Home News Carlos Sainz survives late rain to win first Nurburgring race

Carlos Sainz survives late rain to win first Nurburgring race

by Peter Allen
Carlos Sainz

Photo: Jean Michel Le Meur/DPPI

Carlos Sainz held on under heavy rain in the last moments to win the first Formula Renault 3.5 race at the Nurburgring.

After keeping the lead from pole position at the start, Sainz had to deal with the threat of Oliver Rowland at first, with the Briton able to stay within one second of the championship leader for several laps.

Sainz then began to extend his advantage over Rowland, which gave him a comfortable margin when it began raining at the end of the lap in the closing minutes. After crawling through the chicane and the final corner for the last time in the now-treacherous conditions, Sainz took a 4.1 second win.

Rowland suddenly fell back towards third-placed Roberto Merhi in the final laps, and the Zeta driver was able to get past to claim a Spanish one-two when Rowland’s car slowed on the pits straight heading onto the last lap.

That also allowed Rowland’s team-mate Sergey Sirotkin to get past at turn two, but the British driver was able to get back up to speed to hold on to fourth. After falling behind Merhi at the start, Sirotkin was pressuring his fellow Moscow winner until the conditions worsened.

Marlon Stockinger scored his best result since Aragon in fifth place ahead of Mattias Laine and Pietro Fantin, while Oscar Tunjo beat Zoel Amberg and Marco Sorensen to eighth.

After starting down in 17th, Pierre Gasly found himself in that very same position for a large chunk of the race, stuck behind Roman Mavlanov. He eventually managed to get down the inside of the Russian at turn one but ran deep. The pair then ran side-by-side into turn two, with Mavlanov failing to give Gasly enough space on the inside and causing contact that spun both around.

A visit to the pits for a new front wing left Gasly finishing 20th, although Rowland’s woes late on mean the Frenchman retains second in the standings, albeit now 58 points adrift of Sainz.

Race results
Pos Driver? Team Time/Gap
1 Carlos Sainz DAMS 24 laps in 42:17.052
2 Roberto Merhi Zeta Corse 4.154
3 Sergey Sirotkin Fortec Motorsports 9.951
4 Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 13.466
5 Marlon Stockinger Lotus 15.179
6 Matias Laine Strakka Racing 16.999
7 Pietro Fantin International Draco Racing 18.964
8 Oscar Tunjo Pons Racing 26.126
9 Zoel Amberg AVF 26.760
10 Marco Sorensen Tech 1 Racing 27.184
11 Will Stevens Strakka Racing 29.227
12 Norman Nato DAMS 37.671
13 Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus 40.318
14 Meindert van Buuren Pons Racing 43.477
15 Jazeman Jaafar ISR 46.598
16 Alfonso Celis Tech 1 Racing 52.639
17 Roman Mavlanov Zeta Corse 53.205
18 Cameron Twynham Comtec Racing 58.872
19 Beitske Visser AVF 1’16.016
20 Pierre Gasly Arden Motorsport 1’35.629
Not classified
Luca Ghiotto International Draco Racing +18 laps
William Buller Arden Motorsport +23 laps