Sunday morning saw Nyck de Vries (DAMS) become the first rookie to score pole in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series this season. The 2014 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 champion and McLaren Young Driver Development Programme member ended the day’s qualifying session at Motorland Aragon ahead of Lotus F1 Team Junior driver Matthieu Vaxiviere (Lotus) and Saturday’s race winner Oliver Rowland (Fortec Motorsports). Completing the second row is Jazzman Jaafar (Fortec Motorsports), with Pietro Fantin (International Draco Racing) and Tom Dillmann (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) on row three.

The drivers opted for slicks on a track still damp from the morning rain. Roberto Merhi (Pons Racing) was the first to show, though it was Alfonso Celis (AVF) who held sway when the field came in for the mid-session switch to new tyres.

Nicholas Latifi (Arden Motorsport) trumped the Mexican’s time with five minutes remaining, at which point Nyck de Vries (DAMS), Oliver Rowland (Fortec Motorsports) and Tom Dillmann (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) took charge, with the Dutchman posting a time of 1:41.609 to snatch pole on his last lap.

Only eight tenths of a second separated the top four, with the leading 16 drivers all finishing within a second of each other.

What they said :

Nyck de Vries : “It feels amazing to get my first pole in Formula Renault 3.5 Series. I can’t put it into words. We had our ups and downs in pre-season collective testing and we weren’t always able to get things together. There were some positive signs for us on Friday, though I couldn’t get the perfect lap in yesterday. The conditions were different today and everyone had an extra lap because I was the first to cross the line. The key thing was our ability to adapt. The conditions changed from lap to lap but we kept it together.”

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