Silverstone Formula Renault 3.5: Jules Bianchi dominates crazy first race

Jules Bianchi took a dominant victory in a chaotic first Formula Renault 3.5 race of the weekend at Silverstone

Silverstone Formula Renault 3.5: Jules Bianchi dominates crazy first race

The Frenchman survived horrendous changeable conditions to cross the line first, in a race where only 10 cars made the finish.

Tech 1 driver Bianchi moved up from fourth to second at the start of the race, taking advantage of a slow start for championship leader Robin Frijns from the front row. But with rain falling the track was already too wet for slick tyres in some places.

Polesitter Kevin Magnussen was the first to fall foul of the conditions, crashing at Becketts on lap two while leading. Bianchi and Frijns took that as a signal and pitted for wets at the end of the lap, leaving Alexander Rossi to lead the race on slicks.

But Rossi's race lasted just a few more corners, as he became the first of seven cars to crash at a flooded Luffield corner on lap three. Other significant runners to join him in the wall were Sam Bird, Marco Sorensen and Nico Muller.

The race had to be red-flagged because there were not enough recovery vehicles to clear the mess. Will Stevens led from the restart, having been allowed to change from slicks to wets during the stoppage.

But on the first racing lap, Stevens spun out, as he was the first car to encounter an awful amount of water on the track at Stowe.

That left Bianchi leading Frijns (Fortec), with series debutant Nigel Melker, who had also gone off at Luffield on lap three but was the only driver to keep going, in third for Lotus.

Nick Yelloly was next up in fourth, and after surviving a bit of an attack from Lucas Foresti and Carlos Huertas, the Briton was able to consolidate his position to the finish.

There were plenty more spinners and crashers further back, but the star of the restarted race was Red Bull junior Antonio Felix da Costa. The Portuguese driver charged through from 13th to fifth by the finish, staying out of trouble and picking off several of his more cautious rivals in the process.

Results - 20 laps: Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Jules Bianchi Tech 1 1h03m31.309s 2. Robin Frijns Fortec + 7.542s 3. Nigel Melker Lotus + 17.372s 4. Nick Yelloly Comtec + 27.806s 5. Antonio Felix da Costa Arden Caterham + 37.119s 6. Carlos Huertas Fortec + 49.121s 7. Lucas Foresti DAMS + 52.050s 8. Walter Grubmuller P1 + 1m09.383s 9. Vittorio Ghirelli Comtec + 1m21.149s 10. Daniel Zampieri BVM Target + 1 lap Retirements: Mikhail Aleshin RFR 18 laps Daniil Move P1 12 laps Jake Rosenzweig ISR 10 laps Andre Negrao Draco 8 laps Zoel Amberg Pons 8 laps Will Stevens Carlin 7 laps Alexander Rossi Arden Caterham 2 laps Sam Bird ISR 2 laps Nico Muller Draco 2 laps Marco Sorensen Lotus 2 laps Nikolay Martsenko BVM Target 2 laps Yann Cunha Pons 2 laps Anton Nebylitskiy RFR 2 laps Kevin Korjus Tech 1 2 laps Kevin Magnussen Carlin 1 lap Arthur Pic DAMS 0 laps 
shares
comments
Silverstone Formula Renault 3.5: Kevin Magnussen takes pole in wet

Previous article

Silverstone Formula Renault 3.5: Kevin Magnussen takes pole in wet

Next article

Silverstone Formula Renault 3.5: Jules Bianchi triumphs in three-way pole fight

Silverstone Formula Renault 3.5: Jules Bianchi triumphs in three-way pole fight
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