Nurburgring FR3.5: Roberto Merhi dominates wet qualifying
|By Glenn Freeman||Sunday, July 13th 2014, 08:00 GMT|
Roberto Merhi dominated a wet Formula Renault 3.5 qualifying session at the Nurburgring to take pole position for race two on Sunday.
The ex-DTM racer, who finished second to championship leader Carlos Sainz in race one, set the pace for much of the session, and was able to respond every time any of his closest rivals made gains.
With track conditions improving, most of the key laps came in the final minute of the session, and Merhi - who rejoined the track later than anyone else for his second run - ended up setting two laps good enough for pole.
Title contenders Sainz and Oliver Rowland appeared set to line up behind the Zeta Corse driver, but they were pipped at the end by Oscar Tunjo.
Behind them, row three on the grid is an all-Lotus affair, with the returning Matthieu Vaxiviere and Marlon Stockinger alongside each other.
Race one podium finisher Sergey Sirotkin was a regular towards the front of the times for much of the session, but as the pace picked up at the end he was shuffled back to seventh.
At the tail of the field, Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly's miserable weekend continued, leaving him on the back row of the grid.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Roberto Merhi Zeta 1m59.409s 2. Oscar Tunjo Pons 1m59.781s +0.372s 3. Carlos Sainz Jr DAMS 1m59.960s +0.551s 4. Oliver Rowland Fortec 2m00.231s +0.822s 5. Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus 2m00.389s +0.980s 6. Marlon Stockinger Lotus 2m00.520s +1.111s 7. Sergey Sirotkin Fortec 2m00.689s +1.280s 8. Zoel Amberg AVF 2m00.923s +1.514s 9. Pietro Fantin Draco 2m00.947s +1.538s 10. Will Stevens Strakka 2m01.100s +1.691s 11. Roman Mavlanov Zeta 2m01.190s +1.781s 12. Marco Sorensen Tech 1 2m01.221s +1.812s 13. Jazeman Jaafar ISR 2m01.246s +1.837s 14. Norman Nato DAMS 2m01.447s +2.038s 15. Luca Ghiotto Draco 2m01.585s +2.176s 16. Matias Laine Strakka 2m01.832s +2.423s 17. Will Buller Arden 2m01.887s +2.478s 18. Meindert van Buuren Pons 2m01.971s +2.562s 19. Alfonso Celis Tech 1 2m02.127s +2.718s 20. Beitske Visser AVF 2m02.802s +3.393s 21. Pierre Gasly Arden 2m02.836s +3.427s 22. Cameron Twynham Comtec 2m04.267s +4.858s