Vettel: vitality personified! Not bad for a first attempt! A masterclass from Sebastian Vettel (Carlin Motorsport) saw the German win his second race of the weekend after leading the long Sunday race from start to finish. The World...
Vettel: vitality personified!
Not bad for a first attempt! A masterclass from Sebastian Vettel (Carlin Motorsport) saw the German win his second race of the weekend after leading the long Sunday race from start to finish. The World Series Formula Renault 3.5 had a decidedly youthful and lively feel to it today, with Ben Hanley (Cram Competition) and Davide Valsecchi (Epsilon Euskadi) joining Vettel on the podium!
Sebastian Vettel (Carlin Motorsport) got off to the perfect start and led into the first corner, ahead of Andy Soucek (Interwetten.com). Ben Hanley (Cram Competition) also made a superb start from row three and ended the first lap in third position. The biggest loser was Alvaro Parente (Victory Engineering), who, after starting on row two, had fallen back to seventh by the end of lap one behind Valsecchi, McIntosh and Aleshin.
Andy Soucek lost two places on lap two after being overtaken by Hanley and Valsecchi. Bruce Jouanny (RC Motorsport) then came into the pits, his race over.
Meanwhile, Vettel went about building a significant lead. With four laps gone, the German already had a 4.2-second advantage over Hanley, who in turn was clear of the chasing group of Valsecchi, Soucek, McIntosh, Aleshin and Parente.
Lap five saw the start of the mandatory pit stop period. Of the favourites, Valsecchi, McIntosh, Garcia and Maldonado (allowed to take part in the race in the end) gambled on an early pit stop strategy. Parente and Hanley followed suite on the next lap, as did Aleshin and Rossiter just afterwards.
The rush of pit stops left Vettel with a lead of more than 10 seconds over Soucek, Pilet, Salignon and Fukuda, with seven laps gone. Maldonado ran off the track at that point, without the safety car needing to be called into action. With ten laps gone, Vettel's lead over Hanley, the first driver to have come in for his pit stop, was close to thirty seconds.
The race leader came in on lap 11. The Carlin Motorsport engineers timed his pit stop to perfection, allowing Vettel to make it back out with a lead of just under a second over Hanley! Soucek, Fukuda and Miguez were the three remaining drivers yet to stop.
Shimoda crashed off the track on lap 16, which also saw Soucek come in for his pit stop. The Spaniard returned to the track in fifth place behind Vettel, Hanley, Valsecchi and Parente. The top five were followed by Rossiter, Danielsson, Salignon, Fukuda and McIntosh, all of whom were set to finish in the points!
Outside of the battle for points, Christian Montanari came back into the pits to put on new tyres. He successfully went after the fastest race lap. Meanwhile, Vettel eased to his second win of the weekendâ^a¦
Sebastian Vettel: "The mattered most was the start because I knew I had a good car to push hard and build up a lead. I was cautious, perhaps a bit too much so, during the pit stop. But I managed to get back out ahead of Ben. The tyres took two or three laps to get up to temperature but I was able to manage the situation."
Ben Hanley: "I wanted this podium place! I had a super start but I got shunted from behind on the first corner. After that, it was a good race, with a good pit stop. We need to keep performing like this to compete for the championship."
Davide Valsecchi: "The team strategy was the right one. Coming in early allowed me to move into third. The car was easy to drive. The weekend ends on a more positive note that how it started!"