Carlos Sainz won the second race of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps after starting from the pole and led the race from start to finish despite being threatened by Rowland who, with a couple of problems, could only be third. Stevens was second and fourth Gasly.
Another sunny day in Spa-Franorchamps to contest the final race weekend of the event itself of the World Series by Renault.
As we saw in qualifying this morning
, Sainz (Dams) started from pole position. The Spanish driver could keep the first place but Rowland (Fortec Motorsports) already attacked him in the first corner, