Guerrieri repays crew with victory

Esteban Guerrieri claimed his fifth Formula Renault 3.5 victory of the season with a lights-to-flag drive at Silverstone - boosting his title hopes on a day when series leader Mikhail Aleshin was only seventh and nearest rival Daniel Ricciardo was eliminated in a massive first-corner accident

Guerrieri repays crew with victory

The result was also the perfect display of gratitude to Guerrieri's ISR crew, who were handed a fraught job to prepare his car following a high speed crash in qualifying this morning.

British Formula 3 champion Jean-Eric Vergne took a fighting runner-up position in only his second meeting in the category. The Frenchman exploited his local knowledge to the full, running less than a second behind Guerrieri for much of the race. But unable to find an opening, Vergne backed off on the last lap to finish 1.65 seconds adrift.

"It was a very difficult race," said Guerrieri. "Not just because I had Jean-Eric behind me, but because of the crash this morning. I took off the whole left side of the car.

"Even if we couldn't do everything that we wanted with the tracking, my steering was still a little twisted, I have got to say a big thank you to my guys."

Albert Costa battled a vibrating visor to complete the podium. The Epsilon Euskadi racer overtook Draco's Nathanael Berthon for third into Stowe on lap 11. Berthon's race ended at the following corner, Club, when Brendon Hartey (P1) attempted to follow the Spaniard through. The collision resulted in the retirement of both drivers.

The accident promoted Nelson Panciatici to fourth, but the Frenchman was unable to hang on and equal his best result of the season - achieved at Magny-Cours. A charging Stefano Coletti (Comtec), up from 13th on the grid, worked his around the outside of the Junior Lotus Racing man at Brooklands on lap 16.

Guerrieri's win moves him to within a point of Ricciardo's second place in the drivers' standings. The 2009 British F3 champion was the unfortunate victim in a spectacular startline crash.

Polesitter Jon Lancaster bogged down away from the line, and attempted to move across the road to block a fast starting Guerrieri. With Guerrieri already alongside, Lancaster was forced to take avoiding action and tagged wheels with Ricciardo. The Tech 1 racer was sent into a barrel-roll, while a delayed Lancaster pitted for a new nose.

On rejoining the track, Lancaster produced a series of fastest laps to recover to 14th for Fortec.

Championship leader Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin) finished seventh, to extend his lead over Ricciardo to 14 points.

Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Esteban Guerrieri ISR 45m55.743s 2. Jean-Eric Vergne Tech 1 + 1.651s 3. Albert Costa Epsilon Euskadi + 11.860s 4. Stefano Coletti Comtec + 19.657s 5. Nelson Panciatici Junior Lotus + 21.286s 6. Filip Salaquarda ISR + 22.283s 7. Mikhail Aleshin Carlin + 25.694s 8. Anton Nebylitskiy KMP + 26.249s 9. Victor Garcia KMP + 26.689s 10. Daniil Move Junior Lotus + 32.481s 11. Greg Mansell Comtec + 32.898s 12. Federico Leo Pons + 33.353s 13. Keisuke Kunimoto Epsilon Euskadi + 34.287s 14. Jon Lancaster Fortec + 36.154s 15. Jake Rosenzweig Carlin + 50.814s 16. Sten Pentus Fortec + 54.811s Retirements: Sergio Canamasas FHV Interwetten 21 laps Julian Leal Draco 12 laps Nathanael Berthon Draco 11 laps Brendon Hartley P1 10 laps Bruno Mendez FHV Interwetten 10 laps Walter Grubmuller P1 3 laps Daniel Ricciardo Tech 1 0 laps 
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