DAMS’ Carlos Sainz Jr secured his second Formula Renault 3.5 Series pole position in as many races at Monza this morning.
On a cool and overcast morning, it was an impressive effort of 1:32.684s that gave the Red Bull junior pilot a seven-tenths advantage over his Lotus rival Marlon Stockinger, while Mercedes driver Jazeman Jaafar assumed 3rd spot.
Sainz Jr led for a portion of the session, but it was Fortec man Sergey Sirotkin who topped the sheets at the end of the first stint, with an early lap at 1:34.569s.
That was quickly beaten by Sainz Jr, before Sirotkin dismantled the 1’34s barrier by half-a-second. With rubber laid down and tyres coming up to temperature, more drivers entered the 1’33s bracket, only for Sainz Jr to smash that by a huge margin.
The battle behind was closely fought, but it was clear that Sainz Jr’s lap was untouchable. As the clock counted down, Jaafar headed Will Buller (Arden) in 2nd and 3rd positions respectively, only for Stockinger to jump both in the dying moments.
Draco Racing’s Pietro Fantin and Sirotkin secured the third row ahead of a trio of rookies containing Roberto Merhi (7th, Zeta Corse), Luca Ghiotto (8th, Draco) and Pierre Gasly (9th, Arden).
Marco Sorensen (Tech 1) had qualified 16th, but will start last following the application of a five-place penalty from race one.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Carlos Sainz Jr. DAMS 1m32.684s 2. Marlon Stockinger Lotus 1m33.410s +0.726s 3. Jazeman Jaafar ISR 1m33.557s +0.873s 4. Will Buller Arden 1m33.574s +0.890s 5. Pietro Fantin Draco 1m33.619s +0.935s 6. Sergey Sirotkin Fortec 1m33.620s +0.936s 7. Roberto Merhi Zeta 1m33.649s +0.965s 8. Luca Ghiotto Draco 1m33.747s +1.063s 9. Pierre Gasly Arden 1m33.765s +1.081s 10. Matias Laine Strakka 1m33.839s +1.155s 11. Zoel Amberg AVF 1m33.903s +1.219s 12. Nikolay Martsenko Comtec 1m33.943s +1.259s 13. Norman Nato DAMS 1m34.062s +1.378s 14. Will Stevens Strakka 1m34.145s +1.461s 15. Oliver Rowland Fortec 1m34.217s +1.533s 16. Beitske Visser AVF 1m34.564s +1.880s 17. Meindert van Buuren Pons 1m34.665s +1.981s 18. Roman Mavlanov Zeta 1m34.708s +2.024s 19. Oliver Webb Pons 1m34.714s +2.030s 20. Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus 1m34.725s +2.041s 21. Marco Sorensen Tech 1 1m34.489s +1.805s*
Marco Sorensen; five-place penalty for race one accident with Jazeman Jaafar.