In Motorsport, consistency is key and it was the Dane, Kevin Magnussen (DAMS), who continued his impressive start to the 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 championship with a win from pole on Saturday at the Aragon Motorland circuit in Spain.
Magnussen, who is now a member of the McLaren Young Driver Programme, took maximum points claiming victory ahead of Will Stevens (P1 Motorsport) and Arthur Pic (AV Formula). This places him ahead of previous championship leader, Stoffel Vandoorne, in the overall standings.
The poor weather conditions, which have so far followed Formula Renault 3.5 on its tour of Europe, continued. Magnussen successfully battled the wet to claim pole ahead of Sergey Sirotkin (ISR) and a young driver considered the favourite, Antonio Felix da Costa racing for Arden Caterham. The Portugese driver was later demoted after failing to produce a sufficient quantity of fuel for sampling.
The rain disappeared just in time for 28 engines to fire up in anger for the second race of the season. Arthur Pic enjoyed a strong start; he was second by the end of the first lap. Sergey Sirotkin, his ISR team mate, Christopher Zanella, Marco Sorensen (Lotus), Norman Nato (DAMS), Stoffel Vandoorne (Fortec Motorsports), Nigel Melker (Tech 1 Racing) and Will Stevens completed the top nine. From his back-row position Antonio Felix da Costa had climbed up to 18th by the end of lap one suggesting that the speed was still there.
On Saturday, the drivers were not afraid to contest each position; viewers enjoyed numerous overtaking exchanges during each lap. International Draco Racing’s Nico Muller was the first to face the harsh consequences of this racing. The Swiss driver crashed out, whilst leader, Kevin Magnussen, briefly became more familiar the gravel outlining the Spanish circuit. Magnussen’s win was dominant in the end, the Dane posted several fastest laps to take nearly a second a lap out of his nearest rival, Arthur Pic.
As the race continued, Stoffel Vandoorne, Marco Sorensen and Christopher Zanella all struggled to maintain their pace. This enabled Sergey Sirotkin and Norman Nato to battle for fourth and fifth respectively. The Russian won that fight towards the end of the 27 laps. Will Stevens caught Arthur Pic in a dramatic final dash for points. After a disappointing weekend in Monza, Stevens finished second with the Frenchman claiming his first podium of the year in third. Will Stevens addressed his change in fortunes this weekend.
“I was disappointed with our results at Monza, and we needed to score points today. The car has a lot to offer in the way of performance, especially in the dry”.
Kevin Magnussen’s win was dominant, the chequered flag fell as the Dane finished more than 20 seconds ahead of Stevens and Pic. The remaining points were claimed by Sergey Sirotkin, Norman Nato, Nigel Melker, Christopher Zanella, Stoffel Vandoorne, Marco Sorensen and Mikhail Aleshin. Fortec Motorsports’ Oliver Webb finished one place outside in 11th whilst Antonio Felix da Costa climbed up to 13th following his demotion to the back of the grid that morning.
Kevin Magnussen now sits 17 points clear of his nearest rival, Stoffel Vandoorne who claimed victory last weekend following a successful series debut. Of his race victory, Magnussen spoke of his desire to remain consistent.
“It’s only the start of the championship but it’s still important to go out and score big. I had a very good car today and I made sure I didn’t make any mistakes.”
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Kevin Magnussen DAMS 46m15.323s 2. Will Stevens P1 + 19.933s 3. Arthur Pic AV Formula + 21.266s 4. Sergey Sirotkin ISR + 23.601s 5. Norman Nato DAMS + 24.398s 6. Nigel Melker Tech 1 + 26.094s 7. Christopher Zanella ISR + 34.943s 8. Stoffel Vandoorne Fortec + 35.419s 9. Marco Sorensen Lotus + 36.065s 10. Mikhail Aleshin Tech 1 + 37.973s 11. Oliver Webb Fortec + 41.520s 12. Nikolay Martsenko Pons + 42.016s 13. Antonio Felix da Costa Arden Caterham + 42.609s 14. Lucas Foresti Comtec + 1m04.474s 15. Yann Cunha AV Formula + 1m15.586s 16. Matias Laine P1 + 1m17.124s 17. Zoel Amberg Pons + 1m18.185s 18. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin + 1m18.934s 19. Marlon Stockinger Lotus + 1m23.597s 20. Carlos Huertas Carlin + 1m25.368s 21. Daniil Move Comtec + 1m31.909s 22. Matheo Tuscher Zeta Corse + 1m45.147s Retirements: Andre Negrao Draco 23 laps Pietro Fantin Arden Caterham 20 laps Mihai Marinescu Zeta Corse 17 laps Nico Muller Draco 0 laps