Sorensen edges out compatriot Magnussen in close qualifying

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.

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.

Session results
Pos. Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Marco Sorensen Lotus 1:15.976 16
2 Kevin Magnussen DAMS 1:16.048 +0.072 18
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
9 Norman Nato DAMS 1:16.764 +0.788 17
10 Marlon Stockinger Lotus 1:16.777 +0.801 16
11 Sergey Sirotkin ISR 1:16.782 +0.806 15
12 William Buller Zeta Corse 1:16.854 +0.878 15
13 Carlos Huertas Carlin 1:16.903 +0.927 17
14 Nico Muller International Draco Racing 1:16.904 +0.928 16
15 Yann Cunha AV Formula 1:16.919 +0.943 16
16 Christopher Zanella ISR 1:17.069 +1.093 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
26 Jazeman Jaafar Carlin 1:19.162 +3.186 6