The 20 year-old Spaniard Alex Palou took home a sensational debut win in the second race of the World Series Formula V8 3.5 weekend at the Nürburgring, also the first of Teo Martin Motorsport since they joined the Series in 2016. Starting from pole position, the Spaniard successfully faced a challenging situation which featured a wet racetrack that dried up as the session progressed. SMP Racing by AVF drivers Matevos Isaakyan and Egor Orudzhev secured a double podium finish for the team. Capping a positive day for him, Isaakyan also cruised to the lead of the driver standings.
The start was given behind the safety-car due to the heavy rain that hit the track in the morning forcing all the drivers to use wet weather tires. Taking advantage of the mandatory pit-stop, all contenders moved to slick rubber, and the pit-stops also saw Isaakyan take the lead. On lap 12 though, the Russian lost his braking point with Palou and Konstantin Tereschenko (Teo Martin Motorsport) going by. Tereschenko was eventually penalized 10 seconds for having crossed the white line at the exit of the pit-lane, and Alfonso Celis Jr. (Fortec Motorsports) also followed the same luck.
Isaakyan thus managed to get back to P2, grabbing the series lead with 163 points, while team-mate and fellow countryman Orudzhev also celebrated his second podium finish of the weekend. In addition, SMP Racing by AVF moved to the lead of the team standings taking advantage of an ill-fated weekend for Lotus. In race 2, Pietro Fittipaldi ended up sixth, while team-mate Binder finished in ninth place. Despite his 10-second penalty, Tereschenko was fourth to take his best result of the season.
After lining-up in Germany, the series will now leave Europe for a three-round stint alongside the FIA WEC in Mexico, USA and Bahrain. The race for the championship is still extremely open with six drivers covered by just 23 points.
Alex Palou (Teo Martin Motorsport)
“I’m sorry for what happened yesterday, I apologize to the team and Pietro although there is not much more that I can do. I’m absolutely delighted for today. It’s an amazing result and we all did a stellar job. Winning straight away in such an high-level championship and on a racetrack like the Nürburgring is definitely one of the best moments of my career”.
Matevos Isaakyan (SMP Racing by AVF)
“To be honest I just have the regret for the mistake I made and that cost me the lead of the race. The team did a great job in the pit-stop, switching to slick tyres, and the time for the call was perfect. Let’s see how the next three rounds will go, as the standings are really tight, but it’s nice to look down from the top”.
Egor Orudzhev (SMP Racing by AVF)
“I struggled a lot during this week-end, but two podiums are a good result at least. The team did a great job in the pit-stop, and I tried to do my best on-track to gain some positions. Let’s see how we can improve in the final three rounds of the season”.