Maldonado goes it alone Pastor Maldonado (Draco Multiracing USA) notched up a clear victory in Misano, a second World Series Formula Renault 3.5 maximum to go with his win in Monaco. The Venezuelan now holds a clear lead in the overall standings.
Maldonado goes it alone
Pastor Maldonado (Draco Multiracing USA) notched up a clear victory in Misano, a second World Series Formula Renault 3.5 maximum to go with his win in Monaco. The Venezuelan now holds a clear lead in the overall standings. Sebastian Vettel (Carlin Motorsport) finished second in his first ever race in the category. Andy Soucek (Interwetten.com) achieved a good result for the championship with third place. Ben Hanley's 25-second penalty saw him drop from second to seventh.
Despite an excellent start by Ben Hanley, Pastor Maldonado managed to hold onto the lead into the first corner. Behind these two, Sebastian Vettel and Andy Soucek were also fighting hard for third.
Maldonado completed the first lap with a healthy lead of 1.8 seconds over Hanley and the rest of the field, which consisted of Vettel, Soucek, Parente, Aleshin, Valsecchi, McIntosh, Montanari and Garcia.
The safety car had to be called out on lap three after Carlos Iaconelli (Eurointernational) went off. Racing resumed at the end of lap five. Maldonado immediately pushed to open up a gap again. Just one lap later, the Venezuelan had already moved two seconds clear of Hanley.
Eric Salignon, who was lapping at the back of the field, came into the pits on lap 10. The gaps between the cars were getting bigger all the time and the race order was virtually unchanging.
It was not until lap 18 of 21 that a bit of drama came along to shake up the race order. Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin Motorsport), Davide Valsecchi (Epsilon Euskadi), Sean McIntosh (KTR) and Christian Montanari (Prema Powerteam) all clashed. Aleshin came off best from the incident as he managed to hold onto 8th place. The three others were however forced to retire from the race.
Behind the top six of Maldonado, Hanley, Vettel, Soucek, Parente and Garcia, Alx Danielsson (Comtec Racing) was the main beneficiary of the incident, moving up to 7th position. Enrico Toccacelo (Eurointernational) and James Rossiter (Pons Racing) completed the top 10.
After the race, the Stewards handed Ben Hanley a 25-second penalty for having repeatedly changed lanes in order to protect his lead over Andy Soucek at the start. The British driver thus only finished in seventh place.
Pastor Maldonado: "It's a fantastic weekend for us. We were hoping to win this race, which is on home soil for the team and for me. My first few seasons in single-seater racing were in the Italian Formula Renault 2.0 championship, so I feel a little Italian!"
Sebastian Vettel: "I felt confident in the car after doing well in qualifying. I got away to a good start and was abler to build a little lead on Soucek. I was a bit worried when the safety car was brought out but I just concentrated on the restart and everything went well."