Aleshin secures title, Guerrieri wins

Esteban Guerrieri won a fitting Formula Renault 3.5 finale at Barcelona, as Russian Mikhail Aleshin secured the title

Aleshin secures title, Guerrieri wins

In wet conditions, the Argentinean ISR man was in a league of his own, finishing 24 seconds ahead of British Formula 3 champion Jean-Eric Vergne.

The focus of the race was an enthralling duel between title contenders Aleshin and Daniel Ricciardo.

Starting the event equal on points, a decisive overtaking manoeuvre by Aleshin at Turn 7 sealed the championship in the Russian's favour with only two laps remaining.

Dominant winner of race one, Ricciardo tried valiantly to get back on terms with the Carlin man. On the last lap, with his strongest overtaking opportunities having passed, the Australian spun exiting the penultimate corner and was left to settle for fourth.

"I made a mistake in my pitstop, because I stopped in the wrong position," said Aleshin. "When I rejoined, I didn't think I could catch Daniel. When I did close in, I had a problem of being covered in oil from his car. I went straight on [at La Caixa] and lost some time.

"It took a while to clean the oil off the inside and outside of my visor, it was really crazy, but afterwards everything was okay. I want to thank Daniel for such an incredible fight."

Following a moderately damp qualifying session, rain intensified and necessitated a safety car start.

Fourth-qualifier Daniel Zampieri, who has scored several podiums this year in adverse conditions, spun off under pace car conditions and delayed the green for one lap further.

Once under way, Guerrieri benefitted from clear visibility to power into a comfortable lead. Ricciardo held second from Comtec's Greg Mansell, Aleshin, Vergne and the second Comtec entry of Stefano Coletti.

Aleshin opted to pit on the next lap, while Ricciardo made his mandatory tyre change on lap eight. The Red Bull Formula 1 reserve driver rejoined ahead, and the pair would circulate closely for a period of time, rarely separated by more than a second.

However, in his biggest scare of the race, Aleshin would lose four seconds by locking up his front wheels and running wide at La Caixa on lap 13.

"Given how extreme the rate he closed in on me again was, perhaps I did have something leaking onto my rears," said Ricciardo. "I was putting on a drift show for the spectators, but it wasn't the fastest way around a race track."

Forced to defend his inside line into Turn 7 on lap 20, Ricciardo was powerless to stop Aleshin driving around his outside on the approach to Campsa.

"I tried to get the power on early, but I just got wheelspin," said Ricciardo. "I hope finishing second won't affect my future too much, and I hope people will recognise I have had a good rookie season. I think all the guys on the podium did a good job and should be happy.

"Jean-Eric is new to the championship and has already had quite a few podiums, so he's doing well, Esteban won more races than anyone else and Mikhail has got the main prize."

Monegasque Coletti finished fifth, two and half seconds ahead of Junior Lotus Racing's Nelson Panciatici.

Aleshin will receive his prize Renault Formula 1 test in Abu Dhabi. He will be joined by some familiar faces, as the Red Bull Junior duo of Ricciardo, sampling a Red Bull, and Jean-Eric Vergne, with Toro Rosso, are also set to be present.

Pos  Driver             Team                Time/Gap
 1.  Esteban Guerrieri  ISR               47m08.118s
 2.  Jean-Eric Vergne   Tech 1             + 24.184s
 3.  Mikhail Aleshin    Carlin             + 25.231s
 4.  Daniel Ricciardo   Tech 1             + 33.971s
 5.  Stefano Coletti    Comtec             + 47.292s
 6.  Nelson Panciatici  Junior Lotus       + 49.869s
 7.  Anton Nebylitskiy  KMP                + 50.675s
 8.  Jan Charouz        P1                 + 54.782s
 9.  Jon Lancaster      Fortec             + 55.690s
10.  Albert Costa       Epsilon Euskadi    + 59.947s
11.  Jake Rosenzweig    Carlin           + 1m00.693s
12.  Nathanael Berthon  Draco            + 1m07.031s
13.  Walter Grubmuller  P1               + 1m16.311s
14.  Dean Stoneman      Junior Lotus     + 1m18.232s
15.  Federico Leo       Pons             + 1m44.964s
16.  Greg Mansell       Comtec           + 1m47.210s
17.  Sergio Canamasas   FHV Interwetten  + 2m01.005s
18.  Keisuke Kunimoto   Epsilon Euskadi      + 1 Lap
19.  Filip Salaquarda   ISR                  + 1 Lap


     Sten Pentus        Fortec           11 laps
     Victor Garcia      KMP              11 laps
     Julian Leal        Draco            10 laps
     Salvador Duran     FHV Interwetten  7 laps
     Daniel Zampieri    Pons             3 laps

Guerrieri claims finale pole in wet

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