Tag Archives: Formula Renault 3.5 Series

Formula Renault 3.5

Nico Muller

NICO MULLER DEFIES THE RAIN IN HUNGARY—

Nico Muller (International Draco Racing) mastered a wet track at the Hungaroring on Saturday afternoon to take victory in the weekend’s first Formula Renault 3.5 Series race from Kevin Magnussen (DAMS) and Sergey Sirotkin (ISR). After starting from row eight on the grid, the Dane increased his championship lead over Stoffel Vandoorne (Fortec Motorsports), who finished two places behind him in fourth.

The day began with Andre Negrao (International Draco Racing) grabbing his first Formula Renault 3.5 Series pole of the season. In a stop-start session that was interrupted four times the Brazilian qualified ahead of Nico Muller, Mikhail Aleshin (Tech 1 Racing), Antonio Felix da Costa (Arden Caterham) and Will Stevens (P1 by Strakka Racing).

In response to the rain, which was falling with increasing intensity, the safety car came out for the start of the race and led the cars round until lap five. Nico Muller made an early but unsuccessful attempt to dive past Andre Negrao, while Sergey Sirotkin (ISR) jumped up to third when Mikhail Aleshin and Antonio Felix da Costa came together.

In challenging conditions there was much chopping and changing in the pack. One of the men to profit was Nico Muller, who cashed in on a mistake by his team-mate on lap ten to take the lead. The Swiss driver then pulled away, eventually taking the chequered flag by fully 26 seconds from Kevin Magnussen (DAMS), who produced a brilliant recovery drive from 16th on the grid.

Sergey Sirotkin completed the top three, with Stoffel Vandoorne finishing one place behind him after starting 11th. Mikhail Aleshin came home fifth ahead of Nigel Melker (Tech 1 Racing) and Carlos Sainz (Zeta Corse), another driver to pick his way through the field from well down the grid. Will Stevens, Arthur Pic (AV Formula) and Matias Laine (P1 by Strakka Racing) were the other drivers to finish in the points.

What they said

Nico Muller: “We’ve had a lot of ups and downs this season, with the high point obviously being my win in Monaco. I really couldn’t wait to win again, and it’s been a long time for me. It’s good to come back like this and climb up a few places in the championship. The track was more slippery than ever but the car went incredibly well. The challenge was to stay on the tarmac and not make a mistake. I did that and managed to build my lead. I’d love to go and do it again tomorrow.”

Kevin Magnussen: “It’s a good result. Our aim was to be on the podium and get the points that come with it. We should be pleased with the result today. We’re trying to work even harder. Even though I’m leading the championship, my rivals will be giving nothing away.”

Sergey Sirotkin: “It was a good race after what was a pretty long break. We haven’t had much success this season, what with missing out on podiums and big points, but I managed to get some here today. I’m delighted. Like Kevin said, we now need to work hard and make sure we finish the season in style.”

Provisional Formula Renault 3.5 Series standings: 1. K. Magnussen 181 points; 2. S. Vandoorne 148; 3. N. Melker 108; 4. W. Stevens 105; 5. N. Muller 102

FORMULA RENAULT 3.5 SERIES

Marco wins WSR 3.5

MARCO SORENSEN WINS RACE ONE IN AUSTRIA-

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 […]

 

WSR

DA COSTA PLAYS KINGMAKER

Antonio Felix da Costa (Arden Caterham) has been in impressive form since breaking into Formula Renault 3.5 Series, and the Portuguese served further notice of his talent on Saturday, making a late dart past Sam Bird (ISR) to snatch his third win of the season. Having made a perfect start, the Briton had to settle for second, while Robin Frijns (Fortec Motorsports) took third to move into the points lead, ahead of Jules Bianchi (Tech 1 Racing), who suffered a last-lap mishap.

