Magnussen on brink of FR3.5 title after win

Magnussen on brink of FR3.5 title after win

Formula 3.5 V8

Magnussen on brink of FR3.5 title after win

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Kevin Magnussen took a big step towards becoming this year’s Formula Renault 3.5 champion with a dominant win in race one at Paul Ricard.

The McLaren junior driver fended off a fast-starting Antonio Felix da Costa on the opening lap, before easing away during the middle of the race to take a comfortable victory.

While da Costa was able to match Magnussen’s pace early on as the pair traded fastest laps, the Red Bull junior had to settle for second as the lead stretched to nearly six seconds before Magnussen backed off toward the end.

Magnussen’s title rival Stoffel Vandoorne, who started alongside the points leader on the front row, recovered from a sluggish start to take third.

Vandoorne lost second to da Costa off the line, and was then passed into Turn 1 by a very fast-starting Andre Negrao, who started seventh. The Brazilian lost the place at Turn 3 though, as Vandoorne pulled off a crucial pass to get third position back. After that Negrao pushed him hard to the finish, while Marco Sorensen took fifth.

Sixth place went to Will Stevens, who raced his way from 10th on the grid in the early laps to make up ground. Further back, Nico Muller charged from the back of the field (having stalled on the warm-up lap from fourth on the grid) to just miss out on the points in 11th, while a late-race incident put Carlos Sainz Jr. out of seventh place.

Today’s results mean Magnussen can win the title in race two on Sunday if he outscores Vandoorne by five points.

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