Silverstone: Series preview

The Brits have the edge The lead built up by Pons Racing's Marco Martinez in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series is hanging by a thread. The Spaniard is level-pegging in the points with International Draco Racing's Bertrand Baguette, while ...

The Brits have the edge

The lead built up by Pons Racing's Marco Martinez in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series is hanging by a thread. The Spaniard is level-pegging in the points with International Draco Racing's Bertrand Baguette, while P1 Motorsport's James Walker, Ultimate Motorsport's Miguel Molina and Carlin Motorsport's Oliver Turvey are all waiting to pounce. With five British teams and four drivers sporting the Union Jack, don't expect there to be any polite queuing at Silverstone...

Things change fast in Formula Renault 3.5 Series. Unbeatable at the start of the season, Marco Martinez racked up the wins during the first two meetings, with three wins in four races and 45 points. However, things have since been difficult for the Spanish driver. With two retirements, one sixth place and just 11 points scored since Monaco, his lead has melted away like snow, allowing Bertrand Baguette to draw level. Nevertheless it is still Marcos Martinez who comes to Silverstone as leader, and it falls to him to give the ING Renault F1 Team display behind the wheel of a Renault F1R28. The man from Madrid will be taking his first steps in F1, and then on the following Monday and Tuesday he will visit the ING Renault F1 Team headquarters at Enstone for a two-day F1 clinic, along with the other Formula Renault 3.5 Series drivers. Before that, the 26 drivers will be concentrating on the two races which could well change the face of the overall standings. The main aim for Martinez and Baguette will be to move clear of the other. A regular on the podium, and runner-up on three occasions, the Belgian driver has yet to secure a win this season. However, at Silverstone both drivers will be fighting tooth and nail against the British contingent of Formula Renault 3.5 Series. Copse, Becketts and Stowe hold no secrets for them and they will all be dreaming of a win on the track where Sebastian Vettel, a former driver in this category, won this year's British Grand Prix. James Walker will undoubtedly be the top British driver to watch. Third in the championship, and only two points behind Martinez and Baguette, the driver from Jersey needs a win to put his hopes of the title back on track. A winner already this season at Spa-Francorchamps, to win again in front of his home crowd, as he did at Donnington in 2007, would be a great way to boost his popularity even further. Oliver Turvey has already won one race this season, at Monaco. Born in Penrith in Cumbria, Turvey has what it takes to repeat his Monaco performance, even if he is still learning the ropes in the category this season. Ultimate Motorsport's Greg Mansell and Comtec Racing's Jon Lancaster are also newcomers to Formula Renault 3.5 Series. Mansell can surely count on advice from dad Nigel, who won the Formula 1 Grand Prix here on three occasions in 1987, 1991 and 1992, the year he was crowned World Champion. The job will be more complicated for Lancaster. Runner-up in the 2007 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, he took his first steps in Formula Renault 3.5 Series in Hungary. The driver from Leeds nonetheless scored points in his first race, proving that he is a quick learner. He should be a strong favourite with British bookmakers. Finally, KMP Group/SG Formula's Guillaume Moreau will make his return to Formula Renault 3.5 Series in England. A few weeks after a dazzling performance in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Frenchman will bring his experience to the KMP Group/SG Formula team for the rest of the season.

-credit: wsr

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Drivers James Walker , Marcos Martinez , Sebastian Vettel , Bertrand Baguette , Greg Mansell , Guillaume Moreau , Oliver Turvey , Miguel Molina , Jon Lancaster
Teams Carlin , Renault F1 Team