The yellow and red flags were out in force during a stop-start qualifying session, though the interruptions did not prevent championship leader Jules Bianchi from seizing his fifth pole of the campaign, ahead of Antonio Felix da Costa, Kevin Magnussen (Carlin) and Sam Bird. Second in the standings at the start of the day, Robin Frijns could only qualify in sixth.

Antonio Felix da Costa made the most of a slow start by Jules Bianchi to grab first as the lights went out, though Sam Bird was in the right place at the right time at turn one and promptly relieved the Portuguese of the lead. Right behind them in third was a surging Robin Frijns, with Kevin Magnussen fourth and poleman Jules Bianchi suddenly down in fifth.

While Antonio Felix da Costa clung on to Sam Bird’s tail, Robin Frijns pulled away from Kevin Magnussen, who had in turn pulled out a gap over Jules Bianchi. Behind them Will Stevens (Carlin) and Kevin Korjus (Lotus) diced it out for sixth.

As the laps went by, the front two pulled ever further away from Frijns, Magnussen and Bianchi, who were engaged in an increasingly tight scrap, the Frenchman getting right on the tail of the Dane and the Dutchman, with Will Stevens and Kevin Korjus not very far behind either.

Antonio Felix da Costa and Sam Bird were treading much more carefully up ahead, though with 12 minutes remaining the Portuguese dived past the Briton on the final chicane and sped off to make it three wins for the season, with Bird settling for second and Robin Frijns doing likewise for third.

To their rear Jules Bianchi was doing all he could to grab fourth from a determined Kevin Magnussen, the Frenchman making a last-lap assault on the Dane that ended with the two of them spinning off. Both were able to resume, however, Magnussen coming home in fifth and Bianchi seventh, the Frenchman now trailing new championship leader Robin Frijns by four points heading into Sunday’s title-deciding race.

What they said:

Antonio Felix da Costa: “This win is reward for all the work we’ve been doing with the team since I came into Formula Renault 3.5 Series. I don’t want to get involved in the championship race, and I’m just trying to stay out of trouble and not hit anyone. I got past Sam (Bird) fair and square, which is the important thing.”

Sam Bird: “My tyres went after three laps. Antonio could see that and he waited until the time was right to make his move. The championship could have been all over for me today, but I’m still in with a chance of clinching the title tomorrow. We now know who the top three are going to be. We just have to wait and see what the order will be.”

Robin Frijns: “I needed a good getaway from sixth and that’s just what I got. When I realised I couldn’t keep up with the front two I just focused on Kevin Magnussen. I made sure of my place at the end of the race and I’m on top in the standings again, though there’s still all to play for tomorrow.”

WSR

MAGNUSSEN AND DA COSTA LAY DOWN GAUNTLET

While all eyes are on the championship duel between Jules Bianchi (Tech 1 Racing), Robin Frijns (Fortec Motorsports) and Sam Bird (ISR), Antonio Felix da Costa (Arden Caterham) and Kevin Magnussen (Carlin) are in no mood to make up the numbers on the final weekend of the season. The Dane and the Portuguese shone in the dry and the wet in Friday’s two collective testing sessions, while the three leaders in the points went about their preparations for the final push of the campaign.

Rain was falling when the 26 drivers arrived for the final two Formula Renault 3.5 Series collective testing sessions of the season. Among them was Hungarian racer Tamas Pal Kiss, who is making his return for BVM Target. Competing on their last weekend in the category are Franco-Russian outfit Team RFR, who will make way for AV Formula on Monday.

Nico Muller (International Draco Racing) and Sam Bird were the first to settle in the wet conditions, though the session was soon interrupted by a red flag when Daniel Abt (Tech 1 Racing) went off.

On the resumption, Antonio Felix da Costa made the most of a clear track to set a fastest lap of 1:51.961, putting him ahead of Sam Bird and Nico Muller before the red flag came out again, this time when Yann Cunha (Pons Racing) and Tamas Pal Kiss had grassy moments. The Portuguese stayed out front in what remained of the opening session, leading the way from Sam Bird and Nico Muller, with Will Stevens (Carlin) and Arthur Pic (Dams) rounding off the top five.

