Magnussen claims dominant FR3.5 victory in Spain


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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
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