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Monaco FR3.5: Nico Muller clinches first victory

Nico Muller wins Monaco FR3.5 raceNico Muller took his maiden Formula Renault 3.5 victory in the Monaco Grand Prix support race on Sunday.

The Swiss driver converted his maiden pole position into a first corner lead at the start, and from there he was able to manage the threat of those behind to never come under serious pressure.

Marco Sorensen took second place, having grabbed the position from front row starter Jazeman Jaafar off the line.

The Dane worked hard to chip away at Muller's lead, but every time he got it under two seconds the leader was able to edge away again.

Jaafar took a relatively lonely third on his first visit to Monaco, while championship contenders Kevin Magnussen and Antonio Felix da Costa were next up.

Magnussen pulled off the only genuine overtaking move at the front of the field to grab fourth from Carlos Sainz Jr, who had pushed him back a place at the start.

But when the Spaniard - making his debut this weekend - made a small mistake in the second part of the Swimming Pool section, Magnussen used that opportunity to pounce down the inside at Rascasse.

Sainz's lost momentum cost him another place, as da Costa was able to outdrag him on the exit of the corner for fifth.

Kevin Magnussen, DAMS, Monaco 2013Da Costa then launched an aggressive attack on Magnussen as the race entered its final couple of laps, but Magnussen was able to defend his every move, even when debris in a wheel forced him to slow late on.

Will Stevens and Mikhail Aleshin closed the gap to Sainz in the closing stages, as the Spaniard battled brake problems that have affected him all weekend. However, he was able to prevent Stevens from getting close enough to attack.

Behind them, Stoffel Vandoorne - who started 10th after receiving a grid penalty earlier in the weekend - had a quiet race to ninth. The Belgian gained his only place courtesy of a slow starting Norman Nato, and he then spent a lot of the race fending off Arthur Pic.

Results - 32 laps:

Pos  Driver                  Team               Time/Gap
 1.  Nico Muller             Draco            45m42.877s
 2.  Marco Sorensen          Lotus              + 3.484s
 3.  Jazeman Jaafar          Carlin             + 7.184s
 4.  Kevin Magnussen         DAMS              + 14.549s
 5.  Antonio Felix da Costa  Arden Caterham    + 15.378s
 6.  Carlos Sainz Jr         Zeta              + 21.230s
 7.  Will Stevens            P1/Strakka        + 22.135s
 8.  Mikhail Aleshin         Tech 1            + 22.555s
 9.  Stoffel Vandoorne       Fortec            + 23.403s
10.  Arthur Pic              AV                + 32.031s
11.  Oliver Webb             Fortec            + 33.746s
12.  Andre Negrao            Draco             + 34.283s
13.  Daniil Move             Comtec            + 34.936s
14.  Nick Yelloly            Zeta              + 41.652s
15.  Carlos Huertas          Carlin            + 50.278s
16.  Lucas Foresti           Comtec          + 1m17.314s
17.  Nigel Melker            Tech 1          + 1m19.965s
18.  Yann Cunha              AV              + 1m28.176s
19.  Matias Laine            P1/Strakka          + 1 lap
20.  Zoel Amberg             Pons                + 1 lap


     Nikolay Martsenko       Pons                30 laps
     Sergey Sirotkin         ISR                 30 laps
     Pietro Fantin           Arden Caterham      27 laps
     Norman Nato             DAMS                17 laps
     Christopher Zanella     ISR                 12 laps
     Marlon Stockinger       Lotus                0 laps
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