Stevens takes pole as Brits dominate race 1 Qualifying at Jerez

Will Stevens took his first pole position of the 2014 Formula Renault 3.5 Series season as the three Britons in the field locked out the top three in qualifying for race one in Jerez.

Strakka Racing driver Stevens, recently confirmed as a Marussia F1 test driver, took top spot with just a few minutes of the session to go, and beat Oliver Rowland of Fortec Motorsports and William Buller of Arden Motorsport.

Pietro Fantin was less than a tenth of a second slower than the pole time but will start in fourth for International Draco Racing, ahead of Sergey Sirotkin in the second of the Fortec Motorsport machines.

Marlon Stockinger was the leading Lotus driver in sixth with team-mate Matthieu Vaxiviere in eighth, with Pierre Gasly in the second Arden Motorsport machine in between them in seventh, while Matias Lainé was ninth for Strakka Racing.

Roberto Merhi was tenth quickest for Zeta Corse, but needs a win in this afternoon’s race to retain any hope of preventing Carlos Sainz Jr taking the title today.

Merhi was one of only a handful of drivers to improve in the final moments of the session, and will start five places ahead of Sainz Jr, who will start fifteenth for DAMS.

Jerez Race 1 Qualifying Times

1 Will Stevens GBR Strakka Racing 1:27.783
2 Oliver Rowland GBR Fortec Motorsports 1:27.825
3 William Buller GBR Arden Motorsport 1:27.862
4 Pietro Fantin BRZ International Draco Racing 1:27.871
5 Sergey Sirotkin RUS Fortec Motorsports 1:27.940
6 Marlon Stockinger PHI Lotus 1:27.994
7 Pierre Gasly FRA Arden Motorsport 1:28.010
8 Matthieu Vaxiviere FRA Lotus 1:28.062
9 Matias Lainé FIN Strakka Racing 1:28.151
10 Roberto Merhi ESP Zeta Corse 1:28.174
11 Oscar Tunjo COL Pons Racing 1:28.188
12 Beitske Visser NED AV Formula 1:28.191
13 Nicholas Latifi CAN Tech 1 Racing 1:28.303
14 Meindert van Buuren NED Pons Racing 1:28.336
15 Carlos Sainz Jr ESP DAMS 1:28.449
16 Luca Ghiotto ITA International Draco Racing 1:28.460
17 Marco Sorensen DEN Tech 1 Racing 1:28.515
18 Norman Nato FRA DAMS 1:28.530
19 Zoel Amberg SWI AV Formula 1:28.555
20 Roman Mavlanov RUS Zeta Corse 1:28.685
21 Jazeman Jaafar MAL ISR Racing 1:28.734