Photo: World Series by Renault
Lotus driver Marco Sorensen claimed his maiden Formula Renault 3.5 pole in Saturday qualifying for the Spielberg round, narrowly coming out on top in a lengthy battle against Kevin Magnussen.
The two Danes spent the bigger part of the 30-minute session constantly one-upping each other’s benchmarks and have emerged in a class of their own for the last ten minutes. Eventually, while Magnussen managed to cross the line one second before the checkered flag to go on a new quick lap, he was unable to match Sorensen’s pace, with the duo setting up a Dane 1-2 for the race.
Tech 1’s Nigel Melker will start from third third after a solid qualifying session that saw him secure the place with a last-ditch effort. Caterham junior Will Stevens will join Melker on the second row, while another session frontrunner Arthur Pic will round out the top five on the grid.
Championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne was never on the pace of the top two, but managed to secure a solid sixth. Newly announced Sauber junior Sergey Sirotkin was scheduled to start in seventh, but had his best laptime deleted, putting him in 11th place. Red Bull’s Antonio Felix da Costa, therefore, inherits seventh, with Nikolay Martsenko, Norman Nato and Marlon Stockinger rounding out the top ten.
The qualifying was largely incident-free, with the only noteworthy moment occurring when Jazeman Jaafar stopped on-track ten minutes into the session.
|3||Nigel Melker||Tech 1 Racing||1:16.294||+0.318||17|
|4||Will Stevens||P1 by Strakka Racing||1:16.363||+0.387||17|
|5||Arthur Pic||AV Formula||1:16.377||+0.401||16|
|6||Stoffel Vandoorne||Fortec Motorsports||1:16.527||+0.551||18|
|7||Antonio Felix da Costa||Arden Caterham||1:16.616||+0.640||18|
|8||Nikolay Martsenko||Pons Racing||1:16.759||+0.783||17|
|12||William Buller||Zeta Corse||1:16.854||+0.878||15|
|14||Nico Muller||International Draco Racing||1:16.904||+0.928||16|
|15||Yann Cunha||AV Formula||1:16.919||+0.943||16|
|17||Oliver Webb||Fortec Motorsports||1:17.080||+1.104||18|
|18||Pietro Fantin||Arden Caterham||1:17.093||+1.117||17|
|19||Andre Negrao||International Draco Racing||1:17.160||+1.184||17|
|20||Zoel Amberg||Pons Racing||1:17.339||+1.363||17|
|21||Mikhail Aleshin||Tech 1 Racing||1:17.458||+1.482||17|
|22||Daniil Move||SMP Racing by Comtec||1:17.769||+1.793||18|
|23||Lucas Foresti||SMP Racing by Comtec||1:17.891||+1.915||17|
|24||Riccardo Agostini||Zeta Corse||1:17.935||+1.959||16|
|25||Matias Laine||P1 by Strakka Racing||1:18.262||+2.286||17|