Nico Muller took a dominant victory in the opening Formula Renault 3.5 race of the weekend at the Hungaroring.
The Draco driver capitalized on an error from his race-leading teammate Andre Negrao on lap 10 to seize the top spot and go on to take his second victory of the season. With clear track, the Monaco GP support race winner was able to extend his lead by as much as five seconds a lap as the field fought to be best of the rest behind him.
In the end, that honor went to championship leader Kevin Magnussen, who put on a remarkable charge from 16th on the grid to take second. The McLaren junior was up to eighth and on the tail of title rival Stoffel Vandoorne after just two racing laps following a safety car start, and from there he methodically picked his way through the rest of the runners to climb to second place.
Vandoorne was able to follow him through the field for a while after the two swapped places, but Magnussen’s quick work of getting past Negrao, Sergey Sirotkin and Will Stevens proved decisive in creating a gap back to his main rival. Sirotkin also found a way past Negrao to take the final spot on the podium, while Vandoorne managed to climb to fourth having started 11th.
Polesitter Negrao’s race ended in disappointment, as he spun out of fifth place at the end of the penultimate lap. That handed a top five finish to Mikhail Aleshin, who had been spun out of third early on when he was tagged by Antonio Felix da Costa at Turn 5 on the first racing lap.
Da Costa, who had started fourth, lost any hope of a good result in the collision, and he was forced to retire a few corners later with damage to the front left of his car.
Race 1 - 22 laps:Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Nico Muller Draco 47m59.721s 2. Kevin Magnussen DAMS +26.200s 3. Sergey Sirotkin ISR +30.078s 4. Stoffel Vandoorne Fortec +31.265s 5. Mikhail Aleshin Tech 1 +34.482s 6. Nigel Melker Tech 1 +37.447s 7. Carlos Sainz Jr Zeta Corse +38.828s 8. Will Stevens P1/Strakka +50.125s 9. Arthur Pic AV +51.440s10. Matias Laine P1/Strakka +58.962s11. Nikolay Martsenko Pons +59.787s12. Marco Sorensen Lotus +1m01.575s13. Marlon Stockinger Lotus +1m05.320s14. Lucas Foresti Comtec +1m16.056s15. Norman Nato DAMS +1m18.318s16. Oliver Webb Fortec +1m24.834s17. Carlos Huertas Carlin +1m42.507s18. Daniil Move Comtec +1m47.406s19. Zoel Amberg Pons +1m52.973s20. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin +1m54.582s21. Andre Negrao Draco +2 lapsRetirements: Yann Cunha AV 17 laps Christopher Zanella ISR 12 laps Will Buller Zeta Corse 6 laps Antonio Felix da Costa Arden Caterham 5 laps Pietro Fantin Arden Caterham 5 laps