Hungaroring FR3.5: Roberto Merhi dominates wet race one

Roberto Merhi took his third Formula Renault 3.5 win in as many rounds as he dominated the first race of the weekend in wet conditions at the Hungaroring

Hungaroring FR3.5: Roberto Merhi dominates wet race one

The Spaniard, who also won races at Moscow Raceway and the Nurburgring before the championship's two-month summer break, leapt from seventh on the grid to second in the first couple of corners.

He then engaged in a duel with polesitter Oliver Rowland for the lead, launching several attacks down the outside at Turn 1 but failing to keep his car on track to make any of them stick.

However, it was on a lap where he didn't try to take the lead that Merhi got ahead, as Rowland made a mistake on his own and ran wide at the first corner.

From there, Merhi disappeared into the distance, going on to win by nearly half a minute.

Rowland appeared to have second place sealed as he was well clear of Pierre Gasly in third, but the Red Bull junior put on a charge as the track dried.

He closed a gap that was more than 13 seconds with 10 laps to go to nothing by the final lap - helped by Rowland's rear tyres going off.

Gasly was only close enough to attack in the final two corners, and as Rowland attempted to defend the position he was outdragged on the exit of the last corner by the 2013 Formula Renault Eurocup champion in a dramatic finish.

Behind their fight, Carlos Sainz Jr took fourth, having charged from 14th to sixth on the opening lap.

The Spaniard spent several laps hassling Gasly for third but he eventually dropped back, meaning he was unable to join his Red Bull stablemate in attacking Rowland at the end.

The other action in the closing stages surrounded a feisty scrap for ninth place between Formula 3 European Championship leader Esteban Ocon and Jazeman Jaafar, both of whom were placed under investigation by the stewards after the race - with no action taken.

Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Roberto Merhi Zeta Corse 42m28.622s
2 Pierre Gasly Arden Motorsport 29.156s
3 Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 29.412s
4 Carlos Sainz Jr. DAMS 33.993s
5 Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus 53.532s
6 Will Stevens Strakka Racing 1m03.230s
7 Marco Sorensen Tech 1 Racing 1m10.670s
8 Norman Nato DAMS 1m12.925s
9 Esteban Ocon Comtec Racing 1m18.206s
10 Jazeman Jaafar ISR 1m22.232s
11 Luca Ghiotto International Draco Racing 1m22.959s
12 Oscar Tunjo Pons Racing 1m23.797s
13 Roman Mavlanov Zeta Corse 1m25.901s
14 Sergey Sirotkin Fortec Motorsports 1m27.049s
15 Marlon Stockinger Lotus 1m27.519s
16 Meindert van Buuren Pons Racing 1m41.881s
17 Beitske Visser AVF 1m49.193s
18 Cameron Twynham Comtec Racing 1 Lap
19 William Buller Arden Motorsport 1 Lap
- Zoel Amberg AVF Retirement
- Pietro Fantin International Draco Racing Retirement
- Nicholas Latifi Tech 1 Racing Retirement
- Matias Laine Strakka Racing Retirement


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Hungaroring FR3.5: Oliver Rowland on pole, Carlos Sainz Jr in 14th

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Hungaroring FR3.5: Roberto Merhi takes pole in dramatic session

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