Sainz Dominates Qualifying; Buller on Front Row


Spaniard Carlos Sainz continued his dominance at Monza by claiming the first pole position of the 2014 Formula Renault 3.5 series season. The DAMS driver put in a good first lap and then got faster and faster, and his lap of 1:33.235s towards the end of the session sealed the pole spot for the first race that begins later.

Second on the grid went to Arden Motorsport’s Will Buller, who finshed 0.124s off top spot. Third went to the series’ highest placed rookie Luca Ghiotto for International Draco Racing, just ahead of Strakka Racing’s Will Stevens. The Zeta Corse of series debutant Roberto Merhi, who was only confirmed to that drive a few days prior to the event, rounded out the top five.

Marlon Stockinger put his Lotus machine into sixth place in a session that saw fourteen cars within a second of Sainz’ pole time. Seventh went to Comtec Racing’s sole representative in Monza Nikolay Martsenko, just ahead of the third quickest rookie Pierre Gasly in the second Arden Motorsport car. Jazeman Jaafar of ISR and Matthieu Vaxiviere in the second Lotus rounded out the top ten.

The two Fortec Motorsport entries of Oliver Rowland and Sergey Sirotkin seemed to struggle for pace, and ended up qualifying sixteenth and eighteenth on the grid, not where either was expected to be.

AVF driver Zoel Amberg caused a red flag with 43 seconds of the session remaining, meaning an early end to qualifying. As a result of causing the stoppage, the Swiss driver had his best lap time deleted, and he will start fourteenth out of the twenty-one drivers.

Monza Saturday Qualifying Session Result

POS DRIVER NAT TEAM TIME
1 Carlos Sainz ESP DAMS 1:33.235
2 Will Buller GBR Arden Motorsport 1:33.359
3 Luca Ghiotto ITA International Draco Racing 1:33.451
4 Will Stevens GBR Strakka Racing 1:33.549
5 Roberto Merhi ESP Zeta Corse 1:33.653
6 Marlon Stockinger PHI Lotus 1:33.692
7 Nikolay Martsenko RUS Comtec Racing 1:33.708
8 Pierre Gasly FRA Arden Motorsport 1:33.857
9 Jazeman Jaafar MAY ISR 1:33.863
10 Matthieu Vaxiviere FRA Lotus 1:33.920
11 Roman Mavlanov RUS Zeta Corse 1:33.935
12 Marco Sorensen DEN Tech 1 Racing 1:34.110
13 Matias Laine FIN Strakka Racing 1:34.132
14 Zoel Amberg SWI AVF 1:34.178
15 Pietro Fantin BRZ International Draco Racing 1:34.252
16 Oliver Rowland GBR Fortec Motorsport 1:34.274
17 Norman Nato FRA DAMS 1:34.354
18 Sergey Sirotkin RUS Fortec Motorsport 1:34.414
19 Oliver Webb GBR Pons Racing 1:34.460
20 Meindert van Buuren NED Pons Racing 1:34.650
21 Beitske Visser NED AVF 1:35.383