Carlos Sainz Jr set a new Formula Renault 3.5 record at Paul Ricard after securing his seventh race of the season, more than any other driver.

The Spaniard enjoyed a return to form at the series' penultimate round by claiming back-to-back victories for the defending constructors' champions DAMS. Fellow Red Bull youngster Pierre Gasly was the pole-sitter but the fast-starting DAMS did enough to overtake at the first corner.

"When the lights came out, I did not know if it was possible because I saw he was also having a really good start," a relieved Sainz told Crash.net . "My 0-100 was very quick; it was a really close to perfect start."

Related Articles

After Sunday morning's qualifying the twenty-year-old had hoped to pull off the move and admits discussing the first lap with his engineers.

"I talked to the team and instead of doing one practice start, we did two because we knew that the start was going to be crucial," he explained. "It worked out and it was a really nice."

Despite setting a new record, Sainz was unable to claim championship victory this weekend after Roberto Merhi finished fifth. The title will now be decided at the final round at Jerez next month.

"During the race, I did not look to see where he was", he notes. "You just focus on your job as you don't have time to think where the others are. It's such an important race and you have to be so consistent."

"When the team didn't tell me anything so I realised that the championship didn't happen this time. It has been a good weekend."

Two more races next month will decide the championship with Sainz Jr still leading the order.