Marco wins WSR 3.5


Marco Sorensen today claimed his first pole position in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, before driving to an impressive victory at the Red Bull Ring. The Dane finished ahead of Nigel Melker (Tech 1 Racing) and Kevin Magnussen (DAMS), with the latter regaining the championship lead following the retirement of Stoffel Vandoorne (Fortec Motorsports).

Marco Sorensen (Lotus) took his maiden FR 3.5 Series pole this morning, qualifying ahead of fellow Dane Kevin Magnussen (DAMS) and Nigel Melker (Tech 1 Racing). The trio lined up on the grid ahead of Will Stevens (P1 by Strakka Racing) and Arthur Pic (AV Formula).

In an eventful start to the race, Nigel Melker slipped through into second to wedge himself between race leader Marco Sorensen and third-placed Kevin Magnussen. A chaotic first lap saw Stoffel Vandoorne fall back to 12th, while Pietro Fantin (Arden Caterham), Mikhail Aleshin (Tech 1 Racing) and Nikolay Martsenko (Pons Racing) all had to retire.

The safety car was introduced on lap 10 to allow Riccardo Agostini’s car to be removed. The Zeta Corse man had spun and stopped on track during an attempt to overtake Matias Laine (P1 by Strakka Racing). The safety car was called into action again a short time later after contact between Norman Nato (DAMS) and Sergey Sirotkin (ISR). Stoffel Vandoone, meanwhile, returned to the pits and subsequently retired from the race.

Unruffled by events around him, Marco Sorensen eventually took victory ahead of Nigel Melker and Kevin Magnussen. Will Stevens finished fourth, followed by Arthur Pic and best-placed rookie William Buller (Zeta Corse). Buller finished sixth after overtaking Antonio Félix da Costa (Arden Caterham), seventh, in the closing laps. Marlon Stockinger (Lotus) and André Negrão (International Draco Racing) followed, with Jazeman Jaafar (Carlin) also finishing in the points after fighting his way from the very back of the grid.

What they said

Marco Sorensen: “I hope this victory can be the turning point for our season. We really didn’t have any luck at the start of the year. We need to finish the season in this vein, and work hard and do our best. I’m delighted with this win, which is my first since Spa last year.”

Nigel Melker: “I’m very happy to be back on the podium. After twice finishing third, I’ve now managed second place. We’re improving, and tomorrow should be an interesting day. We’re hoping to do well.”

Kevin Magnussen: “It was a difficult race. I lost a place at the start and pushed hard to try to catch up. But I soon realised there wasn’t a great deal I could do, other than finish the race and secure the points, as the championship is very tight.”

Formula Renault 3.5 Series – provisional championship standings: 1. K. Magnussen 148; 1. S. Vandoorne 136; 3. A. Da Costa 95; 4. W. Stevens 93; 5. N. Melker 82 […]



Eurocup Megane Trophy


Mirko Bortolotti (Oregon Team) recorded his fifth win of the season after a brilliant duel with Steven Palette (Team Lompech Sport). The Italian completed his first clean sweep of the year, taking pole position, victory and the fastest lap of the race. Mike Verschuur (McGregor by Equipe Verschuur) finished third to complete the podium.

This morning, Mirko Bortolotti claimed his sixth pole position of the season. With a lap of 1:34.119, the Italian qualified ahead of Steven Palette, Kevin Gilardoni (Oregon Team), Mike Verschuur and Max Braams (Las Moras by Equipe Verschuur).

Bortolotti started well from pole and held his advantage over Steven Palette and Mike Verschuur. Enrico Bettera (Oregon Team) and Oliver Freymuth (AKF Motorsport) collided at the end of lap two. And after missing qualifying this morning, Kelvin Snoeks (Oregon Team) mounted a charge from the back of the grid, but had to retire on lap nine after contact with Max Braams.

Mirko Bortolotti and Steven Palette then pulled away at the front and exchanged fastest times. The pair stopped to refuel at the end of lap 17, but the race order remained unchanged.

It was Bortolotti who eventually took the chequered flag for his fifth victory of the year. The Oregon Team driver finished ahead of Steven Palette, who secured his first podium of the season, and Mike Verschuur. Kevin Gilardoni (Oregon Team) came fourth, followed by Erik Janis (Gravity Charouz), Vladimir Lunkin (Oregon Team) and Toni Forné (Gravity Charouz), the best-placed gentleman driver. Jeroen Schothorst (McGregor by Equipe Verschuur), Marguerite Laffite (Oregon Team) and Enrico Bettera also finished in the points.

