Carlos Sainz (DAMS) becomes the 2014 Formula Renault 3.5 Series champion at the Circuito de Jerez.
Will Stevens (Strakka Racing) took his second win of the season at the Circuito de Jerez. Starting from pole, the Englishman won ahead of the Fortec Motorsport duo of Oliver Rowland and Sergey Sirotkin, which keeps their squad in contention for the team title.
Out of the points on this Saturday, Carlos Sainz (DAMS) becomes the 2014 Formula Renault 3.5 Series champion, 24 years to the day after his father’s first crown in the WRC. At the age of 20, the Spaniard is the youngest driver in the history of the category to win the title as well as the first member of the Red Bull Junior Team to accomplish this feat.
This morning, Will Stevens claimed his first pole position in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series with a best lap of 1:27.783. Fellow Brits, Oliver Rowland and William Buller (Arden Motorsport) were next on the grid. The title contenders started further down the order. Roberto Merhi (Zeta Corse) set off from 10th place, five spots ahead of Carlos Sainz.
If someone told me last December that I would experience a year so rich in victories and excellent moments, I wouldn’t have believed it!
At the start, Will Stevens held on to the lead ahead of Oliver Rowland and Segey Sirotkin. Behind them, William Buller and Marlon Stockinger (Lotus) collided. An innocent victim of the contact Roberto Merhi was forced into the turn one gravel by the Englishman, and his last hope for the title vanished.
After pulling away, Will Stevens then saw Oliver Rowland fill his mirrors, but the Fortec Motorsports driver couldn’t find an opening to take the lead. Menacing Beitske Visser (AVF) for fifth place, Pierre Gasly (Arden Motorsport) found himself in a similar situation.
Despite a final attempt from Oliver Rowland in the last corner, Will Stevens won by a scant 78/1000ths of a second. Sergey Sirotkin finished third, less than a half of a second behind the winner. Starting eighth, Matthieu Vaxiviere (Lotus) was fourth ahead of Beitske Visser, who put in the best result for a female driver in the premier class of the World Series by Renault.
Pierre Gasly, Meindert van Buuren (Pons Racing), Norman Nato (DAMS), Marco Sørensen (Tech 1 Racing) and Matias Laine (Strakka Racing) all finished in the points. Ninth at the end of the race, Carlos Sainz was handed a 25-second penalty after the race following a collision with Oscar Tunjo (Pons Racing)
Will Stevens: “We have struggled a lot in qualifying this year, but we have demonstrated what we can do. This track is hard on the rear tyres, but I managed that pretty well. Oliver gave me a pretty hard fight, but he wasn’t too close enough to get something; I am confident for tomorrow, the plan is to do it again!”
Oliver Rowland: ” My best chance was at the start because there wasn’t going to be a lot of opportunities to get past him. All the same, we did a good job and we will try again tomorrow. Will did a better job today, as has Carlos over the season.”
Sergey Sirotkin: “It is a very good result. We weren’t very lucky yesterday, so we didn’t know what to expect today. At the start, I was able to slot it behind the two leaders and save the DRS and tyres to try something. We did as good as we could thanks to the work the team has done all year.”
Carlos Sainz: “Thanks to the entire team for what we’ve achieved. If someone told me last December that I would experience a year so rich in victories and excellent moments, I wouldn’t have believed it! Looking back, we have gotten some great results. Things became a bit complicated during the summer, but I scored the two most important wins of my career in France. The coincidence with my father’s title makes this moment even more special. I hope now to get some news, good or bad, about my future, but I can’t wait to find out:”
Provisional General Classification *
1. C. Sainz – 227 points, 2. R. Merhi – 183, 3. P. Gasly – 180, 4. O. Rowland – 156, 5. W. Stevens – 122, …
*Subject to confirmation of the results following the technical and sporting verifications.
World Series by Renault