Photo: Renault Sport/DPPI
Dutch rookie claims crown after contact forced his French rival out of the final race in Barcelona…
Robin Frijns has won the Formula Renault 3.5 Series title in less-than-idea circumstances in the final race of the season at Barcelona. A third place in Saturday’s race meant Frijns came into the decider with a four point advantage over rival Jules Bianchi. The pair were fighting over fourth place in the race, with Bianchi making a clean move at turn one to take the position. Then at turn four Frijns dived down the inside of Bianchi, made contact and sent him into the gravel and out of the race. The Frenchman’s retirement meant that he could not overhaul Frijns, who went on to finish the race in seventh but could yet be penalised by the stewards.
Frijn’s title follows his championship successes in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula BMW Europe in the previous two seasons. Despite the big step up to FR3.5 he was the pacesetter in pre-season testing with the brand new car and led the championship after winning in the opening weekend at Motorland Aragon. Further victories came at Moscow and the Hungaroring, recording a total of eight podium finishes over the season and three pole positions.
Frijns is already set to drive for Sauber at the Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi, where he should also get a day with Red Bull Racing as a prize for his FR3.5 win. A reserve role with Sauber next year has been speculated.