Weekend of ‘Highs and Lows’ for Jaafar in Russia

by Paul Hensby

Despite being a one-car team so far in 2014, ISR secured its sixth points finish of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series season with its Malaysian driver Jazeman Jaafar. The PETRONAS backed driver, who has spent some time running in a Mercedes F1 car on demonstration runs, took fifth position in race one at the Moscow Raceway in Russia.

The weekend started promising for Jaafar, taking seventh on the grid for race one and converting that into a fifth place finish. However his Sunday race two was far from satisfactory, starting with qualifying that saw him being held up repeatedly while on fast laps that forced him to start a lowly fourteenth, and then with it being notoriously difficult to overtake at the Moscow Raceway, he could only finish race two twelfth and out of the points.

“It’s been highs and lows for me this weekend,” admitted Jaafar. “We worked hard to find a good balance with the car in the practice sessions and this resulted in a good qualifying pace on Saturday. Finishing fifth in the first race was a fair reward for our efforts and I was pleased to collect the points.

“Sunday wasn’t such a positive day, which really started from being hampered by others in qualifying. I felt strongly that the actions of a few drivers was very unsporting, with their backing off to find space before a hot lap compromising the driver behind. I was held up on two occasions by these actions, both when I had new tyre runs, and it really hurt me, not only in the session, but also in the race.

“With such a difficult track to pass on, it was always going to be an uphill battle to reach a points finish, so I was disappointed with the second race. It’s frustrating, but I will just put it behind me, learn from it and move on to Nurburgring with determination to bounce back from this.”

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