CARLOS SAINZ GETS HIS REVENGE AT MONZA
Carlos Sainz (DAMS) took his first win in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. Unlucky yesterday, the Red Bull Junior Team driver answered by dominating qualifying and the race on the Autodromo di Monza. He won ahead of Marlon Stöckinger (Lotus) and Sergey Sirotkin (Fortec Motorsports) and is now tied for the championship lead with Will Stevens (Strakka Racing) and Pierre Gasly (Arden Motorsport).
Following a technical incident that prevented him from demonstrating his speed during race 1, Carlos Sainz was back in dominating form on Sunday morning. After a contested first run, the Spaniard trounced the competition in the waning minutes of the session. His lap time of 1’32’’684 guaranteed the pole with a margin of 7/10ths of a second from Marlon Stöckinger. Jazeman Jaafar (ISR) and William Buller (Arden Motorsport) qualified on row two.
At the start of the formation lap, the car of Oliver Rowland (Fortec Motorsports) remained blocked on the starting grid. When the lights went out, Carlos Sainz put in a perfect launch to quickly pull away from the rest of the field led by Marlon Stöckinger, Sergey Sirotkin and Luca Ghiotto (International Draco Racing), who started seventh and ninth. Jazeman Jaafar (ISR) had the worst start, dropping to seventh place.
With a string of fastest laps, Carlos Sainz progressively increased his lead from his pursuers. The battles for position where further down the order. Pierre Gasly and Jazeman Jaafar battled for fifth place, while Nikolay Martsenko (Comtec Racing) passed several cars to move into the top 10.
At the end of a race in which he was fully in control, Carlos Sainz won going away. Marlon Stöckinger and Sergey Sirotkin joined him on the podium, followed by Luca Ghiotto and Pierre Gasly, the top rookies of the day. Nikolay Martsenko overtook Jazeman Jaafar on the final lap for sixth place. Pietro Fantin (International Draco Racing) and Roberto Merhi (Zeta Corse) crossed the line ahead of Oliver Rowland, who picked up the one point for tenth place after having started the race from pit lane.
Carlos Sainz: ”It has been a really good weekend. From the first laps in practice, I was confident with the car. Unfortunately, yesterday has been a lot of points thrown out, but these things happen in motor racing. I dominated all the sessions and I can’t thank the team enough for their work and dedication. We will not stop to work to get the points back.”
Marlon Stöckinger: ”The team did a really great job because I was really on pace all weekend. We knew we were competitive and we finally demonstrated all the work we did during winter testing. Congrats to the whole team for their support.”
Sergey Sirotkin: ”This podium brings to an end to what was a difficult weekend for the team. We didn’t stop looking to solve the problem and this allowed me to be closer to the front today. The key was the start, when I immediately moved up to third place before settling in to concentrate on my race.”