Home News Roberto Merhi claims Nurburgring race two pole in wet session

Roberto Merhi claims Nurburgring race two pole in wet session

by Peter Allen
Roberto Merhi

Photo: Jean Michel Le Meur/DPPI

Roberto Merhi transferred his strong recent form into wet conditions to claim pole position for the second Formula Renault 3.5 race at the Nurburgring.

Merhi, who won race two in Moscow and finished second in Saturday’s first Nurburgring contest, was at the front throughout the session, claiming top spot with his first flying lap, and was on top again after the first runs as drivers returned to the pits.

Despite most of the field finding improvements with their final laps, Merhi’s penultimate effort was enough to keep him ahead of the field, before finding extra time with his last lap to finish up 0.372 seconds clear.

In only his third weekend in the series, Oscar Tunjo was at the sharp end throughout the session and got up to second place with his last lap as the Colombian prevented an all-Spanish front row. Championship leader and race one winner Carlos Sainz had duelled with Merhi for much of the session but despite improving with his final lap, he had to settle for third.

Oliver Rowland got up to fourth with his last lap, while row three will be filled by the two Lotus drivers Matthieu Vaxiviere and Marlon Stockinger. Like Tunjo, Vaxiviere was a constant threat, holding fourth at the break and then going 0.7 seconds clear of the rest with two minutes left before ending up fifth.

Sergey Sirotkin briefly upstaged his fellow Saturday podium finishers Merhi and Sainz to take P1 ahead of them with five minutes left, but the Russian failed to improve his time on his final lap when conditions seemed to be best, meaning he finished up down in seventh. Zoel Amberg, Pietro Fantin and Will Stevens completed the top ten, while Pierre Gasly managed to out-do his poor qualifying from Saturday by ending up 21st of the 22 runners.

Qualifying results
Pos? Driver? Team Time? Gap Laps?
1 Roberto Merhi Zeta Corse 1:59.409 12
2 Oscar Tunjo Pons Racing 1:59.781 0.372 13
3 Carlos Sainz DAMS 1:59.960 0.551 12
4 Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 2:00.231 0.822 12
5 Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus 2:00.389 0.980 13
6 Marlon Stockinger Lotus 2:00.520 1.111 13
7 Sergey Sirotkin Fortec Motorsports 2:00.689 1.280 13
8 Zoel Amberg AVF 2:00.923 1.514 12
9 Pietro Fantin International Draco Racing 2:00.947 1.538 13
10 Will Stevens Strakka Racing 2:01.100 1.691 12
11 Roman Mavlanov Zeta Corse 2:01.190 1.781 13
12 Marco Sorensen Tech 1 Racing 2:01.221 1.812 11
13 Jazeman Jaafar ISR 2:01.246 1.837 12
14 Norman Nato DAMS 2:01.447 2.038 12
15 Luca Ghiotto International Draco Racing 2:01.585 2.176 13
16 Matias Laine Strakka Racing 2:01.832 2.423 12
17 William Buller Arden Motorsport 2:01.887 2.478 12
18 Meindert van Buuren Pons Racing 2:01.971 2.562 12
19 Alfonso Celis Tech 1 Racing 2:02.127 2.718 11
20 Beitske Visser AVF 2:02.802 3.393 13
21 Pierre Gasly Arden Motorsport 2:02.836 3.427 12
22 Cameron Twynham Comtec Racing 2:04.267 4.858 14