Tag Archives: World Series by Renault

Formula Renault 3.5

Nico Muller


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


Clio cup


The World Series by Renault Organising Committee has released the list of 19 teams that will form the starting grid for the 2013 Eurocup Clio season, with 38 New Clio Cups lining up in all. The first get-together of the year will be April’s collective testing sessions at Motorland Aragon, just a few weeks before the big kick-off at Imola in the middle of May.

Based on the New Clio Renault Sport 200 EDC, the New Clio Cup is the major development of the 2013 season. Developed by Renault Sport Technologies, this all-new race car will compete exclusively in Eurocup Clio next year before joining the national championships in 2014.

After sifting through a large number of entries the World Series by Renault Organising Committee selected 19 teams with the aim of having 38 New Clio Cups on the grid. Nine of the outfits that contested the 2012 season will be on duty again, among them RMS Engineering, the winner of this year’s drivers’ title with Oscar Nogues, and Milan Competition, who won the 2011 drivers’ crown with Nicolas Milan and the 2012 team championship.

Featuring among the 2013 Eurocup Clio newcomers are Lema Racing Team of Slovenia, Ralf Car of Russia and the British outfit Team Pyro.

Selected teams:
Autosport GP (FRA): 2 cars
Composit Motorsport (ITA): 5 cars
Equipe Verschuur (NED): 1 car
FB Racing (FRA): 2 cars
Harders Plaza Racing (NED): 1 car
Jenzer Motorsport (SUI): 1 car
Lema Racing Team (SLO): 2 cars
LMV Sport (FRA): 1 car
Lugano Racing Team (SUI): 1 car
Milan Competition (FRA): 5 cars
Polar Seafood Racing (DEN): 1 car
Ralf Car (RUS): 1 car
RMS Engineering (ITA): 2 cars
Seminole Racing Team (SUI): 2 cars
SMC Junior Motorsport (ESP): 3 cars
Team Lompech Sport (FRA): 1 car
Team Pyro (GBR): 2 cars
Team Tech Auto (FRA): 3 cars
Vic’Team (FRA): 2 cars

2013 collective testing:
20-21 April: Motorland Aragon (ESP)

2013 Eurocup Clio calendar:
11-12 May: Imola (ITA)
1-2 June: Spa-Francorchamps (BEL)
20-21 July: Red Bull Ring (AUT)
28-29 September: Paul Ricard (FRA)
19-20 October: Circuit de Catalunya (ESP)
2-3 November: Motorland Aragon (ESP



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.”

F1weekly podcast # 497

Photo: wsrbyrenault


Starting 8th for World Series by Renault in race two, American Alexander Rossi drove an impressive run through the field to finish 2nd at Motorland Aragon, Spain.

After a difficult qualifying session this morning, where Rossi struggled with traffic and building heat into his tyres, Rossi lined his Fortec Motorsport car up in P8 on the grid.

Rossi made a great start, keeping on the inside of the main straight and moved up into P6 as he headed into turn one. He was immediately up close behind fifth placed Wickens and began looking for a way past.

Over the next eight laps Rossi continued to push hard and was consistently less than 0.5 seconds behind the fifth placed driver. On lap eight the team made the strategic call to bring Rossi in for an early pitstop which the team executed perfectly, bringing Rossi out in P11.

Once released from the pit lane and in clean air, Rossi pushed hard on cold tyres leapfrogging a number of cars during the pitstop intervals and gaining valuable track position. Regularly going two tenths quicker than everyone else on the track, Rossi’s spectacular lap times included one which broke the circuit’s lap record.

The combination of the team’s well executed pitstop strategy and Rossi’s flying laps meant that after everyone had stopped for fresh tyres he was running in an impressive P2.

Rossi’s focus then moved to closing the gap behind race leader Korjus who was 1.4 seconds ahead. The two drivers spent the next seven laps trading fastest lap times. Their lightning pace meant they were lapping six tenths quicker than anyone else on track.

The two cars were well matched for pace, and with Rossi struggling with slight oversteer, it made it difficult for Rossi to bring the gap down any further. After 25 laps, Rossi took the chequered flag in P2, just 1.7 seconds behind Korjus, and picked up a further 18 Championship points.

