Difficult Sunday on the Paul Ricard circuit closes tough for I.S.R.

Christopher Zanella couldn't go further than P19 and Sergey Sirotkin was forced to retire from the race after two spins.

The last day of F.Renault 3.5 running on the Paul Ricard circuit didn't bring good news for I.S.R. While the Czech team was happy to get back to a two-car effor and welcome Sergey Sirotkin on track, as the Russian talent arrived in the paddock after taking part in a Sauber F1 roadshow in Sochi, the Paul Ricard Sunday was still an hard one for them.

Christopher Zanella
Christopher Zanella

Photo by: Renault Sport

Things didn't go to plan right from the morning Qualifying session that saw Sergey and Christopher Zanella close in P21 and P19 respectively. While the Russian driver obviously suffered from the lack of track time compared to his rivals, Christopher struggled with traffic and with a not ideal pace in Sector 3.

In the race the I.S.R. duo did all they could to recover, but starting from the back rows of the grid didn't make the race easy for them. Sirotkin's pace allowed him to make up some places and climb as high as P17, but then heavy tyre wear started hampering him, forcing him to retire from the race after two spins.

Zanella, meanwhile, lost some places with a slow start, and so had to push hard in order to recover. Thanks to a low downforce setup that gave him an high top speed on the mistral straight he managed to pass some rivals, but he couldn't go further than P19.

Sergey Sirotkin (Q2 - P21; R2 – DNF): 
"I knew it was going to be a very tough day because I didn't take part in any session before this morning's Qualifying, but in the end it wasn't too bad, especially in the race. I had the pace to overtake some of the backmarkers quite easily, but then after 7-8 laps my tyres started to suffer badly, so much that the car became hard to drive. I spun once and then came back into the pits to change tyres, but with the new set I had the same issue and spun again. At that point it didn't make sense to go further and we decided to stop".

Christopher Zanella (Q2 - P19; R2 - P19): "It was a really tough race for us. My start was not so good and I lost some ground so I had no other chance than trying to make the most of our low downforce setup. It gave me the opportunity to overtake some cars on the straight, but on the other hand I wasn't that quick in the twisty part of the track, so I couldn't do better than 19th place".


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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Drivers Christopher Zanella , Sergey Sirotkin
Teams Sauber
Article type Race report
Tags i.s.r., paul ricard, sauber, sirotkin, wsr, zanella