Home News Roberto Merhi dominates wet first FR3.5 race at Hungaroring

Roberto Merhi dominates wet first FR3.5 race at Hungaroring

by Peter Allen
Roberto Merhi

Photo: Eric Vargiolu/DPPI

Roberto Merhi claimed his third Formula Renault 3.5 win in the space of four races, finishing almost 30 seconds clear of the field in difficult conditions at the Hungaroring.

The Spaniard, who could make his Formula 1 race debut in Singapore next weekend, sythed his way from seventh on the grid to second at the start.

He then put several laps of pressure on pole-sitter Oliver Rowland, who eventually cracked when he ran deep at turn one, letting Merhi through into the lead.

Merhi then ran away at an astonishing pace up front, winning by 29 seconds.

Points leader Carlos Sainz ran well early on, gaining ten places from his disappointing grid slot of 14th to get up to fourth.

Fellow Red Bull Junior Pierre Gasly refused to do him any favours though, and Sainz had to settle for fourth, giving him a reduced margin of 26 points over Merhi.

Gasly flew in dryer conditions at the end of the race, slashing a considerable gap to Rowland. He caught his long-time rival on the last lap, and used an inside line at the final corner to beat Rowland to the line and take second.

Behind the top four, Matthieu Vaxiviere finished in fifth ahead of Will Stevens, Marco Sorensen and Norman Nato, who fell backwards after starting third.

Series debutant Esteban Ocon held off the attention of Jazeman Jaafar to take ninth.

Race results
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
1 Roberto Merhi Zeta Corse 22 laps in 42:28.622
2 Pierre Gasly Arden Motorsport +29.156
3 Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports +29.412
4 Carlos Sainz DAMS +33.993
5 Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus +53.532
6 Will Stevens Strakka Racing +1:03.230
7 Marco Sorensen Tech 1 Racing +1:10.670
8 Norman Nato DAMS +1:12.925
9 Esteban Ocon Comtec Racing +1:18.206
10 Jazeman Jaafar ISR +1:22.232
11 Luca Ghiotto International Draco Racing +1:22.959
12 Oscar Tunjo Pons Racing +1:23.797
13 Roman Mavlanov Zeta Corse +1:25.901
14 Sergey Sirotkin Fortec Motorsports +1:27.049
15 Marlon Stockinger Lotus +1:27.519
16 Meindert van Buuren Pons Racing +1:41.881
17 Beitske Visser AVF +1:49.193
18 Cameron Twynham Comtec Racing +1 lap
19 William Buller Arden Motorsport +1 lap
Not classified
Zoel Amberg AVF +5 laps
Pietro Fantin International Draco Racing +18 laps
Nicholas Latifi Tech 1 Racing +19 laps
Matias Laine Strakka Racing +19 laps