Juan Manuel Correa delivered his best result of the season after taking the chequered flag in Sunday’s Monte Carlo Feature Race in P5, an outcome that left him incredibly pleased.

The DAMS Lucas Oil driver started the race from P13 but with a good strategy and strong pace, was able to make his way up the field.

He then crossed the line in fifth after pushing Oliver Bearman all the way in the final few laps. But even though he could not quite overtake the PREMA Racing driver for fourth, Correa was delighted to leave with a solid haul of points for him and the team.

RACE ANALYSIS: Just how did Zak O’Sullivan win from P15 in Monte Carlo?

“Yeah, very pleased with a fifth place,” said Correa. “It’s my best finish in a Feature this year, actually best finish in any race this year so never thought that would come in Monaco starting 13th.

“Both the team and I are very pleased with it; I think we really deserve it. We've been working our butts off, and we still didn't get it together in the quali, but this shows our strong pace in the races and at least today we capitalised on it.”

Correa’s strategy saw him start on the Soft tyres before pitting for the Supersofts at the end of Lap 30 of 42, taking that fresher rubber to the end.

He later revealed that this was a decision they made on the grid, with he and the team looking to use their good race pace in clean air when the Supersoft tyre runners in front of him pitted early on.

Correa was happy to deliver a P8 for DAMS Lucas Oil in Monte Carlo
Correa was happy to deliver a P8 for DAMS Lucas Oil in Monte Carlo

“So, we decided on the grid to start on the Soft tyres,” he explained. “I think a lot of the front runners were on the Softs and then we had a mix in between with people starting on the Supersofts.

“We opted to start on the Softs to wait for the other guys to box and then push a bit. Dennis Hauger did the same, so him and I just did the race together. I was lucky that Dennis had good pace, so we were able to go long on the Softs with good pace.

“Then we overcut some of the other guys and then I actually got Dennis by undercutting him one lap and doing a good out-lap. That was basically our race, that was the plan and we executed it well and the team did a very good pitstop and everything worked out.”

READ MORE: Sébastien Philippe confident ART ‘will be back’ after O’Sullivan’s Monte Carlo victory

This was the second Feature Race in a row after Imola – where he took the chequered flag in P8, in which Correa was able to come through the field to finish in the points having started outside the top 10.

So far this season, he has not qualified in the top 10 but he has placed higher than his starting position in every race this season that he has finished. Correa says this shows how good DAMS’ pace over a long stint is and proves what they can do if they fix their Qualifying issues.

“Our race pace has been really good in every event,” Correa explained. “Jeddah, we showed in the Feature Race, I was one of the fastest cars on track and then we did a mistake with the strategy and threw a podium away.

“Australia as well, we were coming from the back, both Jak Crawford and I and finished in the points. In Imola as well coming from the back, double points finish for the team with probably the strongest race pace of any team.

Correa says he and his team will have plenty of meetings soon as they look to improve their Quali pace
Correa says he and his team will have plenty of meetings soon as they look to improve their Quali pace

“Here once again, I think it's a track where it's a bit more difficult to show the pace because you're just stuck in a train. But we were on the attack every single lap of both races, never really looking in the mirrors and with the strategy we did we were able to show a bit of our pace with the free laps we had, and we made the difference there.

“I do feel very confident in the races, but we need to do a big step for the team in Quali because that has been our weak point, and it makes no sense that we are so strong in the races and so weak in the quali. We have our ideas of where it is, and I am sure we are going to turn it around soon.”

FEATURE RACE: O’Sullivan takes dramatic maiden Formula 2 victory in Monte Carlo

The plan for Correa now is to take a break before heading back into the factory where the focus will be put on improving these Qualifying problems ahead of Round 6 in Barcelona from June 21-23.

“Now we are going to Barcelona, I think we are going to take a week to rest a bit but then its right back to work,” he said. “I am going to the team, doing a lot of simulator, doing a lot of meetings, I think we need to debrief this weekend properly.

“There are also still some things from Imola that we must analyse a bit now that we have some more time and I think that what we really need to work on is Quali. That has clearly been our weakest point as a team.

“We feel very confident that once we get that sorted and we are able to start higher up the grid we are going to be fighting for podiums. We are going to put our focus on that, and the relationship between me and the team, we understand each other more so it's all looking good.”