Strong points scoring weekend for Evans in Monaco

Qualifying is always split into two sessions at Monaco in an attempt to prevent traffic congestion and Evans qualified second fastest in his group behind championship leader Jolyon Palmer who took pole position for the scheduled 42 lap race.

"Qualifying was a shortened session and I started off on a used set of super-softs to get my eye in before switching onto new rubber with 11mins remaining. It's always a matter of building up with the tyres around here and finding the limits. Unfortunately I got a bit of traffic in a couple of odd places but I put in a decent lap at the end which while wasn't quite good enough for pole, it was good for P2."

Despite missing out on pole, it was Evans - who had opted to start on the super soft tyres - that made the best start at the lights and led the short dash down to the first corner. He held a slender lead for the first quarter of the race and just as his tyres began to fade, the race was brought under the control of the Safety Car. Once the race resumed, Palmer, on soft tyres, was hard on Evans' tail and seized his moment at Ste Devote on lap 11 to take the lead, and the young Kiwi, struggling with his tyres, fell back into the clutches of Stephane Richelmi and the ensuing pack.

A lap later, the race was red-flagged after a collision between cars further down the field at the Loews hairpin and the track became blocked. A lengthy delay followed as the track was cleared and stranded cars were pushed back to the grid. With the drivers free to change their tyres, Evans took the opportunity to move onto the soft compound. When the race finally got underway again, it was for a reduced amount of time and Palmer streaked away. But, another Safety Car on lap 25 saw the leading contenders take the opportunity to make their mandatory pit stop and once the order settled down, it was Palmer leading from Evans with the hard charging Felipe Nasr and Stefano Coletti looking to make an impression. Coletti though, crashed when trying to past the out of position Simon Trummer and as the race moved into the final few laps, there wasn't much between Palmer, Evans and Nasr, the trio taking the chequered flag in that order with just 0.6s between them.

"Although I qualified second fastest in my group, I was actually due to start third on the grid because the way split qualifying works, but I inherited a front row spot after Rio Haryanto (who had been fastest in the other group) was penalised for blocking. That was a nice little bonus!

"I thought everyone would be starting on the same tyre strategy as me on the option (supersoft) tyre but I realised on the grid they were all on the prime (softs) so that was a bit of a surprise!

"I aimed to get a great start which I did and led for the first quarter of the race before my tyres began to go off as I was on the softer compound. It wasn't a big deal though as I knew Jolyon was on a different strategy but the race was red flagged and I had the chance to change to primes. My pace wasn't brilliant compared to Palmer's after the restart but it then started to come back before the final safety car period.

"After we all pitted, it was just a matter of getting to the end on softs. Jolyon struggled a bit more and we all closed up again; I just managed to hold off Nasr. I was very satisfied with second place and so glad to finally get a good haul of points."

In today's 30-lapper, Mitch made another lighting start from seventh position but couldn't quite turn it to his advantage and completed the first lap in sixth place. The race became a procession with the leaders, Stephane Richelmi and Sergio Canamasas, pulling out a clear lead over the rest of the field. The race came alive again in the closing laps as fourth placed Johnny Cecotto soaked up the pressure of a queue of cars which had formed behind him. Evans was right on the gearbox of Arthur Pic on the final lap but neither of them could find a way past Cecotto.

With a handy 22 points in the bank from this weekend, Mitch has now moved into ninth position in the championship on 24 points.

Round 4 takes place in Spielberg, Austria on June 21/22.