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FORMULA RENAULT 3.5 NEWS 

Paul Ricard FR3.5: Magnussen on brink of title after win

Magnussen on brink of title after winKevin Magnussen took a big step towards becoming this year's Formula Renault 3.5 champion with a dominant win in race one at Paul Ricard.

The McLaren junior fended off a fast-starting Antonio Felix da Costa on the opening lap, before easing away during the middle of the race to take a comfortable victory.

NEWS UPDATE: Magnussen stripped of victory

While da Costa was able to match Magnussen's pace early on as the pair traded fastest laps, the Red Bull junior had to settle for second as the lead stretched to nearly six seconds before Magnussen backed off towards the end.

Magnussen's title rival Stoffel Vandoorne, who started alongside the points leader on the front row, recovered from a sluggish start to take third.

Vandoorne lost second to da Costa off the line, and was then passed into Turn 1 by a very fast-starting Andre Negrao, who started seventh.

The Brazilian lost the place at Turn 3 though, as Vandoorne pulled off a crucial pass to get third position back.

After that Negrao pushed him hard to the finish, while Marco Sorensen took fifth.

Sixth place went to Will Stevens, who raced his way from 10th on the grid in the early laps to make up ground.

Further back, Nico Muller charged from the back of the field (having stalled on the warm-up lap from fourth on the grid) to just miss out on the points in 11th, while a late-race incident caused by suspension failure put Carlos Sainz out of seventh place.

Today's results mean Magnussen can win the title in race two on Sunday if he outscores Vandoorne by five points.

Results - 25 laps:

Pos Driver                   Tea                   Time/Gap
 1. Kevin Magnussen          DAMS                 47ms09.036s
 2. Antonio Felix da Costa   Arden Caterham         +3.864s
 3. Stoffel Vandoorne        Fortec                 +5.796s
 4. Andre Negrao             Draco                  +8.434s
 5. Marco Sorensen           Lotus                  +9.817s
 6. Will Stevens             P1 by Strakka          +11.635s
 7. Arthur Pic               AV Formula             +28.044s
 8. Nikolay Martsenko        Pons                   +29.183s
 9. Will Buller              Zeta Corse             +32.652s
10. Daniil Move              Comtec                 +33.242s
11. Nico Muller              Draco                  +33.668s
12. Pietro Fantin            Arden Caterham         +35.445s
13. Zoel Amberg              Pons                   +35.908s
14. Oliver Webb              Fortec                 +48.245s
15. Jazeman Jaafar           Carlin                 +56.204s
16. Marlon Stockinger        Lotus                  +1m08.168s
17. Carlos Sainz Jr          Zeta Corse             +1 lap
18. Mikhail Aleshin          Tech 1                 +1 lap
19. Norman Nato              DAMS                   +1 lap

Retirements:
Yann Cunha AV Formula 20 laps Matias Laine P1 by Strakka 20 laps Nigel Melker Tech 1 5 laps Carlos Huertas Carlin 5 laps Christopher Zanella ISR 2 laps Lucas Foresti Comtec 0 laps
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