The World Series by Renault 3.5 2013 is started this weekend in the Monza circuit. Below the summary of the races of the International Draco Racing team.
The first race of the 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 championship, held on a dry track, didn’t bring much joy to Draco Racing. Both Nico Müller and André Negrão closed the race out of the points despite the good performances shown in the Free Practice sessions. Negrão ended just shy of a points finish, crossing the line in 11th place after running well into the top ten for most of the 29 laps. An understeer issue, emerged after some very close fights early in the race, got worse in the final laps and forced him to give up some places. It was a pity because in the morning qualifying session, on a damp track, the Brazilian driver had posted the 8th quickest lap, hinting to a much better potential. The morning timed session had been much harsher to Müller, who decided to opt for slick tyres on a track that was still too green to offer some real grip. That demoted him to P17, a starting position that in Monza can make things even more difficult. Nico had a good start, but at the first chicane he lost time to avoid Sirotkin (who was tapped into a spin) and then tangled with Lucas Foresti, damaging his steering and being forced to fight with the car until the end of the race, closed in P13.
André Negrão: R1 – P11; Q1 – P8
“The result isn’t that bad, but today I really wasn’t happy with my car. At the beginning of the race we had a quite good pace but then as the laps went by I started feeling some understeer, and it got worse later into the race. I was forced to slow down, and I lost some places as a consequence”.
Nico Müller: R1 – P13 – Q1 – P17
“We made the wrong call on tyres in qualifying, and basically that’s what ruined our race. In Monza when you start in the middle of the pack you often get in troubles and this time made no exception. My start was quite good, but then in the chicane I found the stranded car of Sirotkin right on my line and I nearly had to stop. Then in the Roggia chicane I made contact with Foresti and my car got damaged. Even with a tilted steering I managed to recover to P13, but we can’t be happy with such a result”.
Draco Racing enjoyed a positive Sunday in Monza, ending the first weekend of their 2013 F.Renault 3.5 campaign with a performance that brought some good smiles in the team’s garage thanks to Nico Müller, who crossed the line in 5th place after a consistent drive.
Müller’s day had started well with a 4th place qualifying performance, but due to a penalty handed to him for the accident caused yesterday he had to start from P8 instead, on row 4. This wasn’t a big issue for the Swiss driver, who nailed an amazing start and climbed back to P4 as early as the end of lap 1. Müller then tried to challenge Vandoorne for third place but as the race went on he started suffering from a slight lack of traction that resulted in a progressive increase of the gap to the leading pack. Nico did his best to keep position but in the end he had to let Pic through, clinching a fifth place finish that was the deserved reward for the relentless job done by the Draco staff. André Negrão was less happy with his own race, that saw him recover to 13th place from P17 on the grid. The Brazilian driver had been very close to the top ten (hence to the points) for the whole race but his hopes of a good finish were cancelled when Melker punted him from behind at the second chicane, nearly sending him into a spin. The next round of the F.Renault 3.5 Championship will be held on April 28 at the spanish track of Motorland Aragon, in Alcaniz.
Nico Müller: R2 – P5; Q2 – P8
“Today’s race was quite good, surely much better than yesterday’s Race 1 not only result-wise but also for the improved feeling I had with the car. I qualified a good 4th but I had to start from P8 due to a penalty from a race contact I had yesterday, and frankly it felt really disappointing. Luckily I managed to scrub off the penalty immediately and got back in P4 with a great start, then trying to pass Vandoorne. He was very defensive and changed direction three times so I had to back off, and from then on I lost ground because I simply didn’t have his pace. I was lacking traction and that’s why I couldn’t keep Pic behind me, but all in all fifth place is a good result and the proof that we are on an improving trend”.
André Negrão: R2 – P13; Q2 – P17
“P13 is a bit worse than what I did in Race 1 but today the feeling with the car was much better, even if there is still room for improvement. I could have done a bit better, probably a couple of places higher, but I nearly lost the car in the second chicane when Melker rear ended me so I was even lucky to finish. Now the whole team is already focused on Alcaniz, I expect a good progression there”.