Back empty-handed from Monaco, Matthieu Vaxiviere (Lotus) rebounded in the best possible way in becoming the first driver to win for a second time this season in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. Following a start where he was overtaken by Nicholas Latifi (Arden Motorsport), the Lotus F1 Team Junior driver re-took the advantage thanks to a spectacular passing move. The leader in the general classification, Jazeman Jaafar (Fortec Motorsports), and the highest placed rookie, Dean Stoneman (DAMS), joined the Frenchman on the podium.

Earlier in the day, Matthieu Vaxiviere picked up his second pole position of the year ahead of Beitske Visser (AVF), who was then disqualified following post qualifying inspection. Nicholas Latifi, Jazeman Jaafar, Oliver Rowland (Fortec Motorsports) and Nyck de Vries (DAMS) lined up behind the Frenchman on the starting grid.

Latifi takes the early lead

An extra formation lap was needed to remove the car of Alfonso Celis (AVF), blocked on the starting grid. In the very first metres, Nicholas Latifi got past Matthieu Vaxiviere. Jazeman Jaafar, Nyck de Vries and Dean Stoneman followed the two leaders at the end of a hectic opening lap where the safety car was called into service following the accident of Pietro Fantin (International Draco Racing).

Vaxiviere answers

Nicholas Latifi held on to the lead at the re-start, but on lap six, Matthieu Vaxiviere surprised the Canadian on the outside of the double-left hand corner. The Frenchman pulled away from his closest pursuer, who was then overtaken by Jazeman Jaafar and Dean Stoneman. Meanwhile, Oliver Rowland moved around Nyck de Vries for fifth place.

Matthieu Vaxiviere won his second race of the season with a five second margin from Jazeman Jaafar. Dean Stoneman held off Nicholas Latifi and Oliver Rowland to claim the final podium spot. Tom Dillmann (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) was sixth, followed by Tio Ellinas (Strakka Racing and rookies Gustav Malja (Strakka Racing), Nyck de Vries and Egor Orudzhev (Arden Motorsport), who completed the top ten.

Quotes

Matthieu Vaxiviere : “I made a real mess of my start ; we have to look at this to avoid it happening again. I like driving the car with low-downforce and I was able to pressure Nicholas. He made a mistake and I made the most of this situation to try my passing move. I am happy with this win and I want to thank the team for all the work it had done.”

Jazeman Jaafar : “I made a rather poor start and it was tight at the first corner, especially with Nyck. Thanks to my good pace, I made the most of the occasions to close up to Nicholas, with whom I had a small incident at Combes before being able to overtake him. Unfortunately, despite all my effort, Matthieu was, by then, too far ahead.”

Dean Stoneman : “This podium follows a string of good results, but I want to win. After qualifying that went much different than previewed due to the red flags, I got a good start. I was able to catch up to Jazeman, but getting past was difficult. It is really hard to pass and very easy to make a mistake on this track.”

Race 1 classification

Drivers’ championship

Teams’ championship

HD photo

Interview with Matthieu Vaxiviere (MP3)

Subject to confirmation of the results following the technical and sporting verifications

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