole race and it was a bit frustrating to be honest. I felt like the car was really on rails so that's good. We had good pace. I was pushing quite a bit and the tyres were not degrading so much. Still, it was frustrating to not get past. Even trying to go for fastest lap, I was just catching him too quickly. So, it was a bit of a frustrating race for me but in the end, I'm happy.”
His struggles started long before he was cooped up on the gearbox of the Hitech Pulse-Eight ahead of him. During a lap he felt would have been good enough to contend at the front of the grid, Red Flags cut running short and left him unable to complete his effort. It left him sixth in Qualifying.
“I'm super disappointed that we couldn't get a good lap in Qualifying. I was going purple by four-tenths on my lap, and I just couldn't finish it, which is a shame really. Before that, it was like three and a half tenths up so for me that's why maybe today was even more frustrating because I just felt like we had so much more pace and we just cannot really show it if you're stuck like today or yesterday with Red Flags. You cannot show your potential and we have so much potential, so that's a bit frustrating.”
With overtaking opportunities scarce and DRS effectiveness limited around the tight layout, finding a passing spot is tough for everyone. Initially shaping up a move out of the tunnel into Turn 10 and the Nouvelle Chicane, the Dutch driver found no room to make an attempt.
According to the VAR man, out of the final corner might be the passing spot of choice tomorrow with more tyre degradation coming into play.
“You would think out of the tunnel is the easiest spot but actually, if the guy just drives in the middle, it's impossible to even try, so I was thinking maybe out of the last corner into Turn 1 or maybe into the hairpin. It's very tricky, a lot of risk and it was not worth it for me.”
Turning his attentions tomorrow, Verschoor says that his performance in the Sprint has left him with confidence and few worries about tyre wear. Even though that could become a strength in the longer Feature Race on Sunday, he’s hoping for some wet weather racing around the Principality.
“I expected a bit more deg to be honest. But also if I drive one second a lap faster, I think that the deck would be a bit worse than it was today, so let's see. Let's also see how the supersoft hangs on. I think it will be interesting. If it's a cool, dry race, I think they are degrading a bit quicker than last year. But we will find out tomorrow, we don't really know.
“We have a good car for tomorrow, the race is a bit longer so I think that people that those who struggled with deg now will struggle even more tomorrow. Hopefully there will be a bit of rain. I wouldn't mind it being a drying track, it would be a bit of fun. It can change the whole race, of course! Nobody's guaranteed to get to the finish. Anything can happen in Monaco when it rains, it's going to be very interesting.”