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Monza FR3.5 - Sainz Jr secures maiden pole position

Red Bull ace, Carlos Sainz Jr dominated qualifying to secure his first FR3.5 pole position.
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Carlos Sainz Jr claimed the first pole position of the Formula Renault 3.5 season in a dramatic qualifying session.

Fastest in free practice, the Spaniard continued to dominate to secure his maiden pole position. Despite his best efforts, William Buller remained one tenth-of-a-second behind in his Arden model. International Draco Racing's Luca Ghiotto was the highest-placed rookie in third. The Italian continued to improve in the latter stages of the thirty minute session to claim a slot on the second row of the grid.

Will Stevens put in a late surge to secure fourth for Strakka Racing, half a second faster than his team-mate, Matias Laine. The Briton was closely followed by Roberto Merhi who made his FR3.5 qualifying d├ębut for Zeta Corse to finish fifth overall. The Spaniard was just four one-hundredths-of-a-second faster than Marlon Stockinger who was the highest-placed Lotus in sixth.

Nikolay Martsenko and Jazeman Jaafar were both looking at top three finishes but were outpaced in the final few minutes as Zoel Amberg's spinning AV Formula disrupted the session. They finished down in seventh and ninth respectively, separated by a fast-finishing Pierre Gasly. Rookie, Matthieu Vaxiviere completed a competitive top ten.

Roman Mavlanov, Zoel Amberg, Marco Sorensen and Matias Laine remained consistent but missed out on the top ten positions. The first qualifying session of the 2014 season was closely-fought as the first fourteen drivers were separated by just one second. Meanwhile, Pietro Fantin was twelve gird positions behind his International Draco Racing team mate in fifteenth.

It was a difficult morning for Oliver Rowland and Sergey Sirotkin who settled for sixteenth and eighteenth respectively in their Fortec Motorsports models. Sainz Jr's DAMS team mate, Norman Nato finished down in seventeenth.

AV Formula's Beitske Visser did not complete a timed lap after stopping on track.

Just twenty-one cars contested the qualifying session, with ISR, Tech 1 Racing and Comtec each running one 2014 title challenger.

Following an enquiry into qualifying, the Stewards have removed the fastest times set by Marlon Stockinger and Zoel Amberg. They will now start thirteenth and fourteenth respectively.
by Katie Grimmett

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Carlos Sainz Jr - DAMS [pic credit: Renault Sport Media]
Matevos Isaakyan, SMP Racing [credit: Formula V8 3.5]
Rene Binder, Lotus - Photo credit: Formula V8 3.5/RPM Racing
Rene Binder, Lotus - Photo credit: Formula V8 3.5/RPM Racing
Rene Binder, Lotus - Photo credit: Formula V8 3.5/RPM Racing
Rene Binder, Lotus - Photo credit: Formula V8 3.5 series/RPM Racing
Rene Binder, Lotus - Photo credit: Formula V8 3.5
Lotus Formula V8 3.5 team - Photo credit: RPM Racing Media
Formula V8 - Photo credit: RPM Racing media
Photo credit: Sebastiaan Rozendaal / Dutch Photo Agency/LAT Photographic
Photo credit: RPM Media
Photo credit: Foto Speedy / Formula V8 3.5 media
Photo credit: Foto Speedy / Formula V8 3.5 media
Aurelien Panis - Tech 1 Racing [credit: Renault Sport Media]
Jake Hughes - Photo credit: Jean Michel Le Meur / DPPI / Renault Sport Media
Louis Deletraz - Photo credit: Jean Michel Le Meur / DPPI / Renault Sport Media
Tom Dillmann - Photo credit: DPPI / Florent Gooden / Renault Sport Media
Tom Dillmann - Photo credit: Gregory Lenormand / DPPI / Renault Sport Media

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