I.R.S. and Zanella just shy of the top ten in Spa-Francorchamps Race 1

hristopher Zanella: "Today was a difficult day for us, but despite that we were quick enough to fight for a points finish."

The first race day of the Spa F.Renault 3.5 round was a tough one for ISR. The team finished Race 1 just shy of the top ten with Christopher Zanella (in 11th place) while Sergey Sirotkin took the flag in P18 after enduring a difficult race.

Christopher Zanella
Christopher Zanella

Photo by: Renault Sport

The morning Qualifying, that had to be shortened to just 20 minutes because of a two hours delay caused by thick fog, had already been quite hard for the Czech outfit: Zanella closed the session in 15th place after being hindered by vibration issues that were solved only when the complete nosecone of his car was changed, while Sirotkin struggled for traction and pace couldn't do better than P18.

Things weren't looking too good for the race, but Zanella did his best to beat the odds: his getaway was quick and his first laps were good, allowing him to climb to 12th place.

Then a contact with a fellow competitor that had nearly stalled in the Bus Stop chicane damaged his front wing, and as a consequence of that the Swiss driver started suffering from heavy understeer.

Despite that, Chris still had a good pace and managed to overtake Webb for P11, ending the race just 0.7 shy of a points finish.

Sirotkin was quick off the line too, but then he had to brake hard to avoid a slow starting rival and that dropped him to P22. Sergey pushed as hard as he could to fight back, but he couldn't do better than 18th place.

Christopher Zanella (Q - P15; R1 - P11): "Today was a difficult day for us, but despite that we were quick enough to fight for a points finish. I had a good feeling in the first laps and I made up some places, but then at the Bus Stop chicane Muller had an issue with his antistall system just in front of me and nearly stopped.

I turned my steering to full lock to avoid him, but I still clipped his car damaging the front wing. After that I had a lot of understeer, and so I couldn't push as much as I wanted. Anyway it's not too bad, we have a good potential for tomorrow if we will manage to put everything together".

Sergey Sirotkin (Q - P17; R1 - P18): "It was quite a frustrating day for me. Qualifying wasn't good, but I still hoped to recover in the race. My start was good but then, when 2nd gear was already engaged and I was at full throttle, I saw a slow car just ahead of me.

I slowed down as much as I could to avoid it but that cost me a lot both in terms of time and speed, and so the whole pack blasted past me. At that point the race was spoiled, I did my best but P18 was the best I could do".


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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Drivers Christopher Zanella , Sergey Sirotkin
Article type Race report
Tags i.r.s., sirotkin, spa-francorchamps, wsr, zanella