Nato Leads Sainz in DAMS 1-2 in Monaco Free Practice


Frenchman Norman Nato surprised the paddock by setting the fastest time of the free practice session ahead of this weekends Formula Renault 3.5 Series race in Monaco. His time of 1:24.649s was only 0.040s ahead of team-mate and championship leader Carlos Sainz Jr as DAMS led the session.

The sole ISR Racing entrant Jazeman Jaafar was the closest challenger to the two DAMS boys, setting the third best time, while Russian Sergey Sirotkin was fourth for Fortec Motorsport. Pietro Fantin was fifth for International Draco Racing ahead of Zoel Amberg, who continues to impress and improve in the leading AV Formula entry.

Motorland Aragon race two winner Oliver Rowland was seventh in the second Fortec Motorsport machine and was the leading driver making his first visit to the Monaco circuit, ahead of Will Buller in the leading Arden Motorsport entry. Tech 1 Racing’s sole entry of Marco Sorensen was ninth, while Matthieu Vaxiviere completed the top ten for Lotus.

Pierre Gasly of Arden Motorsport and Will Stevens of Strakka Racing struggled to 13th and 14th but the Saturday qualifying session will be the time to be fast. Luca Ghiotto was the only driver to crash during the session which left the Italian down in 20th position in the second International Draco Racing machine.

Russian driver Nikolay Martsenko, who currently sits fifth in the championship, is a noticeable absentee this weekend with his team Comtec Racing team only fielding debutant Andrea Roda in Monaco. Roda was 21st and last on the timing screens as he tried to adapt to a new car and a new circuit.

Monaco Free Practice Times

POS DRIVER NAT TEAM TIME
1 Norman Nato FRA DAMS 1:24.649
2 Carlos Sainz Jr ESP DAMS 1:24.689
3 Jazeman Jaafar MAL ISR Racing 1:25.262
4 Sergey Sirotkin RUS Fortec Motorsport 1:25.365
5 Pietro Fantin BRZ International Draco Racing 1:25.369
6 Zoel Amberg SWI AV Formula 1:25.390
7 Oliver Rowland GBR Fortec Motorsport 1:25.489
8 Will Buller GBR Arden Motorsport 1:25.890
9 Marco Sorensen DEN Tech 1 Racing 1:26.228
10 Matthieu Vaxiviere FRA Lotus 1:26.251
11 Matias Lainé FIN Strakka Racing 1:26.271
12 Marlon Stockinger INO Lotus 1:26.495
13 Pierre Gasly FRA Arden Motorsport 1:26.558
14 Will Stevens GBR Strakka Racing 1:26.653
15 Roberto Merhi ESP Zeta Corse 1:26.950
16 Roman Mavlanov RUS Zeta Corse 1:27.489
17 Beitske Visser NED AV Formula 1:27.492
18 Oliver Webb GBR Pons Racing 1:27.528
19 Meindert van Buuren NED Pons Racing 1:28.781
20 Luca Ghiotto ITA International Draco Racing 1:28.933
21 Andrea Roda ITA Comtec Racing 1:35.486