Moscow FR3.5: Sauber F1 protege Sergey Sirotkin takes first win
|By Glenn Freeman||Saturday, June 28th 2014, 11:29 GMT|
Sauber Formula 1 test driver Sergey Sirotkin took his maiden Formula Renault 3.5 victory on home soil at Moscow Raceway, while title rivals Carlos Sainz Jr and Oliver Rowland collided.
Russian teenager Sirotkin led the field away at the second attempt, after the first start was aborted when all three of the championship leaders - Sainz, Rowland and Pierre Gasly - were left stranded on the grid.
With front row starter Gasly out of the picture, Sirotkin spent the entire race in a duel with Zoel Amberg, and the gap fluctuated between the two from start to finish.
Amberg got within half a second of the leader in the closing stages, having maintained the gap below a second once he recovered from Sirotkin's blistering opening two laps that enabled him to initially open up a lead of 1.8s.
But after the Swiss driver made a mistake five laps from the end he was never quite able to get back on terms with Sirotkin, who did not put a wheel wrong out front.
Behind the lead pair, Pietro Fantin took a lonely third place, while Roberto Merhi came home fourth after fending off a fierce attack from Jazeman Jaafar in the early stages.
Things got worse for the title contenders after they were wheeled into the pits following their problems on the grid.
While Sainz and Rowland started from the pitlane and quickly caught the rest of the field, Gasly was delayed further and rejoined the race one lap down.
Sainz and Rowland then came to blows at the end of the seventh lap, when the Briton made a move to the inside at the final corner and the cars made side-to-side contact.
While Rowland was out on the spot, Sainz rejoined, and showed pace similar to that of the leaders as he made up ground in clear air.
Results - 29 laps: Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Sergey Sirotkin Fortec 40m17.408s 2. Zoel Amberg AVF +0.829s 3. Pietro Fantin Draco +5.749s 4. Roberto Merhi Zeta +8.099s 5. Jazeman Jaafar ISR +11.993s 6. Will Stevens Strakka +22.267s 7. Marlon Stockinger Lotus +25.074s 8. Matias Laine Strakka +25.552s 9. Richie Stanaway Lotus +27.339s 10. Oscar Tunjo Pons +31.303s 11. Will Buller Arden +35.015s 12. Roman Mavlanov Zeta +45.748s 13. Beitske Visser AVF +52.322s 14. Carlos Sainz Jr DAMS +52.753s 15. Marco Sorensen Tech 1 +53.216s 16. Luca Ghiotto Draco +54.137s 17. Norman Nato DAMS +1m11.925s 18. Pierre Gasly Arden +1 lap 19. Meindert van Buuren Pons +13 laps Retirements: Oliver Rowland Fortec 6 laps