Danish Formula Renault 3.5 star Kevin Magnussen took his first series victory at the home of the Belgian Grand Prix, racing through torrential rain from pole to score the win.The McLaren Young Driver Programme member scored pole position for both Saturday and Sunday’s race. In the early stages of Saturday’s race, the Dane’s first series victory had looked set to come one day earlier.He lost the lead after a mid-race safety car period and was later hit by Arthur Pic forcing him into his third consecutive DNF.Magnussen made amends in Sunday’s race however. After the race started under the safety car, he made a clean getaway from pole to avoid the spray that hindered his rival’s view.Although he lost the top spot during the round of pit stops, he was quickly back into the lead with an aggressive pass through Les Combes. However, a red flag period following a heavy crash between Richie Stanaway and Carlos Huertas caused some confusion for both fans and teams when Lewis Williamson and Jake Rosenzweig elected not to make their compulsory pit stop and actually crossed the finish line ahead of Magnussen.Both were assessed a 60 second penalty for not making their stop, allowing Magnussen to claim the deserved win ahead of Nick Yelloly.In five races so far this year, Magnussen has either been on the podium or failed to finish. He opened the season with second place in the first race at Aragon but then suffered a string of three DNFs before Sunday’s win.With 12 races remaining over six race meetings left in the 2012 World Series by Renault, Magnussen sits in 5th place in the points – still well in contention for the championship.
KEVIN MAGNUSSEN Q&A
Q: HOW PLEASED ARE YOU TO GRAB YOUR FIRST FORMULA RENTAULT 3.5 VICTORY?A:“I’m very pleased with the win yesterday as I had three DNFs in a row and to come back with a victory was really good.“I was quite worried after the first race in Spa but hopefully we can have a few more good races and keep the points coming. “It was really wet and even though we started under the safety car, it just on the verge of being too wet and too dangerous.“Having started on pole it was really good for me for the first few laps and I was able to pull a gap because the people behind me couldn’t see anything.“After the red flag, there were the two guys in front of me who hadn’t pitted and I was back in the spray.“I did lose a position to Frijns during the pit stop but I was able to fight back again and grab the position.”Q: WERE YOU AWARE THAT THE TWO CARS IN FRONT OF YOU HADN’T MADE THEIR COMPULSORY PIT STOP?A: “At one stage I wasn’t quite sure what was happening because the guys I was racing were still behind me but there were a couple of cars still up ahead.“The team let me know what was going on and they were going to be penalized. I’m not sure why they wouldn’t have pitted. It was an extra little distraction for a while.”Q: HOW PLEASED ARE YOU TO GRAB THE WIN, CONSIDERING YOU HAD SUCH A STRONG START TO SATURDAY’S RACE BEFORE HAVING A DNF?A: “I had a brilliant start on Saturday and in the first 15 laps I was holding off Sam (Bird) pretty well. I was confident and comfortable at that stage but after the safety car the balance in the car went away.“Sam was able to get by and then I got hit by Arthur Pic and had a puncture. That was pretty disappointing because things were looking really good early.”Q: HOW DID YOU ENJOY THE FORMULA RENAULT 3.5 CAR AROUND SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS?A: “The car was mega at Spa, it was really fast. The Carlin car was brilliant in qualifying both in the dry and the wet.“It was great to grab pole in the dry on Saturday but to turn around and do the same thing on Sunday when it was wet was very pleasing.“We’ve shown we can be competitive in all conditions.“The competition in F3 last year was really competitive but this year is certainly a step up again. Most of the best junior drivers and a lot of experienced drivers are doing the championship this year and many people feel the level of competition is probably higher than GP2 at the moment.”
Q: WHAT IS NEXT ON YOUR SCHEDULE?A: “We’ve got a couple of weeks off before the Nurburgring now and I’ll spend the time doing some simulator work and physical training as well.“Hopefully we can have another strong weekend in Germany as that is a track that I really enjoy.“That is certainly a race I am looking forward to.”FORMULA RENAULT 3.5 POINTS70 – Sam Bird61 – Robin Frijns51 – Nick Yelloly45 – Marco Sorensen43 – Kevin Magnussen36 – Jules Bianchi32 – Nico M25 – Alexander Rossi24 – Kevin Korjus16 – Mikhail Aleshin
FORMULA RENAULT 3.5 CALENDARJune 30 – July 1: Nurburgring, GermanyJuly 14 – 15: Moscow, RussiaAugust 25 – 26: Silverstone, EnglandSeptember 15 – 16: Hungaroring, HungarySeptember 29 – 30: Paul Ricard, FranceOctober 20 – 21: Barcelona, Spain