The Estonian driver was close to experiencing the perfect weekend. Still, he didn’t have a great start in Free Practice as he suffered a heavy front lockup and headed to the run-off area at Turn 1, sustaining damage to his tyres and severely impacting his plans during the opening session.
This unfortunate incident left Vips at a disadvantage heading into the split Qualifying event. However, the Red Bull Junior driver rebounded quickly to secure the second-fastest time in Group B, proving a superior result to Armstrong, who qualified fourth in Group A.
Vips still feels like he’s left with mixed emotions, mainly because he didn’t get any laps in Free Practice, which made him feel encouraged by how limited passing opportunities are in Monte Carlo.
“It was ok weekend, I would say, good to finally get a clean Feature Race.”
“It wasn’t the easiest of weekends because we had a very messy Free Practice, and I never got to push the last sector, the last two corners not at all.
“So I didn’t really have references going into Qualifying but we still came out ok there, 2nd in the group and so then we had the possibility to maximize what we could in the races.”
Vips knows the street circuit well, last year he claimed third-place and podium in the second Sprint Race.
This time, the Feature Race met his expectation. He won the heated battle to third between Virtuosi’s Jack Doohan and PREMA Racing’s Dennis Hauger with brilliant tyre performance, sitting just over one second behind the second-placed Theo Pourchaire.
He added, “We managed to do that. It was good and clean, quite a relief for myself and the team to finally get some good results.”
Vips will now look forward to the sixth round of the season to catch up with his teammate in the championship standings, as he’s only one point shy behind Armstrong.
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