Sainz on Top in Hungary come Rain or Shine


Current Formula Renault 3.5 Series Championship leader Carlos Sainz Jr was fastest in both collective test sessions ahead of this weekend’s races at the Hungaroring, the first weekend back after the two-month mid-season break.

The first session was held on a very wet track, with DAMS driver Sainz’s lap of 1:57.309s a clear 2.621s ahead of anybody else. Colombian Oscar Tunjo was the only other driver to set a lap time beneath the two-minute bracket, and slotted into second for Pons Racing ahead of Oliver Rowland of Fortec Motorsports.

Luca Ghiotto was fourth for International Draco Racing ahead of Tech 1 Racing’s Marco Sorensen, with Roberto Merhi of Zeta Corse sixth; Merhi is Sainz’s closest rival in the championship and will want to claw back some more points in Hungary this weekend.

Debutant and current FIA European Formula 3 Championship leader Esteban Ocon was an impressive seventh for Comtec Racing, faster than the Caterham F1 Team’s test driver Will Stevens of Strakka Racing, who was eighth. Norman Nato of DAMS was ninth, with AV Formula’s Zoel Amberg completing the top ten.

The track was more favourable in the afternoon, drying out significantly, but it was Sainz once more that dominated. He was over a second clear of Rowland in second, with the Briton swapping places with Tunjo from the earlier session; the Colombian driver finishing third.

Nato was fourth ahead of fellow Frenchman Matthieu Vaxiviere of Lotus, while Pierre Gasly of Arden Motorsport was sixth. Malaysian driver Jazeman Jaafar of ISR finished seventh fastest ahead of Ocon, while Merhi and Ghiotto completed the top ten.

Beitske Visser of AV Formula caused two red flag stoppages during the day, one in either session, while her team-mate Amberg also forced the morning session to be stopped to allow his car to be retrieved after stopping on track. In the afternoon, Roman Mavlanov of Zeta Corse and Meindert van Buuren of Pons Racing both stopped on track causing another red flag.

A spin for Ocon at the end of the session was the Frenchman’s only blemish of the day, but the Comtec Racing’s incident saw lap times from Rowland and Gasly disallowed, with stewards adjudging that neither slowed enough through the yellow flag zone; Rowland’s lap time had been faster than that of Sainz.

Hungaroring Collective Tests Session 1 Times

POS DRIVER NAT TEAM TIME
1 Carlos Sainz Jr ESP DAMS 1:57.309
2 Oscar Tunjo COL Pons Racing 1:59.930
3 Oliver Rowland GBR Fortec Motorsports 2:00.320
4 Luca Ghiotto ITA International Draco Racing 2:00.549
5 Marco Sorensen DEN Tech 1 Racing 2:00.576
6 Roberto Merhi ESP Zeta Corse 2:00.637
7 Esteban Ocon FRA Comtec Racing 2:00.859
8 Will Stevens GBR Strakka Racing 2:01.708
9 Norman Nato FRA DAMS 2:01.996
10 Zoel Amberg SWI AV Formula 2:02.302
11 Pierre Gasly FRA Arden Motorsport 2:02.914
12 Meindert van Buuren NED Pons Racing 2:03.283
13 Matthieu Vaxiviere FRA Lotus 2:03.362
14 Roman Mavlanov RUS Zeta Corse 2:03.450
15 William Buller GBR Arden Motorsport 2:03.678
16 Nicholas Latifi CAN Tech 1 Racing 2:05.787
17 Matias Lainé FIN Strakka Racing 2:05.867
18 Marlon Stockinger PHI Lotus 2:06.001
19 Jazeman Jaafar MAL ISR 2:06.288
20 Cameron Twynham GBR Comtec Racing 2:07.056
21 Beitske Visser NED AV Formula 2:07.808
22 Sergey Sirotkin RUS Fortec Motorsports No Time
23 Pietro Fantin BRZ International Draco Racing No Time

Hungaroring Collective Tests Session 2 Times

POS DRIVER NAT TEAM TIME
1 Carlos Sainz Jr ESP DAMS 1:33.273
2 Oliver Rowland GBR Fortec Motorsports 1:34.364
3 Oscar Tunjo COL Pons Racing 1:34.528
4 Norman Nato FRA DAMS 1:34.933
5 Matthieu Vaxiviere FRA Lotus 1:35.413
6 Pierre Gasly FRA Arden Motorsport 1:35.878
7 Jazeman Jaafar MAL ISR 1:36.086
8 Esteban Ocon FRA Comtec Racing 1:36.134
9 Roberto Merhi ESP Zeta Corse 1:36.376
10 Luca Ghiotto ITA International Draco Racing 1:36.650
11 Zoel Amberg SWI AV Formula 1:37.038
12 Meindert van Buuren NED Pons Racing 1:37.096
13 Sergey Sirotkin RUS Fortec Motorsports 1:37.560
14 William Buller GBR Arden Motorsport 1:38.699
15 Pietro Fantin BRZ International Draco Racing 1:39.194
16 Matias Lainé FIN Strakka Racing 1:39.419
17 Cameron Twynham GBR Comtec Racing 1:39.540
18 Nicholas Latifi CAN Tech 1 Racing 1:40.192
19 Roman Mavlanov RUS Zeta Corse 1:40.906
20 Beitske Visser NED AV Formula 1:41.179
21 Marco Sorensen DEN Tech 1 Racing 1:41.303
22 Will Stevens GBR Strakka Racing 1:41.495
23 Marlon Stockinger PHI Lotus 1:44.761