First-lap carnage at Indianapolis and Monaco

Weekend Racing Wrap

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In this weekend’s racing wrap, IndyCar and Formula E raced at the hallowed Indianapolis and Monaco tracks, but both races saw major first-lap crashes.


Reigning IndyCar champion Will Power overcame a late charge from Graham Rahal to take his first victory of the season in Saturday’s race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Power is the fifth different winner in as many races so far this year.

A first-corner pile-up caused the only caution period of the race, after which Power headed the field for 65 of the 82 laps, only losing the position as pit stops cycled. However, he spent the final part of the race juggling the need to save fuel while keeping the gap to Rahal, who for the second race in a row was chasing down the leader when the chequered flag fell.

Attention now turns to the biggest race in the IndyCar season: The Indianapolis 500.

Formula E

Sebastien Buemi took victory in the Monaco ePrix to become Formula E’s first repeat winner, which brought to an end a run of six different winners in six races. 

The electric cars raced on a shortened version of the grand prix circuit with a tighter turn at Sainte Devote sending them directly down the harbour front and joining the grand prix circuit at the chicane. But the new section of track was the scene of a major first-lap crash.

It began as Jean-Eric Vergne hit the rear of Andretti team mate Scott Speed, while Jaime Alguersuari was unable to avoid joining the melee. Then Daniel Abt clipped the wall and Bruno Senna piled into his car, launching into the air and almost flipping over.

When the race resumed reigning WEC champion Buemi held off Lucas di Grassi and Nelson Piquet Jnr to win. Di Grassi firmly rebuffed a Fanboost-aided passing attempt by Piquet Jnr late in the race.

Buemi became the first driver to win two Formula E races, his first coming at Punta del Este in Uruguay last December. He is also the first driver to win a Formula E race from pole position. 

The same trio occupy the top places in the championship: Di Grassi ahead of Piquet Jnr and Buemi. Just ten points covering all three with four races to go, the next at Berlin in two weeks’ time.


First-time pole-sitter Aron Smith struggled off the line in race one, allowing Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal through to take a one-two for Honda. After holding third place for the majority of the race, Smith suffered a puncture which put him down the order, promoting Cicely Racing’s Adam Morgan onto the podium.

With the fastest lap in race one, Jason Plato took pole position for race two. Despite losing the lead to second-placed Rob Collard off the line, the veteran took the place back into the final chicane, paving the way for his 90th race win in the championship. Shedden took third ahead of Jack Goff and defending champion Colin Turkington.

The reverse-grid race three saw Morgan on pole with Andrew Jordan second, and the Mercedes man held his advantage to win the Safety Car affected race. Jordan finished second ahead of Sam Tordoff.

From flat, fast Thruston the series heads to twisty, undulating Oulton Park next.

Video highlights are not available yet, footage above is from qualifying.


Jimmie Johnson won Saturday’s SpongeBob SquarePants 400 night race at Kansas Speedway to record his third victory of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season, after a long delay due to a rainstorm.

Martin Truex Jnr had led most of the 267 lap race, which was filled with caution periods and hectic restarts, but Johnson stayed out on old tyres to hold on in a tight seven-lap run to the flag.

Next for NASCAR is a triple-header of races at the Charlotte Motor Speedway: The Sprint Showdown, the All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600.

EuroFormula Open

In two races at the Estoril circuit, Konstantin Tereschenko and Vitor Baptista took the honours. Race one saw Tereschenko take a lights-to-flag win ahead of Yarin Stern and Yu Kanamaru, while Vitor Baptista won a very entertaining race two (full video above), the Brazilian overtaking pole-sitter Tereschenko on lap three and then pulling away from the field.

The next round of the series sees the teams and drivers head to Silverstone for the British round.

Also last weekend

Highlights are not available of last weekend’s F1, GP2 and GP3 races.

Over to you

The World Touring Car Championship makes it first appearance on the Nurburgring Nordschleife this weekend with a double-header race shortly before the annual 24 hour race on the notorious German track.

There’s more tin-top action from Australia as well, where the V8 Supercars head to Winton.

Will you be watching any of these races? What did you watch last weekend? Have your say in the comments.

Thanks to @Mathers for contributing this article while @bradley13 is away.

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27 comments on “First-lap carnage at Indianapolis and Monaco”

  1. Ugh, that Indy road course got even WORSE ! Also weird to see such empty grandstands.

    SpongeBob SquarePants race :D?! What a cool name for a race !!

    1. it has actually got better, they got rid of the mickey mouse stuff at the start, but they should have kept the long swinging oval section instead of adding a chicane before the front straight.

      1. Yeah I much prefer it to the old F1 layout – glad to see the back of that horrible double hairpin they used to have.

    2. BJ (@beejis60)
      11th May 2015, 17:40

      @fer-no65 ya, it was a shame to see the stands so empty like that, IMO.

