Orudzhev takes maiden win in Hungaroring epic

Egor Orudzhev took his maiden Formula Renault 3.5 Series victory at the Hungaroring after a thrilling five-car battle that went right down to the flag.

The SMP Racing-backed Arden Motorsport driver jumped into the lead at the start and drove a great race to finish 0.413s clear of Roberto Merhi at the chequered flag. It was Arden Motorsport’s first victory in the series since Antonio Felix da Costa took victory at Paul Ricard back in 2013.

Merhi, driving for Pons Racing on top of his Formula 1 commitments with the Manor F1 Team, snatched the runners-up spot at the final corner from Oliver Rowland, who could only finish third for Fortec Motorsports despite starting the race from pole position.

Merhi had earlier deposed Matthieu Vaxiviere for third, with the Lotus driver finishing off the podium in fourth, just ahead of Tom Dillmann of Jagonya Ayam with Carlin. After 27 laps, just 1.745s covered the top five at the chequered flag.

Both Rowland and Vaxiviere had moments off track as they attempted to make moves up the order, while Nicholas Latifi, who was part of the battle in the early laps after a good start in the second Arden Motorsport entry, made contact with Vaxiviere on the fifth lap heading into turn one, with the Canadian driver suffering a puncture and retiring in the pits.

Dean Stoneman climbed from twelfth on the grid to claim sixth on the road for DAMS, ahead of Tech 1 Racing duo Aurélien Panis and Roy Nissany, while Beitske Visser claimed her first points of the season in ninth for AVF, ahead of Gustav Malja, who climbed from the back of the field to finish tenth for Strakka Racing.

Monaco race winner Jazeman Jaafar was unfortunate to suffer a puncture during the race, ending his hopes of points, ultimately finishing down in eighteenth and losing himself valuable ground in the championship battle.

Hungaroring Race 1 Result

16Egor OrudzhevRUSArden Motorsport42m35.436s
240Roberto MerhiESPPons Racing+0.413s
34Oliver RowlandGBRFortec Motorsports+0.450s
49Matthieu VaxiviereFRALotus+1.323s
526Tom DillmannFRAJagonya Ayam with Carlin+1.745s
62Dean StonemanGBRDAMS+3.310s
718Aurelien PanisFRATech 1 Racing+4.321s
817Roy NissanyISRTech 1 Racing+9.427s
916Beitske VisserNEDAVF+27.475s
1012Gustav MaljaSWEStrakka Racing+27.711s
111Nyck de VriesNEDDAMS+32.986s
1220Bruno BonifacioBRZInternational Draco Racing+36.294s
1339Philo Paz Patric ArmandINOPons Racing+37.024s
1415Alfonso Celis JrMEXAVF+38.052s
1525Sean GelaelINOJagonya Ayam with Carlin+38.697s
1610Meindert van BuurenNEDLotus+40.190s
1711Tio EllinasCYPStrakka Racing+42.784s
183Jazeman JaafarMALFortec Motorsports+47.016s
RET19Pietro FantinBRZInternational Draco RacingRetired
RET5Nicholas LatifiCANArden MotorsportRetired