Sainz Jr eases to maiden FR3.5 victory
|1.||C. Sainz Jr.||43:10.774|
13 April 2014 – Red Bull youngster Carlos Sainz Jr romped to victory in the second race of the opening round of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series at Monza.
Sainz Jr was the fastest driver across the duration of the weekend but dropped out of contention on Saturday after a mechanical failure prior to the formation lap. He made amends by securing a dominant pole position on Sunday morning, from which he built a commanding lead during the race and was never troubled as he took his first win in the series.
Marlon Stöckinger never challenged Sainz Jr and came home 10 seconds behind the race winner for Lotus while Sauber reserve driver Sergey Sirotkin profited from a strong start to collect third place for Fortec.
Draco's Luca Ghiotto rebounded from a difficult first race to collect fourth place, ahead of the other Red Bull young driver Pierre Gasly.
Gasly came under pressure from Jazeman Jaafar early on in the race and the Malaysian driver made the move, but had to concede the position after cutting the chicane. Gasly pulled away to secure fifth, while Jaafar was overhauled by a charging Nikolay Martsenko, who finished in sixth place for Comtec.
Pietro Fantin was eighth for Draco while Roberto Merhi and Oliver Rowland rounded out the top 10, despite the Brit having to start from the pit lane after his car failed to get away for the formation lap.
The winner of the opening race of the season, Will Stevens, retired midway through the race after making contact with Will Buller at the Rettifilo chicane. Stevens was briefly tipped into the air before ending up in the gravel on the outside of the corner.
Other retirements included Meindert van Buuren, who pirouetted exiting the Parabolica, and Marco Sørensen, whose Tech 1 car developed an apparent gear selection problem.