The qualifications started off with an early accident by Philopaz Armand (Pons Racing). Oliver Rowland was at the lead when the drivers changed over to new tyres.
Roy Nissany (Tech 1 Racing) was the first improve his time. The final sprint had Nyck de Vries, Dean Stoneman (DAMS), Tio Ellinas and Jazeman Jaafar jockeying for pole, but Oliver Rowland finally bested them all with a 1:59.092 lap. The Englishman pulled ahead of Tio Ellinas and best rookie Nyck de Vries (DAMS). Jazeman Jaafar and Matthieu Vaxiviere also finished in the top five.
The second Formula Renault 3.5 Series race will start at 1.45pm.
Oliver Rowland : "I had to really go after it to find the grip I needed in medium downforce. We weren’t quite as fastin the straights, but we were still pretty fast. I have to see if we can still tweak some things to improve, but I was right at the edge."