Roberto Merhi Dominates Moscow Race for Maiden Win

by Paul Hensby

Spaniard Roberto Merhi led from start to finish to take his maiden Formula Renault 3.5 Series victory in confident fashion at the Moscow Raceway.

The Zeta Corse driver converted his maiden pole position into a first win, eventually finishing 6.748s ahead of Arden Motorsport’s Red Bull Junior driver Pierre Gasly, with Lotus driver Richie Stanaway taking his first podium of the season in third.

Gasly made a fantastic start to lead into the first corner and never looked back and was never challenged from behind. His fellow front row starter Stanaway made a slower getaway and lost second to Gasly, but the New Zealander held onto third ahead of the Fortec Motorsports duo of Race one winner Sergey Sirotkin and his British team-mate Oliver Rowland.

Carlos Sainz Jr made up for a disappointing Saturday race and a grid penalty that saw him start eleventh to salvage sixth place on Sunday. The DAMS driver was never on the pace of the five ahead of him, but was able to keep Matias Lainé of Strakka Racing behind him on a track notoriously difficult to overtake.

Zoel Amberg followed up his race one career best finish of second with eighth place in race two for AV Formula, with the second Strakka Racing entry of Will Stevens finishing on his tail in ninth. William Buller of Arden Motorsport took the final point on offer, making the most of an early pit stop to make some positions up.

Sainz Jr continues to lead the championship by a comfortable margin of 33 points ahead of Gasly, with Rowland a further 15 points behind in third. Merhi’s win has propelled him up to fifth just three points behind Stevens.

Moscow Raceway Race 2 Result

1 Roberto Merhi ESP Zeta Corse 41m58.433s
2 Pierre Gasly FRA Arden Motorsport +6.748s
3 Richie Stanaway NZL Lotus +11.549s
4 Sergey Sirotkin RUS Fortec Motorsports +16.428s
5 Oliver Rowland GBR Fortec Motorsports +18.960s
6 Carlos Sainz Jr ESP DAMS +26.171s
7 Matias Lainé FIN Strakka Racing +26.962s
8 Zoel Amberg SWI AV Formula +29.092s
9 Will Stevens GBR Strakka Racing +29.647s
10 William Buller GBR Arden Motorsport +32.634s
11 Marlon Stockinger PHI Lotus +34.778s
12 Jazeman Jaafar MAL ISR +46.598s
13 Beitske Visser NED AV Formula +53.111s
14 Luca Ghiotto ITA International Draco Racing +53.793s
15 Marco Sorensen DEN Tech 1 Racing +54.150s
16 Norman Nato FRA DAMS +56.697s
17 Oscar Tunjo COL Pons Racing +57.004s
18* Meindert van Buuren NED Pons Racing +1m03.468s
RET Roman Mavlanov RUS Zeta Corse 18 Laps
RET Pietro Fantin BRZ International Draco Racing 14 Laps

*20 Second Penalty for Pitting Outside Pit Window


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