What they said

Mirko Bortolotti: “I’m really pleased with this result. We’ve worked very hard to get to this level at the Red Bull Ring. It’s never easy. Steven [Palette] was very quick, and he pushed me to the limit throughout the race. Congratulations to him.”

Steven Palette: “I’m delighted with this first podium finish. I made a bad start, but I put a good string of laps together to close the gap on Mirko [Bortolotti]. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to attempt a pass. I’m hoping for another podium finish or a victory tomorrow.”

Mike Verschuur: “We had a few problems this morning finding the right set-up. We had oversteer at the start, and understeer after that. It’s a difficult track. It’s my first time at the Red Bull Ring, and we’ve still got work to do. Let’s hope tomorrow will be better.”

Eurocup Megane Trophy – provisional championship standings: 1. M. Bortolotti 155; 2. M. Verschuur 99; 3. K. Snoeks 71; 4. E. Janis 70; 5. K. Gilardoni 66 […]

*Results to be confirmed, pending post-race technical inspections


RTL GP Masters of Formula 3, Zandvoort (NL)

Formula 3 drivers convince at Silverstone- 

Silverstone, UK, was the place to be. From Wednesday until Friday the next generation of F1 talents had been invited to join the F1 Young Drivers’ Test. A lot of former and current Formula 3 drivers got the chance of demonstrating their skills – and delivered well.

On the final of the three test days, Red Bull protégé Daniil Kvyat also was offered the chance of joining the test action. The 19-year-old, who makes some guest-driver appearances in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship for British Team Carlin, this year, completed 22 laps at the wheel of a Toro Rosso. On an unusually hot summer day, Kvyat executed his first Formula 1 test: “I want to thank Red Bull and Scuderia Toro Rosso for giving me this opportunity to drive a Formula 1 car for the first time. It was a really nice feeling, with all that down force and power. The more laps you do, the more you get used to it and on my last run I was already trying to push and find the limits. Unfortunately, we lost some time when I made a mistake and ran into the gravel. I’m not sure what happened, I just felt a lack of grip at the rear from the tyres and had snap oversteer.” Nevertheless the Russian was thrilled by his first Formula 1 test.

On the first two days of testing, McLaren Junior Kevin Magnussen and Antonio Félix da Costa (Red Bull) had been offered the chance of getting their first taste of Formula 1. With more than 100 laps completed, Denmark’s Magnussen proved to be the busiest driver on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Portuguese da Costa could drive the Red Bull single seater for 1.5 days. Both young drivers still raced in Formula 3, last year. On Friday, Kimiya Sato also got behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car: for the Sauber F1 Team. The 24-year-old Japanese contested his maiden F1 test with the experience gathered in the Japanese, the German and the European Formula 3 under his belt. 

On Thursday, Red Bull protégé Carlos Sainz Junior, son of the former World Rally Champion, finished second on the time sheets. In the afternoon session, the Spaniard completed 39 laps in the cockpit of a Toro Rosso – to test for Red Bull on Friday morning. Last year he raced in Formula 3 and finished ninth, in the championship. “First of all, I want to thank Red Bull and especially Toro Rosso for this opportunity. When I got out of the car at the end, I went round to every mechanic and said ’thank you for being part of the happiest day of my life!’ Driving the car was an incredible feeling and this track helped, because if there is one circuit where you are really going to feel you are in a Formula 1 car, it’s Silverstone. As for my impressions of the car, everything about it was amazing, but if I had to pick on one aspect it would be the car’s agility and the way it can change direction at 300 km/h. That’s something I had never experienced before and it was the most impressive thing for me”, says the 18-year-old Spaniard.

Also involved in the tests at Silverstone were Venezuela’s Johnny Cecotto (Toro Rosso), son of former Formula 1 driver and Motorbike World Champion Johnny Cecotto, and reigning Formula 3 European Champion and DTM driver Daniel Juncadella (Williams) “I could feel the speed of the car from lap one and it was a great experience today I’m really delighted with having been offered this chance by the team. I’m really happy with the chance the team gave me. In the end, we couldn’t complete our full programme but I think we had some good runs,” said Juncadella. “I get on well with the engineers and team and we worked well together. The team has given me all the support I needed.”

For decades, Formula 3 has been the ideal stepping stone into motorsport’s premier category, Formula 1. Here, up-and- coming talents not only acquire valuable experience in racing, but also learn how to deal with technical matters. Formula 1 World Champions Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, Mika Häkkinen, Jacques Villeneuve, Damon Hill, Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell, Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna, to name but a few examples from the last three decades, all moved up through the ranks of Formula 3 into the sport’s top class. In addition, an amazing 17 drivers of the 2013 Formula 1 grid learned their trade in Formula 3.