After six days of collective testing during a studious winter, the competitors of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series returned to competition at the Autodromo di Monza.
Organized outside of the World Series by Renault, the opening weekend of season 10 of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series delivered a fantastic show at Monza, with high drama and intense races. And while Carlos Sainz Jr (DAMS) dominated the majority of the weekend, the Spaniard is tied for the championship lead with Will Stevens (Strakka Racing) and Pierre Gasly (Arden Motorsport).
After six days of collective testing during a studious winter, the competitors of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series returned to competition at the Autodromo di Monza. Straight away, Carlos Sainz Jr was the fastest at the “Temple of Speed” in dominating the two practice sessions.Red Bull Junior Team took the first pole position of the year. Unfortunately, a technical incident before the start of the race prohibited him from exhibiting his talent. Will Stevens put in an excellent start and went on to score his maiden success in the category. The Caterham Racing Academy driver was joined on the podium by Roberto Merhi (Zeta Corse) and Pierre Gasly after what was a spectacular race.
On Sunday, Carlos Sainz Jr was at it again, this time taking pole by a healthy 7/10ths of a second from his closest rival in qualifying. This time, the Spaniard went on to take his first triumph in the category in convincing style. Lotus F1 Junior Team member, Marlon Stöckinger (Lotus) and Sauber F1 Team reserve driver, Sergey Sirotkin (Fortec Motorsports) completed the race 2 podium.
Thanks to his victory, Carlos Sainz Jr is atop the championship order, but Will Stevens and Pierre Gasly are on equal points with the Spaniard, while just seven points separate the top seven. The Formula Renault 3.5 Series now heads to Motorland Aragón on 26 and 27 April, to headline the first weekend of the World Series by Renault.
Race 1: 1- W. Stevens, GBR (Strakka Racing), 2- R. Merhi, ESP (Zeta Corse), 3- P. Gasly, FRA (Arden Motorsport)…
Race 2: 1- C. Sainz Jr, ESP (DAMS), 2- M. Stöckinger, PHI (Lotus), 3- S. Sirotkin, RUS (Fortec Motorsports)… General classification: 1- C. Sainz Jr 25 pts, 2- W. Stevens 25 pts, 3- P. Gasly 25 pts …
Patrice Ratti, President of Renault Sport Technologies: ”Could we expect more for the beginning of the season? On a circuit as legendary as it is unique, our competitors offered us a weekend rich in spectacle! We are leaving Italy with an open championship. The top three in points are drivers who are associated with F1 teams, one of them is the winner of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and they are tied for the championship lead. We couldn’t have hoped for a better scenario for season 10 of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. We look forward to see more! “