Vettel: from strength to strength! After winning race one, German driver Sebastian Vettel (Carlin Motorsport) went from strength to strength, taking pole position for race two. The Red Bull driver has certainly been in impressive form in...
Vettel: from strength to strength!
After winning race one, German driver Sebastian Vettel (Carlin Motorsport) went from strength to strength, taking pole position for race two. The Red Bull driver has certainly been in impressive form in his first weekend in World Series Formula Renault 3.5. He will be joined by Andy Soucek (Interwetten.com) on the front row. Pastor Maldonado failed to qualify after crashing off on his out lap.
It was not until midway through the session that the first lap times appeared on the timing screens. But nobody had gone quicker than 1'21'', more than 3'' adrift of yesterday's pole position time. Patrick Pilet (GD Racing) span just before the session came under full yellow with 14 minutes gone, meaning that qualifying was effectively suspended, after Pastor Maldonado (Draco Multiracing USA) had crashed off on his out lap! Only 4'30'' remained when the green flag signalled the resumption of the session.
Andy Soucek (Interwetten.com) was the quickest to react: he completed his first flying lap in 1'20''094. Davide Valsecchi (Epsilon Euskadi) was unable to dislodge the Spaniard from top spot, especially as Soucek improved his best time to 1'19''729. Soucek then found a few more tenths on his last lap, to record the best time in group B of 1'19''479
At the death, Alvaro Parente (Victory Engineering) grabbed second spot in group B away from Valsecchi. Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin Motorsport) took fourth ahead of two Frenchmen, Pilet and Jouanny (RC Motorsport).
At the 12-minute mark, Sean McIntosh came very close to Soucek's provisional pole with a lap timed at 1'19''555. The Canadian shaved a few thousandths off his time on his next lap, but he stayed behind the Spaniard.
Spain is in fact very well represented in this group with Alvaro Barba, Borja Garcia and Celso Miguez all hot on the heels of McIntosh. Christian Montanari and James Rossiter shattered the harmony of the Spanish party by adding their names to McIntosh's chasing group.
But in the 13th minute, Sebastian Vettel swept past everyone else with a 1'19''434 lap. Soucek was beaten! Montanari then relegated McIntosh to third. Vettel knocked three tenths off his time on his second flying lap whilst Ben Hanley grabbed the second best time.
On his third flying lap, Vettel dipped under the 1'19'' mark. Christian Montanari snatched back his second row spot, but was still over half a second adrift of the German's time! Ben Hanley, Sean McIntosh and James Rossiter completed the top 5 in this group.
With the 8th and 9th best times, Borja Garcia and Eric Salignon have no choice but to adopt an ambitious race strategy if they are to hope to get in the points.
Sebastian Vettel: "I completed three good laps. I'm a bit surprised about the gap to the others. The track was very dirty but my best time was not too bad. This afternoon's race will be first time that I take part in a race with a pit stop."
Andy Soucek: "The track was very slow, but it got quicker the more laps you did. The yellow flags were shown at the worst possible moment for us, but I'm pleased with the result. This afternoon, I'm aiming to finish in the top three. That would be a good result for the championship standings."