Donington: Round six preview

Hanley takes on Parente Following Sebastian Vettel's exit to join the world of Formula 1, the World Series Formula Renault 3.5 has taken on a new look. The main rival of new championship leader Alvaro Parente (Tech 1 Racing) is now Ben Hanley ...

Hanley takes on Parente

Following Sebastian Vettel's exit to join the world of Formula 1, the World Series Formula Renault 3.5 has taken on a new look. The main rival of new championship leader Alvaro Parente (Tech 1 Racing) is now Ben Hanley (Prema Powerteam), who just keeps on improving! In their struggle for the title, the Portuguese and British drivers would be well advised not to forget about two heavyweight contenders who are not far behind: veteran driver Milos Pavlovic (Draco Racing) and the rookie Filipe Albuquerque (Epsilon Euskadi).

As the only driver to have won two races so far this season (at Monaco and Spa), Alvaro Parente is well worthy of his favourite tag. Although disappointed that his two-way tussle with Sebastian Vettel was prematurely called to a halt, the Tech 1 Racing driver is still very much focussed on winning the title. At Donington, Parente knows there is a lot at stake: another good result would move him clear at the top, whereas a poor weekend would mean his rivals could close the gap or overhaul his lead.

Eight points back in second, having racked up three podium finishes in his last four races, Ben Hanley has established himself as Parente's most serious rival. With the home crowd at Donington right behind him, the Renault Driver Development ace will be looking to chalk up his first win of the season.

Donington will also be a special event for two other drivers: fellow Brits James Walker (Fortec Motorsport) and Pippa Mann (Cram Competition) will be especially motivated to do well on home soil. A few more championship points would be just reward for their efforts so far this year!

Sixteen and seventeen points behind Parente in the overall standings, Milos Pavlovic and Filipe Albuquerque believe they are still in contention. And sure enough, with 140 points still up for grabs -- twice the total of the current leaders -- they have every chance. After his win in Spa, the shackles are off for Pavlovic, who could become a formidable challenger. As for Albuquerque, he has proven in what is his first season at this level that he is more than capable of holding his own alongside more experienced drivers.

The other top ten drivers will undoubtedly find it more difficult to compete for the title, due to their lack of consistency. Nonetheless, Salvador Duran (Interwetten.com), Giedo van der Garde (Victory Engineering), Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin Motorsport), Fairuz Fauzy (Cram Competition) and Davide Valsecchi (Epsilon Euskadi) are all capable of notching up a race win.

Short of luck, despite showing an undeniably good turn of speed, Alvaro Barba (Draco Racing), Bertrand Baguette (KTR), Marco Bonanomi and Clivio Piccione (RC Motorsport) fall into the same category!

Another unlucky driver this season, Guillaume Moreau broke a finger at Spa. On the mend after an operation, the KTR driver will, however, take part in the UK round. Fellow Frenchman Richard Philippe has not been so lucky: also suffering with a broken finger after crashing at Spa, the youngest driver in the field is set to miss out. The name of James Walker's team-mate at Fortec Motorsport is as yet unknown.

-credit: wsbyrenault

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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Drivers Giedo van der Garde , Fairuz Fauzy , Marco Bonanomi , Salvador Duran , Alvaro Parente , James Walker , Pippa Mann , Sebastian Vettel , Richard Philippe , Bertrand Baguette , Milos Pavlovic , Mikhail Aleshin , Davide Valsecchi , Filipe Albuquerque , Guillaume Moreau , Ben Hanley
Teams Carlin