Formula Renault 3.5 - Müller triumphs at Monaco

International Draco Racing driver Nico Müller started on pole and produced the perfect drive on the streets of Monaco, winning the race and taking his maiden Formula Renault 3.5 Series victory.

Formula Renault 3.5 - Müller triumphs at Monaco

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Nico Mueller won his first Formula Renault 3.5 victory in the support race for the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday (World Series by Renault:

The Swiss finished ahead of Marco Sørensen (Lotus), who overtook Jazeman Jaafar (Carlin) at turn one. Kevin Magnussen (DAMS) finished fourth to retain the championship lead, with a 14-point advantage over Stoffel Vandoorne (Fortec Motorsports).

"I was in a position that allowed me to control the race," Müller said after his victory. "The car was very good and I would just like to thank the team for their hard work. I tried to gauge Marco’s level of performance adapt my own pace accordingly.

"Winning in Monaco is obviously special, but it’s only one race. We’ll have to do it all over again at Spa."

There were several famous faces present for the race, the curtain-raiser for Monaco’s 71st Formula One Grand Prix. In glorious sunshine, Jacky Ickx, Jean Alesi, Tom Kristensen, Jean Ragnotti and Paul Belmondo could all be seen on the grid, with the latter arriving in the Megane RS Red Bull Racing RB8.

Müller started on pole and made a perfect getaway, while alongside him, Jaafar had too much wheelspin and allowed Sørensen to pass into second at Sainte-Dévote. Marlon Stockinger’s race finished at turn one, with Sørensen’s Lotus team-mate spinning after contact and becoming the first driver to retire.

Müller led at the end of lap one, ahead of Sørensen, Jaafar, Carlos Sainz Jr. (Zeta Corse), Magnussen, Antonio Félix da Costa (Arden Caterham), Will Stevens (P1 by Strakka Racing), Mikhail Aleshin (Tech 1 Racing), Stoffel Vandoorne and Arthur Pic (AV Formula). The first 10 places, incidentally, were occupied by drivers from 10 different teams.

With the race under control, Müller and Sorensen began to pull away from the rest of the field. Behind them was an extremely compact group, composed of Jaafar, Sainz, Magnussen and Da Costa. Further back, Christopher Zanella (ISR) narrowly avoided going off the track after clipping the barrier at the exit of the tunnel section. The Swiss then returned to the pits to change a rear wheel. After 10 laps, the front four were well separated from the chasing pack. Magnussen, however, remained under constant pressure from da Costa.

The race order did not change again until lap 14, when Sainz Jr misjudged his braking at La Rascasse and allowed Magnussen and da Costa to pass. Zanella then retired at the same spot after crashing out. But thanks to the efficiency of the Automobile Club de Monaco’s race marshals, his car was removed without the need to bring out the safety car.

With two laps to go, da Costa began to step up his assault on Magnussen’s position. But the Dane, determined to score as many points as possible and maintain his championship lead, kept the door shut and held on to take the chequered flag in fourth.

"I made a really good start and Jazeman tried to block me, but I was already there and he couldn’t do anything about it," Sørensen said. "I then had to keep the car on the track and maintain pressure on the leader, but Nico isn’t the kind of driver to make stupid mistakes."

Jaafar added: "My start was far from perfect – unlike Marco’s, which was superb. I tried to hold him off but I slipped down into third. I then pushed hard to avoid the threat of Kevin Magnussen. This first podium finish is a good result for me."

Formula Renault 3.5 Monaco results:

1. Nico Muller Draco

2. Marco Sorensen Lotus + 3.484s

3. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin + 7.184

4. Kevin Magnussen DAMS + 14.549

5. Antonio Felix da Costa Arden Caterham + 15.378

6. Carlos Sainz Jr Zeta + 21.230

7. Will Stevens P1/Strakka + 22.135

8. Mikhail Aleshin Tech 1 + 22.555

9. Stoffel Vandoorne Fortec + 23.403

10. Arthur Pic AV + 32.031

11. Oliver Webb Fortec + 33.746

12. Andre Negrao Draco + 34.283

13. Daniil Move Comtec + 34.936

14. Nick Yelloly Zeta + 41.652

15. Carlos Huertas Carlin + 50.278

16. Lucas Foresti Comtec + 1:17.314

17. Nigel Melker Tech 1 + 1:19.965

18. Yann Cunha AV + 1:28.176

19. Matias Laine P1/Strakka + 1 lap

20. Zoel Amberg Pons + 1 lap


Nikolay Martsenko Pons 30 laps

Sergey Sirotkin ISR 30 laps

Pietro Fantin Arden Caterham 27 laps

Norman Nato DAMS 17 laps

Christopher Zanella ISR 12 laps

Marlon Stockinger Lotus 0 laps

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