Stevens closes in on third in standings at the Red Bull Ring

In the drivers’ championship, the result sees fourth placed Will Stevens climb to within just two points of Antonio Felix Da Costa, who is currently third in the standings.

P1 by Strakka Racing scored more points to add to their 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 championship tally, after British driver Will Stevens took another consistent finish at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.

Will Stevens
Will Stevens

Photo by: DPPI

It was the World Series by Renault’s debut visit to the former home of the Austrian Grand Prix, originally known as the Österreichring and later the A1-Ring. Teams and drivers participated in two collective test sessions on Friday, before returning to the circuit on Saturday to qualify for race one.

As usual it was a busy session with traffic playing a part in defining the order. Stevens managed to get a clear lap just as the chequered flag waved, seeing him secure fourth on the grid, with team mate Matias Laine set to start from 25th. As the lights went out, both P1 drivers got off the line well.

Despite locking up into turn one, Stevens maintained his fourth position, with Laine managing to stay clear of any trouble at the back of the field, moving up to 18th position by the end of lap one.

The safety car was deployed on lap seven after the Zeta Corse car of Riccardo Agostini spun, before re-starting a few laps later only to require another safety car period due to contact in the midfield.

Proving the old adage that cautions breed cautions, green flag racing finally resumed with just over 20 minutes remaining on the clock. On lap 15, a right rear puncture ended Laine’s race – disappointingly for the Finn who had climbed 10 places from the start - leaving the sole P1 by Strakka Racing car of Stevens still in fourth position.

Despite running comparable lap times, Stevens could not close the gap to Kevin Magnussen in third. Unable to launch an attack on the DAMS driver, Stevens brought the No.21 car across the line for a solid fourth place finish, and 12 championship points. Stevens said: “I was happy with qualifying this morning – there was a lot of traffic and I was pleased to get the car up to P4 just as the session ended.

In the race I got a good start, and pulled alongside Kevin going into the first corner, but I had a big lock up and flat spotted my tyres which obviously affected us for the rest of the race. This was especially difficult at the Red Bull Ring because of how bumpy the track is in the braking zones. Overall I’m happy with fourth today and I would obviously expect a better race pace from us tomorrow.”

Team mate Laine spoke about his race: “I passed Daniil Move (SMP Racing by Comtec) but think he might have hit the rear of my car going into the next corner, because I had a puncture on the right rear which unfortunately ended my race. It seems to be a good track here in Austria and our race pace was good. Tomorrow I’m hoping for a better qualifying to get us into the top 10.”

In the drivers’ championship, the result sees fourth placed Stevens climb to within just two points of Antonio Felix Da Costa, who is currently third in the standings. Qualifying for race two is scheduled to get underway at 09:00 on Sunday morning, with the race at 14:30 (all times local).

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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Drivers Daniil Move , Will Stevens , Matias Laine , Kevin Magnussen , Riccardo Agostini
Teams SMP Racing , Strakka Racing , DAMS
Article type Race report
Tags agostini, laine, magnussen, p1, red bull ring, spielberg, stevens, wsr