Nurburgring F3.5: Isaakyan wins as Fittipaldi and Palou collide
Matevos Isaakyan took his second Formula V8 3.5 win of the season as championship leader Pietro Fittipaldi was hit by pole-sitter Alex Palou on the opening lap of first the Nurburgring race.
Isaakyan told Motorsport.com that the engine he used for qualifying on Friday was so down on power that he was losing half a second per lap on the straights, prompting an overnight engine change.
The AVF driver made a lightning start from third on the grid to go through between pole-sitter Palou and Lotus driver Fittipaldi.
Having taken the lead at the first corner, he avoided the contact that took place behind as Fittipaldi was rear-ended by Teo Martin Motorsport driver Palou who outbraked himself at Turn 3.
Palou had to pit for a new front wing and Fittipaldi fell to seventh, just behind the fast-starting Rene Binder, who had picked up four places from 10th.
Also making a positive charge up the field was Alfonso Celis. The Fortec Motorsports driver, who was also suffering from engine problems in the second qualifying session on Saturday morning, avoided the collisions and finished the first lap in second place, but more than two seconds behind Isaakyan.
For the majority of the 40-minute race, positions remained static as significant gaps started forming between the drivers.
In the closing minutes though, Roy Nissany looked like he was in a good position to take the last spot on the podium away from Egor Orudzhev but on the last lap he went too deep at the first turn. That allowed Orudzhev to pull away and take a double podium for AVF.
Celis finished second, unable to eat into the six-second advantage Isaakyan had built up.
Fifth place went to RP Motorsport’s Yu Kanamaru, defending strongly from Binder who had seemingly overcome the "unexplainable" lack of pace he had in qualifying two.
Fittipaldi saw his lead cut in the points standings as he had to settle for seventh.
Race 1 results
|1||Matevos Isaakyan||SMP Racing by AVF||43'26.086|
|2||Alfonso Celis||Fortec Motorsports||6.357|
|3||Egor Orudzhev||SMP Racing by AVF||19.145|
|4||Roy Nissany||Rp Motorsport||19.792|
|5||Yu Kanamaru||Rp Motorsport||35.361|
|8||Diego Menchaca||Fortec Motorsports||42.254|
|9||Konstantin Tereschenko||Teo Martin Motorsport||43.421|
|10||Damiano Fioravanti||Rp Motorsport||55.198|
|11||Alex Palou||Teo Martin Motorsport||1'08.021|
|12||Giuseppe Cipriani||Il Barone Rampante||1'21.699|
Nurburgring F3.5: Palou doubles up in second qualifying
Nurburgring F3.5: Debutant Palou scores maiden win