Paul Ricard Formula Renault 3.5: Nick Yelloly takes pole in wet

Nick Yelloly grabbed pole position for the first Formula Renault 3.5 race at Paul Ricard in a wet qualifying session

Paul Ricard Formula Renault 3.5: Nick Yelloly takes pole in wet

The Briton - often a star in wet conditions - snatched top spot from early pacesetter and championship leader Robin Frijns around the halfway mark, just as the majority of the field decided to dive into the pits for new tyres.

But as conditions started to dry out following an early morning thunderstorm - which delayed the start of the session and caused a 20-minute stoppage shortly after things kicked off - laptimes dropped away as the track became greasy.

The majority of drivers were lapping around two seconds off their best from their first runs, which had taken place with a lot more standing water on the track.

That left Comtec driver Yelloly safe in pole position, with Fortec's Frijns alongside for the first race of a weekend where he can seal the championship if he can build a big enough gap over pursuers Jules Bianchi and Sam Bird.

Bianchi is within striking distance, as he will start from the second row for Tech 1. The Ferrari junior was the first to dive into the pits for a second set of tyres, and that enabled Arden Caterham's Antonio Felix da Costa to demote him from third to fourth.

But Bird has a lot of work to do in Saturday's opening race of the weekend. The Briton was briefly third behind Frijns and Bianchi after just 10 minutes of qualifying, but while his rivals continued to fight at the front, Bird slipped to 16th.

Further up the order, Andre Negrao and Alexander Rossi made up the third row of the grid. Marco Sorensen took seventh, and was the only driver towards the front of the field to improve in the closing minutes.

Behind eighth placed Arthur Pic is an all-Russian fifth row, made up of category veterans Mikhail Aleshin and Daniil Move.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Nick Yelloly Comtec 2m09.593s 2. Robin Frijns Fortec 2m09.715s + 0.122s 3. Antonio Frijns da Costa Arden Caterham 2m09.990s + 0.397s 4. Jules Bianchi Tech 1 2m10.006s + 0.413s 5. Andre Negrao Draco 2m10.225s + 0.632s 6. Alexander Rossi Arden Caterham 2m10.307s + 0.714s 7. Marco Sorensen Lotus 2m10.307s + 0.714s 8. Arthur Pic DAMS 2m10.384s + 0.791s 9. Mikhail Aleshin RFR 2m10.410s + 0.817s 10. Daniil Move P1 2m10.472s + 0.879s 11. Vittorio Ghirelli Comtec 2m10.646s + 1.053s 12. Nico Muller Draco 2m10.726s + 1.133s 13. Kevin Magnussen Carlin 2m10.891s + 1.298s 14. Carlos Huertas Fortec 2m10.906s + 1.313s 15. Kevin Korjus Lotus 2m11.050s + 1.457s 16. Sam Bird ISR 2m11.118s + 1.525s 17. Walter Grubmuller P1 2m11.274s + 1.681s 18. Will Stevens Carlin 2m11.297s + 1.704s 19. Jake Rosenzweig ISR 2m11.528s + 1.935s 20. Daniel Abt Tech 1 2m11.629s + 2.036s 21. Davide Rigon BVM Target 2m11.689s + 2.096s 22. Lucas Foresti DAMS 2m11.896s + 2.303s 23. Nikolay Martsenko BVM Target 2m12.235s + 2.642s 24. Aaro Vainio RFR 2m12.241s + 2.648s 25. Zoel Amberg Pons 2m12.447s + 2.854s 26. Yann Cunha Pons 2m12.640s + 3.047s 
shares
comments
FR3.5 Paul Ricard: Kevin Magnussen quickest in Friday practice

Previous article

FR3.5 Paul Ricard: Kevin Magnussen quickest in Friday practice

Next article

Paul Ricard FR 3.5: Antonio Felix da Costa triumphs in wet thriller

Paul Ricard FR 3.5: Antonio Felix da Costa triumphs in wet thriller
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula V8 3.5
Author Glenn Freeman
How the post-Renault 3.5 series is shaping up Plus

How the post-Renault 3.5 series is shaping up

When Renault ended its support of its 3.5 Formula, there were fears about the category's future. But as PETER MILLS explains, the rebadged FV8 3.5 series has retained an appeal to drivers

Formula V8 3.5
Feb 3, 2016
The all-time FR3.5 top 10 Plus

The all-time FR3.5 top 10

An era ended in 2015 as Renault withdrew its backing of Formula Renault 3.5. GLENN FREEMAN and PETER MILLS pick the 10 best drivers from the World Series by Renault years

Formula V8 3.5
Jan 8, 2016
The top 10 FR3.5 drivers of 2015 Plus

The top 10 FR3.5 drivers of 2015

The 2015 Formula Renault 3.5 season will be notable for being the last with the French company's backing but also produced a worthy champion in Oliver Rowland. PETER MILLS evaluates this year's crop of drivers

Formula V8 3.5
Nov 17, 2015
Renault's ladder to Formula 1 Plus

Renault's ladder to Formula 1

Since 2005 the World Series by Renault package has launched a host of young stars on the path to Formula 1. But there's much more to the events, both on and off the track

Formula V8 3.5
Aug 13, 2015
The top 10 FR3.5 drivers of 2014 Plus

The top 10 FR3.5 drivers of 2014

The field was perhaps not as strong as in the previous season, but Carlos Sainz Jr emerged as a worthy Formula Renault 3.5 champion. GLENN FREEMAN rates the top 2014 drivers

Formula V8 3.5
Nov 11, 2014
The top 10 FR3.5 drivers of 2013 Plus

The top 10 FR3.5 drivers of 2013

There were some standout performances in the Formula Renault 3.5 title race this year, but one racer stood above all the others. GLENN FREEMAN looks back and picks out his top 10 drivers

Formula V8 3.5
Nov 15, 2013
The 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 grid guide Plus

The 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 grid guide

Last year's field was extraordinary and hard to match, but the Formula Renault 3.5 grid will still have plenty of talent this season. Glenn Freeman runs through the field ahead of this weekend's season opener

Formula V8 3.5
Apr 4, 2013
Vandoorne: future McLaren F1 star? Plus

Vandoorne: future McLaren F1 star?

Landing the Fortec seat that took rising star Robin Frijns to the 2012 FR3.5 title was already a good sign for Stoffel Vandoorne. Then McLaren took him under its wing. Peter Mills tells Vandoorne's story so far

Formula V8 3.5
Feb 20, 2013