Carlos Sainz Jr. was crowned the 2014 Formula Renault 3.5 champion after a ninth place finish in race one at Jerez, Spain.

The 20-year-old, who is the youngest champion in the series' ten year history, was awarded the title after a first lap collision saw his main title rival Roberto Merhi retire from the race. Struggling with pace, the DAMS driver battled hard to finish in the points.

Speaking to after his championship celebrations, the Red Bull junior - the first from the programme to win the series - opened up about his emotions.

"It is difficult to describe what it is like to win," he said. "It felt like stepping out of the car with a ninth place finish but suddenly I saw the pit wall cheering and I was very happy about that."

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After seeing the first lap incident, Sainz admits he was not considering the championship victory and was instead fighting for positions alongside his team mate Norman Nato.

"When I saw the crash at turn one, I knew I was champion but during the race I forgot about it because I was quite frustrated to be ninth, it's not the position you want to win the championship with."

Disappointed not to win the race, thus forcing his celebrations to the pit lane, the champion instead reflected the more positive outcomes of a dominant 2014. His victorious season has seen him win on seven occasions, an FR3.5 record.

"Ninth wasn't the result of the year; we didn't win the championship today, we won it in Paul Ricard and at Spa," he explained referencing his and the team's back-to-back victories at the respective circuits. "When I saw them all there, I was happy and realised what I had done."

"DAMS think like champions too. They were in the same situation as me, they were happy but not extremely happy because we want to win tomorrow."

DAMS Racing won with Kevin Magnussen at the helm last year. This 2014 title victory marks their second in the drivers' championships.

"I was talking to my race engineer after the race and he was talking to me about the ninth place and the pit wall couldn't believe it. They want to win as much as I do but they are of course pleased with the result."

Will Stevens was the winner of race one for Strakka Racing, converting his maiden pole position.