Slicks were the only option in the afternoon, by which time track conditions had improved considerably. Kevin Korjus (Lotus) set the tempo before a short neutralisation period triggered by Arthur Pic grinding to a halt on the track. Antonio Felix da Costa was at it again on the restart as he went fastest in a time of 1:31.481, with Kevin Magnussen second, just 0.040s off the pace.

Kevin Korjus then barged in front, while Antonio Felix da Costa collided with the track barrier, prompting the red flag to put in another appearance and leading to the Portuguese’s fastest time being wiped, in accordance with the regulations. Then, with just a few seconds to go before the chequered flag, Kevin Magnussen went top of the times with a lap of 1:30.736, the day’s quickest. Completing the top five behind him were Kevin Korjus, Sam Bird, Alexander Rossi (Arden Caterham) and Will Stevens (Carlin).

What they said:

Kevin Magnussen: “I’d rather be involved in the title battle with Jules Bianchi, Robin Frijns and Sam Bird. All the same, this is the type of weekend where there’s always something going on. All in all it’s been a disappointing season because we’ve shown we’ve got the pace and we’ve had the means to do well in the overall standings. We’ve just lacked consistency and success, which is all part of the learning process at the highest level. Even so, I really want to finish the season on a high note.”

Antonio Felix da Costa: “The car went very well in the wet this morning. It started the afternoon well too, but I came across a wet kerb as I was overtaking some slower cars and just lost it. Luckily there wasn’t too much damage. I’m going to drive the same way as I have at other weekends, racing my race without bothering about what everyone else is doing and trying to avoid any kind of contact.”

Jules Bianchi: “I need to look on this as just another weekend and not put any extra pressure on myself. There’s no point in that. We went about our work today the same way we usually do, though I’m still not that happy with the car this afternoon. We need to work out why that is. It’s good to be in the lead, but my main objective is to have a competitive car for the rest of the weekend.”

World Series by Renault

Mixed conditions for FR 3.5 stars in Germany

The 26 drivers in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series field had both wet and dry track conditions to deal with today at the Nürburgring. Kevin Magnussen (Carlin) clocked the best time in the dry, while Nico Müller (International Draco Racing) was the fastest man in the rain. Once again, rain or no rain, there is very little to separate the drivers.

There are two notable changes to the entry list for the Formula Renault 3.5 Series this weekend. Brazilian driver Cesar Ramos, 11th overall in the competition in 2011 and third in the Rookie division, replaces Lotus driver Richie Stanaway, who is currently recovering from injury in Cap Breton. Antonio Felix de Costa, recruited recently by Red Bull Junior Team, is the other new face, and he will be making his debut in the completion for Arden Caterham. The Portuguese driver, third in the 2009 Eurocup Formula Renault and winner of the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC the same year, steps in to replace Lewis Williamson.

It was Robin Frijns (Fortec Motorsport), Kevin Magnussen (Carlin) and Alexander Rossi (Arden Caterham) who started the morning session brightest, before Marco Sorensen (Lotus) took control of proceedings. Magnussen’s flying lap of 1:42.719 eclipsed Sebastian Vettel’s effort of 1:42.984, which until today had been the Formula Renault 3.5 track record at the Nürburgring.

The red flag came out to interrupt the session for the first time after Lucas Foresti (Dams) went off the track. After the track had been cleared, Nick Yelloly (Comtec Racing) moved top of the timesheets with a lap of 1:42.428, before Magnussen, on fresh rubber, increased the pace even further. With a flying lap of 1:41.677, the Danish driver recorded the best time of the morning session to finish top of the pile, ahead of Yelloly and Carlos Huertas.

The afternoon brought a change in conditions, characterised by a wet track and heavy rainfall. The session began with a collision between Will Stevens (Carlin) and Walter Grubmüller (P1 Motorsport). Russian pair Daniil Move (P1 Motorsport) and Mikhail Aleshin (Team RFR) set the pace, despite both drivers taking detours into the gravel trap.