    3. “SpongeBob SquarePants race :D?! What a cool name for a race !!”
      Indeed (reminds me with Looney Tunes Richmond rounds), but some of the NASCAR fans didn’t have the same thought as ours.

  2. I don’t usually watch the BTCC support races, but Thruxton saw a most significant double victory by 14 year old German Sophia Floersch in the Ginetta Junior championship. Polished and achieved under huge pressure on the last lap for her second victory.

    One to watch I think, next woman to score F1 points?

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      12th May 2015, 16:38

      Really good to hear that there are competitive young women in motorsport who are achieving things other than being pretty or marrying team bosses! Fingers crossed she continues to be successful and eventually proves to the doubters that women belong in the top level of motorsport.

  3. i hate how the formula E commentator repeatedly says “Just about” instead of “Just” he does it far too many times, and at every race, it is so annoying. Martin Brundle uses the term “Just about” now and then, but the formula E commentator goes overboard with using “Just about” he said it like 5 times in the highlights alone.

    1. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
      11th May 2015, 16:10

      Yeah Brundle’s usage is just about right.

    2. the new gp2/gp3 commentator always says ‘as’, often multiple times in a sentence.

    3. Icklescorch
      11th May 2015, 21:02

      Nowhere near as frustrating as Johnny Herbert’s “sort of’s” or Crofty’s “Ffettel’s”!

      1. What’s wrong with “Fettel”?
        That’s actually just about sort of the proper way to pronounce it.

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          12th May 2015, 16:57

          It is the proper way to pronounce it in German however he’s commentating in English. The letter V is pronounced differently.

          He doesn’t say “Perez” the way Mexicans say it. He doesn’t say “Alonso” the way Spanish people say it. He says both the way someone speaking English would say them.

          There’s a football commentator who always does it with Spanish names as well but says names from every other country normally. Does my head in!

  4. FlyingLobster27
    11th May 2015, 15:14

    I watched the Blancpain Sprint Series, Round 2 at Brands Hatch (GB).
    Two rather nice 1-hour races, with feeder series darling Robin Frijns finally getting to race. He had crashed his car in warm-up at the first race of the series in Nogaro, but he and Audi GT3 maestro Laurens Vanthoor (but mainly just Vanthoor) absolutely destroyed the field this time, winning by the best part of 20 seconds in each of the races.
    Of course, that means that is was the fights for the podiums places behind Frijns/Vanthoor that were interesting, notably with former Superleague star Craig Dolby and rising GT star Kévin Estre taking the fight to the BMW Team Brasil Z4s.

    1. BJ (@beejis60)
      11th May 2015, 17:40

      I need to start watching Blancpain. I just keep forgetting.

  5. What is the reasoning for the shorter Monaco circuit for Formula E? Is Monaco not short enough as is?

    1. BJ (@beejis60)
      11th May 2015, 17:44

      @bainelaker I may not be remembering it correctly, but I thought it had something to do with not having enough straights so being on and off the power so much, it would drain the battery faster?

      1. Ohh, that makes some sense. Thanks!

    2. It was actually due to the fact the cars don’t have enough torque to climb up to Massenet. As developments begin next season, they expect to use the full track within a few years. Totally understandable to me. FE is awesome, just ditch the fanboost and we’re cool.

      1. I’m sure that I read somewhere that what you’ve written is completely untrue! However everyone seems to be saying that so it’s an urban myth. But to back up my claims I need to find that link…

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          12th May 2015, 9:41

          Formula E has about 140Nm of Torque; roughly the same as a VW Polo. @georgeod

          I guess that is why we see most Monegasques driving bigger cars, otherwise they would have to leave their Polos at St. Devote ;-) @carlitox

      2. It was actually due to the fact the cars don’t have enough torque to climb up to Massenet

        this has to be rubbish, see

        Any car that can do 0-60 in 3 seconds will climb a very steep hill

        1. I reported what I read on various websites, and I found it completely believable. Obviously, I could be wrong. Perhaps it was a commercial reason rather than a mechanical one.

    3. I rather suspect it is so that they can build half the GP circuit, hold the Formula E race, then in the next two weeks build the rest of the GP circuit for the Monaco GP, two race weekends for the price of one.

      1. Isn’t there a bi-annual classics race two week before the Monaco GP (so there full circuit is very much in place at this stage). I suspect that there is a desire to distance themselves from F1 to a degree by not sharing exactly the same circuit. And, this whole ‘can’t make it up the hill’ thing stopped being funny some time ago!

  6. Glad to see Juan Montoya leading Indycar!..hope he can stay there!

    I just wish I had more time to watch Indycar and WEC.

  7. Has Estoril’s last corner changed as well? I thought the original 1st corner was better than the one they are using now

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