Barcelona Formula Renault 3.5: Mikhail Aleshin takes shock finale pole

Former champion Mikhail Aleshin took a surprise pole position for the Formula Renault 3.5 finale, while championship leader Robin Frijns was the top title contender in fourth

Barcelona Formula Renault 3.5: Mikhail Aleshin takes shock finale pole

Aleshin, driving for the Team RFR outfit that will leave the series after this weekend, moved to the top of the times in the early minutes of a wet qualifying session before the red flags came out when Nikolay Martsenko spun at the final corner.

By the time the session restarted, the track had dried slightly. But the damp conditions did not suit the Michelin tyres as well as when the track was wetter, and the majority of the field struggled to improve.

Aleshin, however, was on course to better his lap with just three minutes remaining, but he lost time in the final sector.

Arthur Pic was one of those to find time later on. The French DAMS driver, who was already second to Aleshin at the time of the red flag, managed to improve his best twice, but neither were good enough to overhaul the 2010 champion.

Race one winner Antonio Felix da Costa made a more significant jump, moving from outside the top 10 to third at around the same time as Aleshin had looked set to go faster.

Of the three title contenders, points leader Frijns led the way in fourth place, while Saturday polesitter Jules Bianchi - who is four points behind him - was seventh.

Outsider Sam Bird had a tougher time, running as low as 21st at the time of the stoppage. He moved up to 13th just after the halfway mark, but was bumped down to 16th by the end.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Mikhail Aleshin RFR 1m53.112s 2. Arthur Pic DAMS 1m53.236s + 0.124s 3. Antonio Felix da Costa Arden Caterham 1m53.519s + 0.407s 4. Robin Frijns Fortec 1m53.634s + 0.522s 5. Aaro Vainio RFR 1m53.711s + 0.599s 6. Kevin Magnussen Carlin 1m53.778s + 0.666s 7. Jules Bianchi Tech 1 1m53.878s + 0.766s 8. Andre Negrao Draco 1m54.050s + 0.938s 9. Walter Grubmuller P1 1m54.242s + 1.130s 10. Will Stevens Carlin 1m54.257s + 1.145s 11. Jake Rosenzweig ISR 1m54.334s + 1.222s 12. Nico Muller Draco 1m54.467s + 1.355s 13. Tamas Pal Kiss BVM Target 1m54.653s + 1.541s 14. Nick Yelloly Comtec 1m54.655s + 1.543s 15. Daniil Move P1 1m54.667s + 1.555s 16. Sam Bird ISR 1m54.687s + 1.575s 17. Lucas Foresti DAMS 1m54.805s + 1.693s 18. Marco Sorensen Lotus 1m54.812s + 1.700s 19. Carlos Huertas Fortec 1m54.845s + 1.733s 20. Daniel Abt Tech 1 1m54.880s + 1.768s 21. Alexander Rossi Arden Caterham 1m54.897s + 1.785s 22. Kevin Korjus Lotus 1m54.922s + 1.810s 23. Vittorio Ghirelli Comtec 1m55.037s + 1.925s 24. Zoel Amberg Pons 1m55.289s + 2.177s 25. Yann Cunha Pons 1m55.555s + 2.443s 26. Nikolay Martsenko BVM Target 
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Barcelona Formula Renault 3.5: Antonio Felix da Costa wins, Robin Frijns takes points lead

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