Driving for SMP Racing by AVF, Russian Matevos Isaakyan delivered his second win of the season in race 1 of the World Series Formula V8 3.5 weekend at the German venue. The Russian is back to the top step of the podium after cruising to victory in race 2 at Spa. In both occasions, the series was supporting the FIA WEC weekend.
Isaakyan crossed the line in front of Sahara Force India Formula 1 Team third driver Alfonso Celis Jr. (Fortec Motorsports) and teammate Egor Orudzhev (SMP Racing by AVF) while Diego Menchaca (Fortec Motorsports) ended up as the best rookie of the day in P8.
As the lights went off, pole sitter Alex Palou (Teo Martin Motorsport) and Pietro Fittipaldi (Lotus) had tough starts from the front row, while Isaakyan quickly got at the front followed by Celis. In turn three, Palou lost braking point and hit Fittipaldi. The Spaniard had to come back to the pits to replace a damaged front wing, while the Brazilian dropped back several spots.
Orudzhev took advantage of the incident to grab the final podium position followed by Roy Nissany (RP Motorsport), Yu Kanamaru (RP Motorsport) Rene Binder (Lotus) and Fittipaldi. Palou will have the chance to fight back in tomorrow’s race 2 at 11:00 AM as he secured his second pole of the weekend in this morning’s qualifying 2 session.
Despite finishing seventh, Fittipaldi remained at the top of the championship table with 150 points although his contenders were able to trim the gap considerably. Celis made it back to second place with 146 points, one more than Isaakyan. Binder lost ground dropping back to sixth at 138.
Matevos Isaakyan (SMP Racing by AVF)
“It all happened at the start, I was able to find a clean space and I went for the lead. From that moment on I just had to keep my pace and not make mistakes. It was a great result with a win and 25 heavy points for the championship”.
Alfonso Celis Jr. (Fortec Motorsports)
“It’s nice to be back on the podium, as well as being a runner-up in the standings again. I managed to keep the best line in the first corner and I was already up to second. I tried to push during the second part of the race but Matevos opened a big gap I just couldn’t close”.
Egor Orudzhev (SMP Racing by AVF)
“The start was good, then I managed to overtake Palou and Fittipaldi in turn 3 taking the podium. In the end I had to manage the return of Nissany but I could keep my position”.
Diego Menchaca (Fortec Motorsports)
“It has been an average race as I started and then kept my position until the end. I think we still have to work on the set-up a bit. Tomorrow, starting from front row, we have a big chance to score a great result”.