Second round of the F.Renault 3.5 championship and second podium finish already for I.S.R. The Czech team clinched an amazing 2nd place with Russian young gun Sergey Sirotkin, who drove a masterful race in prohibitive track conditions. Christopher Zanella, on the #8 car, had a less enjoyable day as he retired on lap 9 after a spin.
For the race the track was so flooded that Race Control opted for a start behind the Safety-Car, something that didn't prevent some drivers from making mistakes. Sirotkin kept focus and when the green flag was waved he immediately got in P2 making the most of an error from a rival.
From then on he kept a steady and quick pace, showing racecraft and stunning car control. He was briefly under pressure when a fellow competitor overshoot the hairpin braking zone risking to hit him, but even on that occasion Sergey was perfect, moving wide just in time to avoid being collected.
He then crossed the line with a safe gap on third place, so clinching a well deserved second spot. Thanks to this result Sergey is now 5th in the Drivers Standings, with 30 points.
Zanella experienced a good first part of the race too: from P12 he managed to overtake 4 cars in the first laps and was holding eight place when, on lap 9, he hit a water puddle on last corner and spun, putting an end to a good race.
Sergey Sirotkin (Q - P3; R2 - P2): "I'm really happy for today's result, the conditions were unbelievably difficult, it wasn't just driving, it was survival! I just tried to lap as quickly as possible without losing control of the car, but there was so much water on track that I had aquaplaning everywhere.
I had a big moment when I was nearly hit by Vandoorne, who missed the braking point for the hairpin, but luckily I managed to see his yellow car with the corner of my eye and I steered right to avoid the collision. It was such an hard day, a podium finish is a deserved reward for both me and the team".
Christopher Zanella (Q - P12; R2 - DNF): "It was impossible out there, I was bottoming on the water all the time and I had snap oversteer even on the straight and in 6th gear. I did the best I could and at the beginning I even managed to make up some ground, but the car was just unpredictable. Now I'm looking forward to the next round in Monaco to shave off this bad day".