“It’s been a dream start to the season with a 1st and 2nd”, Rossi commented. “I had a tough morning qualifying but knew I had a good car for the race and could challenge for a win from the 4th row. My aim was to overtake as many cars into the first corner and then it was a case of pushing as hard as possible during the pitstop window to make up track position, and it worked.”

“I want to say I big thank you to everyone at Fortec Motorsport for all the work they’ve put in so far. The car is fantastic to drive and there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes by the guys in the team. It really is a privilege to work with them, they are amazing and I feel like family here,” Rossi continued. “We now look ahead to the next Spa in two weeks. I go there as Championship leader, but it’s a long season and there is a lot of work to do. We must stay focused and continue doing the best job we can.”

“What another fantastic day for Alexander and the team! We walk away leading the team and driver’s Championship and I really can’t ask for more than that! Alexander did a tremendaous job and it’s clear that the whole team is working really well together. We now head to Spa where we will have the best garage due to our Championship position which will be an advantage for pitstop strategy, and we have every confidence that Alexander will have another strong weekend;” commented Jamie Dye, Team Manager, Fortec Motorsport.

Alexander Rossi heads to Spa Francorchamps on 30th April for rounds three and four of the World Series by Renault leading the Championship with 43 points.

Podcast number 497

Race recap with Clark and Steve.

Motorsports Mondial with Mr. Rodgers


Motorsports Mondial

Motorland Aragón – Race 2

Photo: wsrbyrenault

Kevin Korjus goes down in history !

His victory here today at just 18 years of age makes Kevin Korjus (Tech 1 Racing) the youngest driver to win a race in Formula Renault 3.5 Series. Leading from start to finish, the Estonian crossed the finish line ahead of Alexander Rossi (Fortec Motorsport) and Albert Costa (Epic Racing). First yesterday, second today, Alexander Rossi leaves Motorland Aragon as championship leader.

The night was long for some teams, but all twenty-six cars were on track for the second qualifying session of the weekend. After a round of observation on worn tires, the starting grid for race 2 took shape in the final minutes of qualifying. Cesar Ramos (Fortec Motorsport) secured his first pole position in Formula Renault 3.5 Series ahead of Kevin Korjus, making it a 100%-rookie front row, with Italian F3 champion just in front of the 2010 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 champion.

Korjus Kevin got away to a perfect start and took command of the race into turn one ahead of Albert Costa and Cesar Ramos. The first corner saw lively action, as often, with a coming together between Stéphane Richelmi (International Draco Racing), Walter Grubmuller (P1 Motorsport) and Brandon Hartley (Gravity-Charouz).

Kevin Korjus made a solid start to the race despite constant pressure put on him by Albert Costa. In third, Cesar Ramos kept Nelson Panciatici (KMP Racing), Robert Wickens (Carlin) and Alexander Rossi all at bay. For a few laps Kevin Korjus, Albert Costa and Cesar Ramos all vyed for quickest race lap.

Alexander Rossi was the first of the leaders to pit for a tire change, followed by Albert Costa a lap later, and then Robert Wickens. The Carlin driver’s pitstop didn’t go well and the Canadian lost a few precious seconds in the process. Just as Kevin Korjust pitted, Nelson Panciatici, up until then busy fighting for the podium, found himself at a standstill with a fuel pressure problem.

Following the series of pit stops, Kevin Korjus was still in the lead ahead of Alexander Rossi. The U.S. driver gained considerable advantage going up from sixth to second, after stopping earlier than his opponents and going on to post a series of fast laps. Rossi found himself now back in touch with Korjus, while Albert Costa, now third, opened up a good gap ahead of Cesar Ramos in fourth. The Brazilian had to focus on Robert Wickens, positioned just behind him and ready to seize the slightest opportunity

Kevin Korjus became, at just 18 years 3 months and 8 days, the youngest driver to win a race in Formula Renault 3.5 Series, appropriating that particular accolade from Charles Pic and his victory in Monaco in 2008. By finishing second, Alexander Rossi leaves Motorland Aragon on top of the overall standings. Next meeting: Spa-Francorchamps.

Quote, unquote:

Kevin Korjus: “It’s amazing, I really did not expect to win so early. Right from free practice, I saw that we had the speed to do well, but yesterday the day was terrible. Today everything worked well. The team did a dream of a pit stop and my car got better and better. Winning at Spa, Monza or Monaco will be harder, but I’m really happy today.”

