Sirotkin claims maiden FR3.5 win in Russia
28 June 2014 – Sauber youngster Sergey Sirotkin claimed his maiden Formula Renault 3.5 Series win at his home round in Moscow on a disastrous day for the three main title protagonists.
Pole-sitter Sirotkin led from start to finish on his way to victory while Carlos Sainz Jr., Pierre Gasly and Oliver Rowland all failed to score points after stalling at the start.
The first start was abandoned when second-placed Gasly stalled; the Frenchman frantically waving to alert race control to his predicament. The drivers circulated for another formation lap, but without Rowland and Sainz Jr., who also stalled from sixth and 16th respectively.
The result was that the first three drivers in the championship were forced to start from the pit lane.
Sirotkin led away when the race finally started, while Zoël Amberg assumed second position, ahead of a close scrap between Pietro Fantin, Roberto Merhi, Jazeman Jaafar and Will Stevens, which settled down after the first few corners.
Sirotkin maintained a one second gap to Amberg, who in turn pulled away from third-placed Fantin. Behind them, Sainz Jr. and Rowland tried to recover from their pit lane start but the duo collided, with Rowland's race ending in the gravel trap at the final corner.
Amberg remained a constant threat to Sirotkin but on the tight and twisty Moscow Raceway overtaking opportunities were always at a premium. The 18-year-old crossed the line ahead of Amberg to take his maiden win and the first for a Russian driver in the series – the perfect response after four straight retirements.
Fantin maintained third in a largely processional affair, ahead of Merhi, Jaafar and Stevens.
Marlon Stöckinger was seventh, with Mathias Laine, Richie Stanaway and Óscar Tunjo completing the top 10.
Sainz Jr. recovered to 14th, with Gasly a lap down in 18th. The failure of the top three to score means that Sainz Jr. retains his 43-point advantage over Gasly.
Sunday's second race at the Moscow Raceway gets underway at 2.30pm local time (GMT +4)