Formula Renault 3.5

Red Bull Junior Stoneman reflects on ‘good weekend’ in Austria

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Dean Stoneman secured his fourth visit to the podium of 2015 in race one in Austria, with a good start moving him from fourth on the grid into second place by the first corner.

The Red Bull Junior secured the runners-up spot at the Red Bull Ring, but could not get close enough to eventual race winner Oliver Rowland, who had the pace to pull away from the DAMS driver until the chequered flag.

“Really it was a good weekend,” reflected Stoneman. “Fastest in practice on Saturday morning, we went into Qualifying with confidence. I didn’t get all the sectors quite together for the perfect lap so we were P4 but we knew that we could race from there.”

“[I had] a great start and went straight up to second. We didn’t quite have the pace we needed in the second sector to make a race of it for the win but then had a chance through the safety car.

“We got a good restart and I had a good run up to turn 2, got up the outside to get cutback, got alongside. It is pretty tight in there, he gave me racing room but not enough room to get the job done and I had no alternative but to let it go.

“Still it was a good race, a good result and good points.”

Sunday’s second race was over at the end of the second lap when challenging the returning Marlon Stockinger of Lotus for sixth, he was unable to avoid contact with Arden Motorsport’s Nicholas Latifi at turn three, breaking the Briton’s suspension. Stoneman was disappointed with his brief outing, feeling he had the pace to make good progress from a lowly grid slot.

“We were P11 on the grid but got away well, went from 11th to 7th and was fighting for 6th,” said Stoneman. “I was looking for a way past Stockinger when I felt a knock and it was Latifi going around the outside and clipping my front left, giving me a puncture and a bent track rod; end of race.

“That was a shame because it was looking good, we had pace and I was quickly finding my way through. Still, good points from the weekend, the car was good and I enjoyed being able to race it hard, looking forward to the next one.”

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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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