Alexander Rossi: “We suffered in qualifying. I lost time in traffic early in the race and the team was right to decide to have me pit early. I tried to put pressure on Kevin, but he hasn’t made the slightest mistake and I never had a chance to overtake him. It’s a good weekend for me, I’m in the lead in the championship, but the most difficult stuff remains to be done.”

Albert Costa: “This is not the track that suits me best and things didn’t necessary work out too well, but I’m happy to be on the podium already with Epic Racing. The tracks that are coming up will suit me better and that’s where we’ll see our true potential. I’m in the race for the title!”

Motorsports Mondial

Motorland Aragón – Race 1

Alexander Rossi drives to victory in style.

This opening race of the season in Formula Renault 3.5 Series had it all: Suspense, passing manœuvres and comebacks. The rookie Alexander Rossi (Fortec Motorsport) took his chance to shine and take his first victory in the category. The American crossed the finish line ahead of Robert Wickens (Carlin) and Nelson Panciatici (KMP Racing). All of which can only bode well for the season ahead!

As we have now come to expect, Saturday is the day when the light aerodynamic configuration is used. The first qualifying session of the year was a thrilling one, with twenty-two drivers all within the space of a second. Robert Wickens claimed the first pole position of the season, after a hard-fought battle with Alexander Rossi. With a lap in 1’42’’901, the Canadian posted the fastest ever time ever recorded in qualifying at Motorland Aragón, making the Formula Renault 3.5 Series the fastest category to have run at the circuit.

Robert Wickens got off to a flyer, but ran wide in the first bend. Starting from the second row, Daniil Move took advantage of the mistake. The Russian thus took control at the front of the race ahead of Alexander Rossi, Robert Wickens, Kevin Korjus (Tech 1 Racing) and Albert Costa (Epic Racing). In the main field, Anton Nebilitskiy (KMP Racing) came into contact with Arthur Pic (Tech 1 Racing) and was thrown into a roll. The two drivers escaped unharmed, but the safety car was nevertheless called out to allow the two stricken cars to be cleared from the track.

After four laps behind the safety car, the restart was given with Daniil Move retaining his first place ahead of Alexander Rossi and Robert Wickens. Alexander Rossi was however looming very large in Daniil Move’s mirrors, while Kevin Korjus ran wide. The winner of the 2010 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 title was passed by Albert Costa, Nelson Panciatici then Walter Grubmuller (P1 Motorsport).

Daniil Move was holding firm under the constant attacks from Alexander Rossi, who was himself coming under threat from Robert Wickens. Albert Costa, having shaken off Kevin Korjus, took advantage to regain contact with the lead trio. The battle between these four, with Nelson Panciatici lying in wait ready to pounce, went on for several laps. Meanwhile, the crowd were holding their breath in suspense and on lap 11 Alexander Rossi finally found a way through at the end of the pit straight. This put the American out front, with twenty minutes of the race to run, ahead of Daniil Move, Robert Wickens and Albert Costa. Costa himself was passed on the next lap as the result of an incisive move from Nelson Panciatici.

Once out front, Alexander Rossi pulled away unrelentlessly. Behind him, Robert Wickens finally got the upper hand over Daniil Move to move up into second. Daniil Move slipped back several places as a result of the move as Nelson Panciatici and Albert Costa took their opportunity to get past. The lead four then remained unchanged until the finish. Daniil Move finally finished in fifth, just ahead of Jean-Éric Vergne (Carlin), who started from back in 15th place.

Alexander Rossi: ”My start wasn’t ideal, so I have to work on that. After the Safety Car peeled off, I attacked Daniil Move several times, but he didn’t make any mistakes. I finally found a way through in the pitlane straight by making sure I was where I needed to be. It was a close call with the pit boards, but I knew they would get out of the way! I then opened out a gap and everything went well from there. I didn’t necessarily expect to win my first race quite so soon.”

Robert Wickens: ”I made an error from the start. I braked a bit late, expected a bit more grip than there turned out to be and ran wide. I then bided my time waiting for the right moment behind Daniil and Alexander. We were very close and anything could have happened. In all, it was quite a frustrating race as I felt I had the right setup to win.”

Nelson Panciatici: “After starting from sixth, I didn’t think I was going to make it onto the podium. It’s a very good result. It’s a perfect start for me working together with KMP Racing and confirms the good form we’ve been showing since the start of the weekend.”