Formula Renault 3.5

Rounds six and seven: Spa

This topic contains 8 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Iestyn Davies - @fastiesty Iestyn Davies – @fastiesty 1 year, 4 months ago.

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    Profile photo of Keith Collantine
    Keith Collantine

    Some disappointing news ahead of this weekend’s rounds as two entries have been struck from the list.

    Comtec, who fielded Nikolay Martsenko in the first four races and Andrea Roda at Monaco, will not be racing in Belgium. Martsenko has sponsor problems and Roda is racing in Auto GP.

    And Matthieu Vaxiviere will miss the Belgian and Russian races while he recovers from a back injury sustained in Monaco. He will also be unable to make his planned debut in the Le Mans 24 Hours:

    Assuming Vaxiviere is not replaced and no one else shows up, this trims the field down to just 19.

    Profile photo of wsrgo

    @keithcollantine Richie Stanaway will replace Vaxiviere, according to this.

    Profile photo of SP

    Stanaway is replacing him, at least for Spa ( However, the loss of entries in FR3.5 is symptomatic of the problems facing junior series in general. Without drivers bringing funding, most teams would cease to operate.

    Speaking of back injuries, Ed Jones also sustained one at Pau ( Perhaps some chassis revisions might be order…

    Edit: Ninja’d by wsrgo

    Profile photo of R.J. O'Connell
    R.J. O’Connell

    Is this the weekend where Rowland and Gasly start to take the fight to Sainz?

    Profile photo of wsrgo

    That was incredible from Sainz. I have a feeling a French guy driving for an Italian team in F1 will not like this one bit ;)

    Profile photo of Nick

    If Sainz can keep this up, Vernge ought to be very worried. If Gasly keeps this up, Marko might need to buy into Caterham just to have places for drivers..

    Even though luck was a factor, pretty pleased to see Beitske Visser getting some points, especially since she had to fight for them. Hopefully this is the beginning of a move up the field as far as pace is concerned for her.

    Speaking of luck, Sirotkin has had absolutely 0 so far..

    Profile photo of R.J. O'Connell
    R.J. O’Connell

    Weekend sweep for Sainz. Last year he was underwhelming splitting time between GP3 and FR3.5, now he’s driving like Da Costa did in 2012 (and should have done in 2013). He’s got something, alright.

    Profile photo of wsrgo


    If Gasly keeps this up, Marko might need to buy into Caterham just to have places for drivers

    Or maybe do what they did with Ricciardo, a Red Bull-sponsored second seat at Caterham or Marussia?


    @wsrgo I find it hard to predict what Marko will do now… he’s taken on Lynn, so obviously wants a back up for Sainz Jr, despite having Felix da Costa. At the same time, he could bypass all 3 and stick in Gasly, to have the youngest F1 driver ever.

    I can imagine one of those three (Felix, Sainz, Lynn), probably Sainz Jr, replacing Vergne, with Gasly getting another year like Magnussen and the same result expected. If he’s still racing Rowland and Eurocup winner de Vries is promoted then this won’t be as simple as it seems, just as Vandoorne pushed Magnussen last year. Then, should anything happen at RB, Marko is covered, and Gasly could even get a year in GP2 (! – as the last driver on the program) if need be.

    Hearing recently about Alonso congratulating Sainz Jr on winning in FR 3.5 also makes me think that Alonso is thinking in terms of a ‘Spanish successor’, for continued representation in F1 once he retires.. recently we’ve only had Clos and Juncadella getting close, while Merhi is now behind Sainz Jr. Although, if there are more seats available next year (perhaps with Bianchi and Marciello at Forza Rossa, a Ferrari B-team), then we could see McLaren (Vandoorne) have some competition in bidding for it.. either Red Bull or Mercedes..

    Stanaway we need to see more of.. he’s a real talent, and could be right at the sharp end, given 2 years in FR3.5. As it is, he’ll be lucky to get one non-consecutive year.. Martsenko was actually having a good year as well, so it’s good to have him on the grid for Comtec as well, although the Russian sanctions are biting hard. If they could get a second car going, they’d have a very competitive team – I’d like to see what Stanaway could do in that car on a permanent basis..

    Spa result in context
    Sainz Jr, Gasly – to drive in F1 for Toro Rosso.
    Rowland, Stevens – to get F1 tests, McLaren already and Caterham this year and next.
    Stanaway – the talent is there, management too, but a lack of cash prevents further progress up the ladder to F1. Though, I think he would do better than Sorensen from now on as Lotus test driver.
    Jaafar – Mercedes tester until Petronas call it quits.

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