Esteban Guerrier makes a clean sweep ISR's Sebastian Guerrieri has struck again, winning his second Formula Renault 3.5 Series race of the weekend at Brno. The Argentinean beat International Draco Racing's Nathanael Berthon, and teammate ...
Esteban Guerrier makes a clean sweep
ISR's Sebastian Guerrieri has struck again, winning his second Formula Renault 3.5 Series race of the weekend at Brno. The Argentinean beat International Draco Racing's Nathanael Berthon, and teammate Salaquarda. Even though he finished ninth, Carlin's Mikhail Aleshin held on to his lead in the championship by a lead of just three points over Tech 1 Racing's Daniel Ricciardo. It is therefore the Russian who has the honour of driving the Renault F1 Team exhibition at the next meeting at Magny-Cours, France.
Sunday morning's qualifying session was a highly competitive affair. In front of some 60,000 spectators, Filip Salaquarda succeeded in making amends for his error in the first race, claiming another pole position ahead of teammate Esteban Guerrieri. Meanwhile, Comtec Racing's Stefano Coletti and Nathanael Berthon occupied the second row.
As in the first race, Filip Salaquarda found himself ambushed by Esteban Guerrieri on the start line, but this time third-place Stefano Coletti also managed to get past him. Coletti, however, span his car going into the first turn, handing second place back to the Czech. In the pack, Fortec Motorsport's Sten Pentus, Lotus Junior Racing's Daniil Move, KMP Racing's Anton Nebilitskiy and Epsilon Euskadi's Keisuke Kunimoto collided. The race management decided to send out the safety car while the debris was cleared.
At the restart, Esteban Guerrieri kept control of the race, ahead of Filip Salaquarda, Nathanael Berthon, Lotus Junior Racing's Nelson Panciatici and Tech 1 Racing's Brendon Hartley. Behind them, the positions were changing. Daniel Ricciardo overtook Walther Grubmuller for seventh place. But in the end it was P1 Motorsport's Jan Charouz who really benefitted from the maneuver. The Czech overtook both drivers to snatch seventh behind Comtec Racing's Jon Lancaster, sixth.
Some drivers, including Mikhail Aleshin, decided to enter the pits for their mandatory tire change relatively early. Esteban Guerrieri was the first driver from the lead trio to stop, the others waiting a few more laps before following suit. The Argentinian held onto his lead, but the award for best pit stop went International Draco Racing when Nathanael Berthon exited the pits in second place, behind him were Salaquarda, Grubmuller Ricciardo and Hartley.
There was clearly still everything to play between Guerrieri and Berthon, as the Frenchman was now hot on the heels of the Argentinian. In the fight for third, Salaquarda, Grubmuller and Ricciardo were also bumper to bumper and looking for the slightest opportunity to climb up the race order. Despite their best efforts, the positions would remain unchanged with Guerrieri the winner, his third victory the season, followed by Berthon and Salaquarda. The championship positions are now closer than ever. Mikhail Aleshin has just three points separating him from Daniel Ricciardo, who now finds Esteban Guerrrieri and Brendon Hartley a little too close for comfort.
Esteban Guerrieri : "I wasn't at Monaco, so this really is my third consecutive win! It's been an unbelievable weekend, both for me and the ISR team. To be honest, I wasn't expecting this level of performance in what is only the team's first year in this class. We've taken full advantage of the leaders' bad luck this weekend. It's left the championship wide open."
Nathanael Berthon : "I finished on the podium at Motorland Aragon, then at Spa I was on the pace and today I'm second. I'm very happy with this start to the season. Draco chose an excellent strategy and last night the entire team really worked very hard to get our set-up just right. The signs are good for Magny-Cours."
Filip Salaquarda : "I was quite disappointed by my error yesterday, but I've forgotten about all that, and I'm delighted to finish on the podium in front of such a big home crowd. It's my first podium finish in Formula Renault 3.5 Series and believe me it wasn't easy, as everyone behind me was really pushing hard in the last few laps."