Wet Weather Master Class from Merhi in Hungary


Roberto Merhi won his third Formula Renault 3.5 Series race of the season in commanding fashion as he won a wet opening race at the Hungaroring by almost half a minute.

The Zeta Corse driver made a good start from seventh on the grid to run second behind Oliver Rowland, but once ahead of the Fortec Motorsports driver, he was by far the fastest driver on track, and steadily pulled a healthy gap at the front.

Rowland ran second until the final lap, but was beaten in a sprint to the finish line by Pierre Gasly of Arden Motorsport, who had closed down a big gap to Rowland as the track began to dry.

Carlos Sainz Jr recovered from a disappointing qualifying session to finish fourth, the DAMS driver minimising the potential loss of points to the three drivers immediately behind the championship leader – Merhi, Gasly and Rowland. The Spaniard had made eight places on the opening lap, moving from fourteenth to sixth.

Matthieu Vaxiviere claimed fifth for Lotus ahead of Strakka Racing’s Will Stevens, while Marco Sorensen of Tech 1 Racing beat Norman Nato of DAMS to seventh.

Esteban Ocon scored points on debut for Comtec Racing, but not before the stewards investigated by the Frenchman for an on-track clash with ISR Racing’s Jazeman Jaafar who finished tenth; the stewards felt that no action was necessary.

Sainz now leads the championship from Merhi by 26 points, with Gasly third a further 22 points back.

Hungaroring Race 1 Result

POS DRIVER NAT TEAM TIME/Laps
1 Roberto Merhi ESP Zeta Corse 42m28.622s
2 Pierre Gasly FRA Arden Motorsport +29.156s
3 Oliver Rowland GBR Fortec Motorsports +29.412s
4 Carlos Sainz Jr ESP DAMS +33.993s
5 Matthieu Vaxiviere FRA Lotus +53.532s
6 Will Stevens GBR Strakka Racing +1m03.230s
7 Marco Sorensen DEN Tech 1 Racing +1m10.670s
8 Norman Nato FRA DAMS +1m12.925s
9 Esteban Ocon FRA Comtec Racing +1m18.206s
10 Jazeman Jaafar MAL ISR +1m22.232s
11 Luca Ghiotto ITA International Draco Racing +1m22.959s
12 Oscar Tunjo COL Pons Racing +1m23.797s
13 Roman Mavlanov RUS Zeta Corse +1m25.901s
14 Sergey Sirotkin RUS Fortec Motorsports +1m27.049s
15 Marlon Stockinger PHI Lotus +1m27.519s
16 Meindert van Buuren NED Pons Racing +1m41.881s
17 Beitske Visser NED AV Formula +1m49.193s
18 Cameron Twynham GBR Comtec Racing +1 Lap
19 William Buller GBR Arden Motorsport +1 Lap
RET Zoel Amberg SWI AV Formula 17 Laps
RET Pietro Fantin BRZ International Draco Racing 4 Laps
RET Nicholas Latifi CAN Tech 1 Racing 3 Laps
RET Matias Lainé FIN Strakka Racing 3 Laps