Jules Bianchi takes commanding first Formula Renault 3.5 race win at the Nurburgring
|By Glenn Freeman||Saturday, June 30th 2012, 13:04 GMT|
Jules Bianchi took a dominant maiden victory in the opening Formula Renault 3.5 race at the Nurburgring.
The Ferrari junior driver led the race from start to finish for Tech 1, getting the gap up to nearly 10 seconds by the end ahead of second place finisher Nico Muller.
Draco driver Muller, who leapt from fourth to second at the start, kept Bianchi honest in the early laps as he sat on his tail, but once the leader picked the pace up nobody could live with him.
While Bianchi put in a sequence of fastest laps, Muller had to turn his attentions to defending his position from championship contender Robin Frijns (Fortec). The Dutchman dropped back for a few laps in the middle of the race, but he was right on Muller's tail by the finish as the Swiss driver's pace started to fade.
Frijns was also coming under pressure in the closing stages, as Arthur Pic took chunks out of the gap to the third place man. The DAMS car seemed to get stronger as the race went on, but he just ran out of time to mount a proper attack for a podium place.
Behind the tight battle for second, Danes Kevin Magnussen (Carlin) and Marco Sorensen (Lotus) completed the top six. Sorensen pulled off one of the few passing moves in the top half of the field, when he stole sixth from P1's Walter Grubmuller at the start of lap two.
Sam Bird, who went into the race as championship leader, mounted his own attack on Grubmuller in the laps that followed, but he eventually dropped back a little from the Austrian and had to settle for eighth for ISR.
Series newcomer Antonio Felix da Costa (Arden Caterham) marked his debut as a Red Bull junior with a points finish in ninth, while Carlin's Will Stevens inherited the final point when Carlos Huertas (Fortec) and Cesar Ramos (Lotus) collided as the latter tried to pass for 10th around the outside of Turn 1 on the penultimate lap.
Results - 27 laps: Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Jules Bianchi Tech 1 46m55.016s 2. Nico Muller Draco + 9.725s 3. Robin Frijns Fortec + 10.468s 4. Arthur Pic DAMS + 11.513s 5. Kevin Magnussen Carlin + 25.057s 6. Marco Sorensen Lotus + 28.187s 7. Walter Grubmuller P1 + 34.083s 8. Sam Bird ISR + 35.356s 9. Antonio Felix da Costa Arden Caterham + 36.257s 10. Will Stevens Carlin + 42.100s 11. Jake Rosenzweig ISR + 44.640s 12. Cesar Ramos Lotus + 50.390s 13. Mikhail Aleshin RFR + 53.947s 14. Kevin Korjus Tech 1 + 54.519s 15. Daniil Move P1 + 55.727s 16. Zoel Amberg Pons + 1m05.767s 17. Yann Cunha Pons + 1m06.320s 18. Alexander Rossi Arden Caterham + 1m06.766s 19. Andre Negrao Draco + 1m07.585s 20. Anton Nebylitskiy RFR + 1m09.516s 21. Nikolay Martsenko BVM Target + 1m26.866s 22. Giovanni Venturini BVM Target + 1m43.548s Retirements: Carlos Huertas Fortec 26 laps Nick Yelloly Comtec 19 laps Lucas Foresti DAMS 11 laps Vittorio Ghirelli Comtec 1 lap