The rain eased towards the end of the session, and this was reflected in the lap times. Yelloly, Alexander Rossi and Nico Müller traded first place lap after lap, with the latter eventually finishing top at the end of a decidedly wet session. The Swiss driver finished ahead of Rossi, Sorensen and newcomers Cesar Ramos and Antonio Felix da Costa.

Nico Müller: “When the track is dry, you really need to have a bit of luck to get the right lap at the right time, because the peak performance of the tyres lasts a very short time. I’ve been in the leading group since the start of the season, but I’m just missing that little extra something to turn it into results. In the dry I’m short of those few tenths that make the difference, but in the wet we’re right up there.”

Cesar Ramos: “These were obviously my first laps in the new car. I haven’t driven a single racing car since October 2011, aside from a few laps in a go-kart. I’m going to need a bit of time to get back into the rhythm. I’ve been impressed by the downforce of this car and its cornering speed. The braking is also very good and the DRS is an interesting feature. I immediately felt comfortable at the wheel of the car.”

Antonio Felix da Costa: “This car is a learning experience. I’m starting from scratch and I have a lot to learn. The car is quick and the team seems very efficient, so everything is there for us to do well. I was lucky enough to drive a Formula One car during the Young Driver Test in 2010. That experience helps me a bit, as there’s quite a big difference between the GP3 and the Formula Renault 3.5. Joining Red Bull Junior Team is a huge opportunity. My goal is to become a Formula One driver, and I know that succeeding with Red Bull is the best way to get there.”

Motorsports Mondial

Formula Renault 3.5 Even closer to Formula 1

A new chapter in the history of Renault Sport opens with the launch of a third generation of the Formula Renault 3.5. This new single-seater stays true to the philosophy that made previous models so successful, namely providing exceptionally high performance, cost-efficiency, reliability and technical fairness. Renault Sport Technologies has drawn on its experience in the field and worked with the best partners available to produce this particularly impressive vehicle, which is even faster than before but still has affordable running costs.

The Formula Renault 3.5 Series, flagship discipline of the World Series by Renault, will see the launch of a new car for the 2012 season. The new Formula Renault 3.5 is designed to prepare the brightest young driving talents for life in Formula 1 and features various technological innovations, particularly in terms of aerodynamics and safety.

To keep costs under control, a third of the components from the previous model have been retained. The carbon chassis, designed and built by Dallara, is an evolution of the previous frame. On a visual level, the cockpit, front and rear wings are all radically different.

The rear spoiler features a drag reduction system (DRS) that can be activated by the driver. This system disrupts the airflow in order to increase straight-line speeds. Designed using computational fluid dynamics and later tested in a wind tunnel, DRS is a low-cost way to improve aerodynamic efficiency and increase performance. It also encourages overtaking, which in turn helps to make races even more spectacular.

Performance is also achieved via a new 530 bhp V8 engine, developed by Zytek Engineering and connected to a new semi-automatic gearbox with pneumatic clutch.

Aside from increasing power (50bhp more than the previous model), the engineers at Renault Sport Technologies have also worked hard to reduce the new car’s weight. Despite stricter safety rules, which require, notably, the use of anti-intrusion panels, the new Formula Renault 3.5 is 15kg lighter than its predecessor. This is thanks in no small part to an innovative electronic system, which requires neither a battery nor a starter.

The Formula Renault 3.5 is a springboard to F1, as the likes of Robert Kubica, Sebastian Vettel, Jaime Alguersauri and, more recently, Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne have all proved so brilliantly. This new version of Renault Sport’s top-of-the-range single-seater will allow young drivers to acquaint themselves with the various technologies used in F1.

The development programme, carried out in 2011, took place on several European circuits, with Romain Grosjean, Andy Soucek and Ben Hanley behind the wheel. The new Formula Renault 3.5 immediately demonstrated its speed and reliability.