Robin Frijns survived an attack from Marco Sorensen and two late-race restarts to win the first Formula Renault 3.5 race of the weekend at Moscow Raceway
The Fortec Motorsports driver, who started on pole position, led the early stages of the race comfortably. But after a massive slide at half distance his pace started to drop off, allowing Sorensen to reel him in and fight for the lead.
Sorensen then attacked on the outside into the final, 90-degree left hander, but he spun as he tried to turn into the corner, creating a cloud of smoke and dropping to fifth behind Jules Bianchi, Sam Bird and Arthur Pic.
Bianchi used the incident to take two seconds out of his deficit to Frijns, but the Dutchman appeared to have enough pace to hold onto his lead of four seconds with Sorensen out of the equation.
However, he then had to deal with two restarts as the safety car appeared twice in close succession, both times to allow stranded cars to be recovered.
Frijns handled both restarts well, and held on for the single racing lap after the second safety car to take the win and the championship lead.
Despite a poor final restart Bianchi held on for second, while Bird surrendered the points lead with third.
Kevin Korjus used the one-lap shootout to steal fifth from Sorensen, while behind them all hell broke loose at the final corner when Lucas Foresti clattered into Kevin Magnussen and Alexander Rossi as they battled for eighth, eliminating all three in sight of the flag. Foresti received a five-place grid demotion for Sunday's race as a punishment.
Results - 30 Laps:Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Robin Frijns Fortec 48m11.904s 2. Jules Bianchi Tech 1 + 1.202s 3. Sam Bird ISR + 1.914s 4. Arthur Pic DAMS + 2.986s 5. Kevin Korjus Tech 1 + 5.382s 6. Marco Sorensen Lotus + 5.610s 7. Antonio Felix da Costa Arden + 5.967s 8. Nico Muller Draco + 8.272s 9. Daniil Move P1 + 9.431s 10. Will Stevens Carlin + 9.789s 11. Vittorio Ghirelli Comtec + 10.451s 12. Nick Yelloly Comtec + 11.065s 13. Andre Negrao Draco + 11.675s 14. Mikhail Aleshin RFR + 12.795s 15. Zoel Amberg Pons + 14.409s 16. Kevin Magnussen Carlin + 1 lap 17. Alexander Rossi Arden + 1 lap 18. Lucas Foresti DAMS + 1 lap 19. Yann Cunha Pons + 1 lap 20. Sergey Sirotkin BVM Target + 1 lap Retirements: Anton Nebylitskiy RFR 24 laps Carlos Huertas Fortec 20 laps Walter Grubmuller P1 20 laps Nikolay Martsenko BVM Target 17 laps Jake Rosenzweig ISR 6 laps Cesar Ramos Lotus 0 laps
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