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“FR3.5: Nato takes Monaco pole”

May 24, 2014

Nato took pole in Monaco. © Renault Sport Media (Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI)

Nato took pole in Monaco. © Renault Sport Media (Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI)

DAMS racer Norman Nato took his second pole position in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series at Monaco today.

Nato headed Group B, but only just from ISR man Jazeman Jaafar, while Marco Sørensen (Tech 1) claimed 3rd on the grid.

Carlos Sainz Jr topped the ‘Group A’ qualifying session, but was later penalised two positions for impeding fellow Red Bull junior driver Pierre Gasly.

In the faster ‘Group B’ session, Nato grabbed the top spot by just 0.092s with a late fast tour.
The 21-year-old battled throughout the running with Jaafar and Fortec’s Oliver Rowland; however only Jaafar could push harder as the time ticked down, only to be beaten by Nato’s best of 1:23.209s.

However, Nato came very close to losing it all early on. “At Monaco, speed is necessary, but there is a bit of luck involved. I made it difficult for myself in tapping the Armco barrier on my first run.” Adding later, the Frenchman said: “This pole position is a sigh of relief and I am thrilled. The team did an excellent job after that. 50% of the work is done, but the race will be quite complicated!”

Rowland could do no better than 3rd in the group, as he failed to improve with the leading pair in the final minutes. Zoel Amberg (AVF) took 4th and Will Stevens (Strakka) 5th.

Sainz Jr utterly dominated ‘Group A’. The Spaniard led after the first run and significantly improved that time to 1:23.873s on fresh tyres before the chequered flag.
It came to naught however, as Sainz Jr was given a two-place grid drop for blocking, although he was adamant that he had slowed for Roman Mavlanov’s damaged Zeta Corse machine.
Sergey Sirotkin was the 3rd place driver in ‘Group A’; however the Russian lost time in traffic on his fast lap, while Gasly maintained 4th by the end of the session.

2014 Formula Renault 3.5 Series (Rd 3, Qualifying, Monaco)
Pos Driver               Team       Time               
 1. Norman Nato          DAMS       1m23.209s  Group B 
 2. Jazeman Jaafar       ISR        1m23.301s  Group B 
 3. Marco Sorensen       Tech 1     1m24.262s  Group A 
 4. Carlos Sainz         DAMS       1m23.873s  Group A 
 5. Oliver Rowland       Fortec     1m23.666s  Group B 
 6. Sergey Sirotkin      Fortec     1m24.675s  Group A 
 7. Zoel Amberg          AVF        1m23.702s  Group B 
 8. Pierre Gasly         Arden      1m24.828s  Group A 
 9. Will Stevens         Strakka    1m23.924s  Group B 
10. Roberto Merhi        Zeta       1m24.925s  Group A 
11. Pietro Fantin        Draco      1m23.944s  Group B 
12. Meindert van Buuren  Pons       1m25.107s  Group A 
13. Marlon Stockinger    Lotus      1m24.328s  Group B 
14. Roman Mavlanov       Zeta       1m25.714s  Group A 
15. William Buller       Arden      1m24.365s  Group B 
16. Matias Laine         Strakka    1m25.834s  Group A 
17. Oliver Webb          Pons       1m24.776s  Group B 
18. Matthieu Vaxiviere   Lotus      1m26.072s  Group A 
19. Beitske Visser       AVF        1m25.469s  Group B 
20. Luca Ghiotto         Draco      1m26.153s  Group A 
21. Andrea Roda          Comtec     1m29.698s  Group A
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