Pietro Fittipaldi delivered his second consecutive win for Lotus in the opening round of the 2017 World Series Formula V8 3.5 series at Silverstone, within a fantastic paddock atmosphere within the FIA WEC Season-Opener. After setting two pole positions in qualifying, the Brazilian cruised to win on Saturday and then set up a delightful Easter celebration by winning Race 2 in front of Egor Orudzhev (SMP Racing by AVF) and Roy Nissany (RP Motorsport). With a fifth place overall, Konstantin Tereschenko (Teo Martin Motorsport) won the rookie classification.
As the lights went off, Fittipaldi led the way, while René Binder (Lotus) was caught by the pack despite starting from the front row. At the first corner, Nissany fended the attacks of the SMP duo, with Orudzhev keeping the position in front of Matevos Isaakyan (SMP Racing by AVF). At the end of the first lap, Fittipaldi led from Nissany, Orudzhev, Isaakysan, Binder, Nelson Mason (Teo Martin Motorsport), Yu Kanamaru (RP Motorsport), Alfonso Celis Jr. (Fortec Motorsport), Diego Menchaca (Fortec Motorsports), Tereschenko and Giuseppe Cipriani (Il Barone Ramponte), while Damiano Fioravanti (Il Barone Rampante) stalled on the grid and was retrieved to the pit-lane.
On lap four, after an off in the first sector, Kanamaru went back to the pits and retired, while Celis Jr. entered the pits for changing tires on lap 5. On lap 6, Fittipaldi was still leading and changed his rear tires followed by Tereschenko. At the top of the pack it was Nissany, with Fittipaldi re-joining in P7. On lap 6, Nissany dived to the pits and Orudzhev took the lead. Going for the tire change were also Mason, Menchaca and Cirpiani. Isaakyan took the lead on lap 8 when Orudzhev and Binder pitted.
On lap 9, Mason got by Binder to take P5, while on lap 10 Isaakyan and Fioravanti completed the mandatory stop. Once back running, the Russian was fighting with Mason. The two made contact at Brooklands, and the safety-car came in to recover the two stranded cars. Fittipaldi was still out front leading Orudzhev, Nissany, Binder, Tereschenko, Menchaca, Celis, Cipriani and Fioravanti.
The race restarted on lap 13, while the Fortec Motorsports cars battled. Alfonso Celis Jr moved on Diego Menchaca on lap 18 in the second sector, taking P6. On lap 20, Fittipaldi led the race with 2.5 seconds on Orudzhev and Nissany, Binder and Tereschenko rounding out Top-5.
Fittipaldi is leading the championship standings with 50 points, followed by Celis (26) and Binder (24)
Pietro Fittipaldi (Lotus)
“Today I had a good start which gave me the chance to wrap up a great week-end with both pole positions and wins here in Silverstone. Guys from behind were putting me a lot of pressure but I’ve been able to keep a cool head. I can’t thank enough the Lotus team, my engineer, all the mechanics as they made a fantastic job, being on the lead of the series is great and I’m already looking forward to the next round in Spa”.
Egor Orudzhev (SMP Racing by AVF)
“The start was good, I worked a lot with the team on this aspect during the winter. I moved up to third place at the start despite being a little bit behind on the grid. With a more consistent qualifying session I could have even fought for the lead. I battled with Roy for second place and the team also did a great job at the pit-stop so here we are to celebrate another podium”.
Roy Nissany (RP Motorsport)
“After two wins last year, I left a good baseline to Pietro to repeat my 2016 performance. Well done to him for that, but my race was not the best. I tried to keep my second position after the start but our pit-stop wasn’t perfect and Egor could manage to overtake us”.
Konstantin Tereschenko (Teo Martin Motorsport)
“I’m happy for this result, the race was good as we were starting last for the qualifying accident yesterday. The start wasn’t the best but I improved some positions during the opening lap and then I had a good pace, closing the gap to the cars in front. I also experienced my first pit-stop, the car is amazing to drive and we haven’t finished far away from the podium, I hope we’ll be able to improve in Spa”.