Kevin Magnussen (DAMS), the dominant force all weekend, was stripped of his Formula Renault 3.5 Series race victory on Saturday after his car was found to have breached technical regulations. But the Dane bounced back on Sunday with victory in race two, finishing ahead of Nico Müller (International Draco Racing) and Antonio Félix da Costa (Arden Caterham). The championship leader goes into the next round in Barcelona with a 43-point lead over Stoffel Vandoorne (Fortec Motorsports), who retired towards the end.
Kevin Magnussen put yesterday’s disappointing turn of events behind him and quickly found his rhythm in qualifying this morning. The Dane claimed his sixth pole of the season, qualifying ahead of compatriot Marco Sorensen (Lotus), Nico Müller and Antonio Felix da Costa. Stoffel Vandoorne, for his part, lined up in seventh on the grid.
At the start, Pietro Fantin (Arden Caterham) stayed glued to the grid, while Kevin Magnussen made a superb getaway. The championship leader quickly built a lead over the chasing pair of Marco Sorensen and Antonio Felix da Costa. Nico Müller and Nigel Melker (Tech 1 Racing) followed in fourth and fifth respectively, after an eventful opening lap that saw Yann Cunha (AV Formula) spin out.
Kevin Magnussen then took firm control of the race, setting a series of fastest laps. The battle for the remaining podium places was much more open. On lap six, Nico Müller was the first of the frontrunners to head to the pits. This allowed the Swiss to get ahead of Antonio Félix da Costa, who made his stop a lap later. The pair then managed to pass Marco Sorensen after he made an extended stop on lap nine.
In the end it was a comfortable win for Kevin Magnussen, who took the chequered flag five seconds in front of Nico Müller. Antonio Felix da Costa took the final podium place, followed by Nigel Melker, Marco Sorensen and Mikhail Aleshin (Tech 1 Racing). Arthur Pic (AV Formula) was seventh, ahead of William Buller (Zeta Corse), Norman Nato (DAMS) and Marlon Stockinger (Lotus). And after dropping several places, Stoffel Vandoorne finally succumbed to a mechanical problem and retired with two laps left.
Kevin Magnussen: "Today went just like yesterday. The car has been perfect all weekend, and the team has done a fantastic job. I didn’t make any mistakes. In terms of the championship, I’ve learned over the past few days that you never know what’s going to happen. So I’m going to carry on pushing hard."
Nico Müller: "Yesterday was disappointing for us. We had a clutch problem on the starting grid, which meant we couldn’t build on our great qualifying performance. We’ve made up for it today. The team did a great job in the pits and it’s good to be back on the podium."
Antonio Felix da Costa: "I was a bit too ambitious at the start by trying to keep pace with Kevin. I used the DRS constantly, but all that did was compromise the rest of my race. The car was good, but I can’t say the same for my DRS strategy. Kevin has been magnificent this weekend and he deserves his two victories."
Formula Renault 3.5 Series – provisional championship standings: 1. K.Magnussen 224; 2. S.Vandoorne 181; 3. A. Da Costa 160; 4. N. Melker 132; 5. N. Müller 131
(*) Results to be confirmed, pending post-race technical inspections.
World Series by Renault