Pascal Wehrlein has been overturned at the top of the Drivers' standings after Nick Cassidy's fine run of form culminated with a latest trip to the podium with a race win in Monte Carlo.
The German struggled to 12th on the grid - again the team struggling to break into the Duels. Progress was hard to come by in Round 9, too, with Wehrlein getting caught in the pack. Making up just two positions by the chequered flag, he wound up 10th as a result of the first Safety Car turning more of the race than the team had banked on into a sprint - throwing Wehrlein's strategy out. Cassidy’s average lap prior to the first Safety Car (Laps 2 to 21) was at an average pace of 1m37.283s. Once the Safety Car came in the pace picked up, with Cassidy averaged a 1m32.013s. All drivers that reached Lap 25 in the race set their personal best fastest laps between Lap 25 and Lap 27.
Wehrlein would seal a point post-race with Jaguar TCS Racing's Sam Bird penalised for a late-race shunt with ABT CUPRA's Nico Mueller - the unlucky German was himself on course for points at the time.
Fourth in Hyderabad deteriorated into an unforced error and retirement in Cape Town. Since then, it's been seventh in Sao Paulo, sixth and seventh in Berlin and now just a single point and 10th in Monaco. That's put him 20 points back from a flying Cassidy, who has two wins and three further podiums in that same spell. That's 80 points in Rounds 1 to 4 and just 21 since. Work to do.
Nevertheless both Wehrlein and team principal Florian Modlinger struggled to hide their disappointment at the result but they are keen to refocus on the team and car's strengths in the four week break prior to Jakarta.
“As expected, it was a tough race," said Wehrlein. "We’d hoped for better in Monaco and we’re disappointed not to have been able to showcase the true potential of our car. We now have to focus on our strong points and regain the performance that we’ve demonstrated so often this year. The second half of the season has only just begun.
“There are still a lot of races and a lot of points to be won. We’ll work hard and I’m confident that we’ll achieve better results again in the upcoming races.”
"We have to regroup, analyse and fight back," says Modlinger
"It's a disappointing result," added Modlinger. "When you see the race with Antonio (Felix da Costa) able to progress from 19th to P8 and going forward until suffering a puncture, it's really disappointing. For Pascal, regarding his strategy he was in the top 10 and when the Safety Car came, the race went nearly flat out and made overtaking almost impossible.
"With both sides of the garage going home with zero points, it's tough but we've showed during the first half of the season we're competitive across all different kinds of tracks. We have to regroup, analyse in detail and fight back in the upcoming seven races.
"There's a pressure there, but we're in mid-season and we have to copy with this, progress, look ahead and fight back. Seven races to go!"
Da Costa: 'We have more opportunities we hope to take advantage of'
Da Costa had shown that Porsche race pace we've come to expect in Season 9. A collision from behind took him out of the top six, however. More bad luck for the Season 6 champion who has come off worst in more than his fair share of racing incidents this campaign.
"It was a tough day for us. In qualifying I made a mistake and as a result, I had to start from the back. In the race, I was able to fight my way through the field and had the top five in my sights until I was hit. I got a puncture and had to pit, that was it for me.
"We came to Monaco with high expectations with us getting stronger and stronger throughout the first half of the season but these expectations weren't fulfilled, unfortunately. We'll have more opportunities to take advantage of going forward."