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Robert Wickens remained calm under pressure to claim victory in the first race of the weekend at the Nurburgring, resisting two brief rain showers on slick tyres to ultimately cross the line six tenths ahead of Daniel Ricciardo. Kevin Korjus completed the podium, but he finished a substantial margin behind the top two.
The race began on a damp track surface and, with no predicted rain, the field decided to start on slick tyres. Wickens initially struggled to get off the line, but he did enough to hold onto his lead into the first corner. Despite a small mistake from Wickens on a wetter part of the circuit, Ricciardo could only pull up alongside his Canadian rival, just failing to make a move stick.
A Safety Car was deployed for an incident involving Jean-Eric Vergne himself and Alexander Rossi early on, leaving both men out of the race. This gave Ricciardo an opportunity at the restart and the Australian duly took it, moving into the lead ahead of Wickens just before rain began to fall. This led to a flurry of pit-lane activity, with some mid-field runners opting to pit for wet tyres.
However, switching rubber turned out to be the wrong choice, with the leaders braving the conditions early on. A small mistake from Ricciardo was all Wickens needed to reclaim his early lead, jumping past the ISR driver with only a few laps to go. Ricciardo did everything he could in an attempt to steal the victory during the final eight tours, but it was too little, too late.
Behind Korjus, who was over 20 seconds adrift of Wickens, César Ramos grabbed fourth in front of Albert Costa. Sergio Canamasas and Andre Negrao were next up in sixth and seventh respectively, while Daniel Zampieri, Anton Nebylitsky and Jake Rosenzweig completed the top ten runners.
Sunday's Qualifying 2 begins at 9.35pm local time (BST 1)
World Series by Renault
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|3.||K. Korjus||Tech 1||+22.951|
|5.||A. Costa||Epsilon Euskadi||+33.372|
|7.||D. Zampieri||BVM Target||+41.200|
|9.||S. Canamasas||BVM Target||+43.917|
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