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DATE News (chronologically)
08/20/11
wsr
Wickens wins first Silverstone race 


Robert Wickens
After qualifying on pole, Carlin driver Robert Wickens went on to win the race and regain top spot in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series overall standings. Daniel Ricciardo finished second on his return to the circuit where he made his Formula One debut just a few weeks ago, after outfoxing Alexander Rossi (Fortec Motorsports) towards the end of the race. American Rossi completed the top three, which did not feature a single European driver.

It is fair to say that Robert Wickens left his opponents with little to be cheerful about in qualifying. The Canadian is something of a specialist when it comes to qualifying, and he duly scored his fifth pole of the season ahead of Alexander Rossi and the ISR pair of Daniel Ricciardo and Nathanael Berthon. The latter managed to record his best qualifying result of the season.

The first twist of the afternoon came as early as the formation lap, with Jean-Eric Vergne (Carlin) unable to get away in first gear. As a result, the Frenchman started the race from the pits at the back of the field, and could only watch on as Wickens made the perfect start. The Marussia Virgin Racing reserve led in the early stages ahead of Rossi, Ricciardo, Berthon, Albert Costa (Epic Racing) and debutant Nick Yelloly (Pons Racing).

Wickens, Rossi and Ricciardo wasted no time in establishing a lead over the rest of the field. Berthon headed up the chasing pack, with Costa, Yelloly and Sten Pentus (Epic Racing) ready to pounce on the slightest opportunity to overtake.

While Rossi piled the pressure on race leader Wickens, an equally intriguing battle for fourth place was shaping up between Berthon and Costa. The Spaniard chanced his luck several times, but was unable to find an opening. Jean-Eric Vergne was also still in the race after starting from the pits, and occupied 17th position with 30 minutes remaining.

With ten minutes to go, Ricciardo launched a surprise attack on Rossi and succeeded in snatching second place. He then set his sights on race leader Wickens, but the gap between the pair by this stage was too great. Ricciardo refused to give up and even managed to record the fastest lap of the race in the latter stages, but Wickens held his nerve to take the checkered flag. It was the Canadian’s third race victory of the season, and he came home in front of Ricciardo and Rossi. Despite Jean-Eric Vergne’s brave performance in climbing all the way up to 13th place, the Frenchman finished the race without a single point to his name. As a result, Wickens now sits atop the championship standings with a 21-point advantage over his French team-mate, and lead of 57 points over Rossi in third place.

Quotes

Robert Wickens: “It’s not easy to overtake on this circuit, so I wanted more than anything to get a good start – which I did. I didn’t make things easy for myself by going a bit wide on the second lap, but fortunately there was tarmac on the other side of the rumble strip. I calmed down after that, because I’d really been on the attack in the opening laps. It’s an important victory in terms of the rest of the championship. And it feels good.”

Daniel Ricciardo: “Second place feels like a victory for me and the rest of the team after the weekend we had in Budapest. I’m happy that I managed to overtake Alexander Rossi in the final laps. I’d expected to finish third, but my car became quicker and quicker. I even managed my fastest lap at the end of the race, which is something that rarely happens in this discipline. Life in the World Series by Renault paddock is more relaxed than in Formula One. It’s nice to be able to breathe a bit. I had no problem switching from one car to the other.”

Alexander Rossi: “I was better than Robert [Wickens] in the first sector, and I tried to attack but I could never find an opening. My car’s performance dropped and I really wanted to finish. Daniel [Ricciardo] overtook, and then I knew there was a big gap between fourth place and that I had to reach the finishing line. We’ll need to work to ensure that we don’t find ourselves in the same situation tomorrow.”

Results

Pos

Num Driver Team Laps Time/Gap
1 6 Robert WICKENS CARLIN 26 47:12.720
2 3 Daniel RICCIARDO ISR 26 +1.335
3 7 Alexander ROSSI FORTEC MOTORSPORTS 26 +4.425
4 4 Nathanael BERTHON ISR 26 +13.965
5 12 Albert COSTA EPIC RACING 26 +15.202
6 11 Sten PENTUS EPIC RACING 26 +20.677
7 17 Oliver WEBB PONS RACING 26 +21.183
8 1 Kevin KORJUS TECH 1 RACING 26 +21.753
9 23 Walter GRUBMULLER P1 MOTORSPORT 26 +25.885
10 26 Sergio CANAMASAS BVM TARGET 26 +26.196
11 20 Jake ROSENZWEIG MOFAZ RACING 26 +31.261
12 5 Jean Eric VERGNE CARLIN 26 +31.879
13 24 Daniil MOVE P1 MOTORSPORT 26 +34.063
14 27 Jan CHAROUZ GRAVITY - CHAROUZ 26 +35.415
15 21 Anton NEBYLITSKIY KMP RACING 26 +36.561
16 2 Arthur PIC TECH 1 RACING 26 +44.439
17 9 Daniel MCKENZIE COMTEC RACING 26 +46.990
18 10 Daniel DE JONG COMTEC RACING 26 +56.970
19 15 Stephane RICHELMI INTERNATIONAL DRACO RACING 26 +1:02.310
20 22 Nelson PANCIATICI KMP RACING 24 2 Laps
21 28 Brendon HARTLEY GRAVITY - CHAROUZ 23 3 Laps
NC 8 Cesar RAMOS FORTEC MOTORSPORTS 21 39:19.524
NC 19 Fairuz FAUZY MOFAZ RACING 20 37:59.885
NC 25 Daniel ZAMPIERI BVM TARGET 14 26:08.384
NC 16 Andre NEGRAO INTERNATIONAL DRACO RACING 7 13:55.837
DSQ 18 Nick YELLOLY PONS RACING 26 47:31.998

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