Fenestraz leads Norris in disrupted first race of Hockenheim NEC finale

fenestraz

Photo: Gregory Eyckmans

Sacha Fenestraz beat Lando Norris to win a disrupted first race of the Formula Renault NEC finale at Hockenheim, but the Briton remains well on course to claim his second title in a week.

Second on the grid, Fenestraz got a good enough start to use the inside line at Turn 1 to take the lead away from Norris.

The safety car soon appeared after Jehan Daruvala and Gabriel Aubry tangled at Turn 2, both having ended a drying qualifying session well down the order.

Before that was all cleared up, as in the prior ADAC F4 race, rain began to fall and the race was red-flagged: a good call given the downpour that followed.

Five minutes were left on the clock when the pack was released from behind the safety car in full wet conditions.

Norris managed to get alongside Fenestraz at the Turn 4 left-hander that leads on to the Parabolika, but the Franco-Argentine kept his foot in around the outside to keep the lead.

A number of incidents further down the order led to another red flag with two minutes left, bringing an early end to proceedings.

Norris’ chief rival Max Defourny finished in third after starting fifth, but sees his deficit to the leader go up to 52 points with 60 available from the two remaining races.

Bartlomiej Mirecki took third on the grid in the drying qualifying and was classified fourth at the flag ahead of Robert ShwartzmanAlex Vartanyan and Julien Falchero.

Mirecki was actually passed on the road by Shwartzman, Falchero, Henrique Chaves and Dorian Boccolacci on the final, uncompleted lap.

Vartanyan fell to 10th on the road but got given sixth in his second weekend in Formula Renault, while Chaves and Boccolacci were classified 10th and 11th behind James Allen and Bruno Bapitista.