Chaves Wins on Debut, Fittipaldi Becomes 2017 Champion

by Paul Hensby

Henrique Chaves won on his World Series Formula V8 3.5 debut on Friday at the Bahrain International Circuit, but second place was enough to give Pietro Fittipaldi the title.

With closest rival Matevos Isaakyan suffering mechanical issues before the race even began that left the young Russian five laps down before he was able to get on track, Fittipaldi only needed to finish second to clinch the title, and he did so without any real problems.

Chaves, a Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 regular with the AVF team, was good for his win, jumping into the lead at the start and withstanding pressure from Fittipaldi to take the victory by 1.654 seconds.

Fittipaldi was untroubled after jumping into fourth at the start, with the Lotus driver ending just over two seconds clear of third placed Roy Nissany, who led home the RP Motorsport trio ahead of team-mates Yu Kanamaru and Tatiana Calderon, the latter claiming fifth on her own series debut.

Alfonso Celis Jr. ended up sixth for Fortec Motorsports, while Konstantin Tereschenko, racing for SMP Racing by AVF this weekend instead of the absent Teo Martin Motorsport team, was seventh ahead of Diego Menchaca and Rene Binder.

Isaakyan soldiered on until the chequered flag, but with Fittipaldi not running into any problems of his own, he slipped twenty-eight points behind with only twenty-five available on Saturday’s final race of the season, and the final race before the championship ceases to be following the announcement by promoters RPM-MKTG it will not continue into 2018.

Bahrain International Circuit Race 1 Result

117Henrique ChavesPORAVF23 Laps
24Pietro FittipaldiBRZLotus+1.654s
311Roy NissanyISRRP Motorsport+3.752s
412Yu KanamaruJAPRP Motorsport+7.447s
521Tatiana CalderonCOLRP Motorsport+9.334s
67Alfonso Celis JrMEXFortec Motorsports+11.791s
75Konstantin TereschenkoRUSSMP Racing by AVF+17.075s
88Diego MenchacaMEXFortec Motorsports+23.509s
93Rene BinderAUTLotus+1 Lap
106Matevos IsaakyanRUSSMP Racing by AVF+5 Laps

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