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Formula Renault 3.5

Marco Sorensen (Lotus), Saturday’s poleman and race winner, produced another clean sweep at the Red Bull Ring on Sunday. The Dane took victory ahead of Nigel Melker (Tech 1 Racing) and his compatriot Kevin Magnussen (DAMS), penalised though his championship prospects were boosted by the retirement of Stoffel Vandoorne (Fortec Motorsports).

Nigel Melker was the fastest man in qualifying, but the Dutchman had his best lap deleted for blocking Kevin Magnussen. Marco Sorensen was duly promoted to pole position, with Melker alongside him on the front row. Championship leader Kevin Magnussen qualified in third, with his closest rival, Stoffel Vandoorne, joining him on the second row.

As the lights went out, Antonio Félix da Costa (Arden Caterham) remained glued to the grid. Marco Sorensen held his lead from the start, with Kevin Magnussen passing Nigel Melker after Stoffel Vandoorne had spun at turn one.

When the pit window opened, the majority of the drivers used the opportunity to make their stops. Nigel Melker pitted on lap seven, with Marco Sorensen and Kevin Magnussen following two laps later. The race order remained unchanged, and Sorensen soon stretched his lead.

The Lotus driver, however, had his advantage wiped out on lap 22, after the safety car was introduced to remove Carlos Huertas’ car from the track. The Carlin man’s single-seater had stopped on the track following a spin.

Kevin Magnussen pushed hard after the restart, but Marco Sorensen held on to win the race. Nigel Melker finally recorded another second place after Kevin Magnusen got penalised after his first-lap off-track overtaking. Fourth, Sergey Sirotkin was the best-placed rookie and gained six places thanks to a late pitstop. William Buller (Zeta Corse) came fifth, followed by Marlon Stockinger (Lotus), Nico Müller (International Draco Racing), Pietro Fantin (Arden Caterham) and Norman Nato (DAMS).

What they said

Marco Sorensen: "It felt like a pretty long race! We weren’t sure how to make our stop at the right time without taking too many risks. It seems we made the right decision. I’d like to thank my team for supporting me when things haven’t been so good. I now can’t wait to go to Budepest and see if we can continue this run."

Nigel Melker: "We’ve had a good weekend. Finishing on the podium twice is a good thing. The main aim is to win, but our results are satisfactory nonetheless."

Kevin Magnussen: "The safety car allowed me to catch up with Marco. I had quite a good restart and positioned myself in his slipstream, but had no success. After that, I didn’t want to take too many risks. I aim to win, but you also need to know how to do what’s best for the championship."

Formula Renault 3.5 Series – provisional championship standings: 1. K. Magnussen 163; 2. S. Vandoorne 136; 3. W. Stevens 101; 5. N. Melker 100; 3. A. Da Costa 95 [...]

Official Renault Sport Press Release.

Posted: 21 July 2013
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