Billy Monger took a remarkable first single-seater win in the 78° Grand Prix de Pau, gambling on wet tyres and overtaking nearly the whole grid on the way to victory.

The Briton, who is a double amputee below the knees after being injured in a racing crash two years ago, qualified 11th on slick tyres but peeled into the pits at the end of the warm-up lap for wets.

He was followed in by several others, but none made the progress Monger did, who was in the lead before the halfway point of the race.

Those last two positions were gained after the leading slick-shod Motopark drivers Julian Hanses and Liam Lawson clashed, a result of Lawson trying to force a move at the tight Turn 13.

That crash also led to safety car, wiping out Monger’s lead advantage, but he handled the restart well and then pulled away to take victory over Carlin team-mate Nicolai Kjaergaard.

Like Monger, Kjaergaard has also pitted for wets early on, and he came under late pressure from Motopark’s Yuki Tsunoda. After his team-mates crashed, Motopark finally called in Tsunoda to pit, and on the fresh rubber he came from the bottom of the top 10 to the top two’s tails in the small number of laps he had available.

Teo Martin Motorsport’s Lukas Dunner also left his change to wet tyres too late, but did fastest lap on the way to fourth.

Christian Hahn was fifth for Carlin, ahead of Marino Sato (Motopark), Teppei Natori (Carlin) and the slick-shod Cameron Das, who did a impressive job for Fortec Motorsports staying out of the barriers despite being on the wrong tyres for a wet track.

Lawson’s retirement meants Sato has closed the gap between the pair in the standings to six points.

Many drivers crashed in the race, with Linus Lundqvist causing a three-car pile-up with two of the Teo Martin cars after misjudging the tightness of a corner. Incredibly the marshals cleared the cars without the need of a safety car intervention.



INDIANAPOLIS (Sunday, May 19, 2019) – Simon Pagenaud continued on his roll this May, winning the pole position for the upcoming 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. Two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso, however, will be a spectator for the May 26 race after failing to successfully qualify.

In a drama-filled Sunday afternoon that featured separate qualifying sessions to fill opposite ends of the 33-car starting grid, Pagenaud completed a four-lap Fast Nine Shootout qualification run on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway superspeedway at 229.992 mph to earn the NTT P1 Award, the 11th pole position of his 11-year Indy car career and first at the Indy 500.

Meanwhile, Sage Karam, James Hinchcliffe and Kyle Kaiser drove their way into the field with the best qualifying efforts in the Last Row Shootout, with Alonso among those whose runs came up short on speed.

FERNANDO ALONSO (No. 66 McLaren Racing Chevrolet): “Well, I didn’t spend much time with the team yet. I’ve been only in my motorhome and talking with friends or family and following the Fast Nine Shootout. Once you are not anymore in, you try to start relaxing a little bit. It has been a very long qualifying, nearly 56 hours of qualifying from yesterday morning. Yesterday, we were 31st instead of 30th. Today, 34th instead of 33rd by a very small margin, and unfortunately, not fast enough in any or both days.

I’m disappointed now. Obviously, it would be nice to be in the race next Sunday. We came here to race and to challenge ourselves and we were not quick enough. I congratulate all the other guys that did a better job, and hopefully, we’ll see a nice show next Sunday, with everyone safe. I will be enjoying from the TV, unfortunately.”