Fortune favours DiSabatino Having opted for a very early change of tires, Pasquale DiSabatino (RC Motorsport) took advantage of an incident-packed race to claim his first win in Formula Renault 3.5 Series, ahead of Marco Barba...
Fortune favours DiSabatino
Having opted for a very early change of tires, Pasquale DiSabatino (RC Motorsport) took advantage of an incident-packed race to claim his first win in Formula Renault 3.5 Series, ahead of Marco Barba (International Draco Racing) and Julian Leal (Prema Powerteam), the three on the same winning race strategy. Despite retiring, Marcos Martinez (Pons Racing) holds onto his overall leadership of the Championship and will therefore get to drive in the ING Renault F1 Team exhibition at Silverstone.
For the first time of the season, Marcos Martinez started from pole position ahead of countryman Miguel Molina (Ultimate Motorsport). Martinez and Molina held their positions as the race got underway. It was Bertrand Baguette (International Draco Racing) who made the best start, slotting into third place, ahead of Charles Pic (Tech 1 Racing), James Walker (P1 Motorsport), Brendon Hartley (Tech 1 Racing) and Jaime Alguersuari (Carlin Motorsport).
The first lap was marked by a multiple collision, which forced the Safety Car out. For Adrian Zaugg (Interwetten.com Racing), Adrian Valles (Epsilon Euskadi), Filip Salaquarda (Prema Powerteam), Greg Mansell (Ultimate Motorsport) and Oliver Turvey (Carlin Motorsport), the race was over while Edoardo Mortara (KMP Group / SG Formula) got off more lightly and had to pit to change his front wing.
As the green flag was shown, Marcos Martinez was held up at the side of the track with a gearbox sensor failure, and had to leave his rivals to resume the fight without him. Bertrand Baguette made the perfect restart and got past Miguel Molina at the end of the pit straight. The Belgian led from Miguel Molina, Charles Pic, James Walker and Brendon Hartley, Hartley pressed by Jaime Alguersuari. As the Spanish driver tried an overtaking manoeuvre, they came into contact, resulting in Brendon Hartley dropping back to last place, while Jaime Alguersuari took the advantage to move up to fifth.
More drama followed with James Walker crashing at the entrance to the pit lane and Edoardo Mortara crashing out of the race at the same moment. The safety car came out action ahead of Bertrand Baguette, Miguel Molina, Charles Pic and Jaime Alguersuari. The race positions stayed the same as the race restarted, but the leaders now had to pit for tire changes, unlike drivers who'd gone for the early change. By pitting before the Safety Car neutralized the race, Pasquale DiSabatino, Marco Barba, Julian Leal, Chris Van der Drift (Epsilon Euskadi) and Michael Herck (Interwetten.com Racing) executed the perfect -- if unwitting -- race strategy. Bertrand Baguette now found himself back in 6th, ahead of Fairuz Fauzy and Charles Pic, while Miguel Molina retired with a faulty accelerator sensor.
Pasquale DiSabatino took his first win in this Formula Renault 3.5 Series. Despite having to retire, Marcos Martinez stays top of the overall standings, on equal points with Bertrand Baguette. But with three wins to his credit, it's the Spanish driver who gets to drive in the ING Renault F1 Team exhibition at the next meeting in Silverstone.
Pasquale DiSabatino: "From 15th place on the grid, I never dreamt of winning here. But we took perfect advantage of events. I've been working towards this success for some time. I was a little bit fortunate today, but we were quick. It's a big moment for me and I want to thank all my team."
Marco Barba: "It's a good weekend with two podium finishes. That's a handful of points on the board. I was lucky today, but that makes a change from the start of the season!"
Julian Leal: "I'm really happy, and lucky too. Refuelling early was the right strategy today, because when the Safety Car came out, that helped us. I really fought to hold on to third place."