Sirotkin holds off Amberg for Maiden FR3.5 Triumph

by Paul Hensby

Russian driver Sergey Sirotkin led from lights-to-flag to win his first Formula Renault 3.5 Series race at the Moscow Raceway. The Fortec Motorsports driver held off the challenge of Swiss driver Zoel Amberg of AV Formula to take the victory by 0.829s.

The race was delayed when front-row starter Pierre Gasly of Arden Motorsport, Oliver Rowland of Fortec (sixth on the grid) and Carlos Sainz Jr of DAMS (sixteenth) all stalled on the grid, putting all three into the pit lane for the start.

Sainz and Rowland were able to join the race at the back, but Gasly was further delayed in the pits and joined the race a lap down. Rowland was all over the back of Sainz’s car while racing for seventeenth and eighteenth position, but the two collided at the final corner, eliminating the Briton from the race on the seventh lap.

Sirotkin made a good start to lead into the first corner while Amberg took advantage of the missing Gasly to slot into a comfortable second position. The podium was completed by Pietro Fantin of International Draco Racing who managed to pass Roberto Merhi at the first corner and then progressively pulled away from the Zeta Corse driver who was busy holding off the challenge of Jazeman Jaafar; the ISR Racing driver ultimately unsuccessful in attempting to take fourth from the Spaniard.

Caterham F1 test driver Will Stevens had a quiet race to sixth for Strakka Racing, while the two Lotus drivers Marlon Stockinger and Richie Stanaway finished seventh and ninth, with the second Strakka Racing machine of Matias Lainé in between them in eighth, while Oscar Tunjo took his first point of his fledgling Formula Renault 3.5 Series career in tenth for Pons Racing.

Despite the incident with Rowland, which the stewards will investigate after the race, Sainz Jr finished down in fourteenth as DAMS’ disappointing weekend continued. He could only manage to pass Luca Ghiotto and Marco Sorensen when the two drivers made driving mistakes towards the end of the race.

Moscow Raceway Race 1 Result

1 Sergey Sirotkin RUS Fortec Motorsports 40m17.408s
2 Zoel Amberg SWI AV Formula +0.829s
3 Pietro Fantin BRZ International Draco Racing +5.749s
4 Roberto Merhi ESP Zeta Corse +8.099s
5 Jazeman Jaafar MAL ISR +11.993s
6 Will Stevens GBR Strakka Racing +22.267s
7 Marlon Stockinger PHI Lotus +25.074s
8 Matias Lainé FIN Strakka Racing +25.552s
9 Richie Stanaway NZL Lotus +27.339s
10 Oscar Tunjo COL Pons Racing +31.303s
11 William Buller GBR Arden Motorsport +35.015s
12 Roman Mavlanov RUS Zeta Corse +45.748s
13 Beitske Visser NED AV Formula +52.322s
14 Carlos Sainz Jr ESP DAMS +52.753s
15 Marco Sorensen DEN Tech 1 Racing +53.216s
16 Luca Ghiotto ITA International Draco Racing +54.137s
17 Norman Nato FRA DAMS +1m11.925s
18 Pierre Gasly FRA Arden Motorsport +1 Lap
RET Meindert van Buuren NED Pons Racing 14 Laps
RET Oliver Rowland GBR Fortec Motorsports 6 Laps


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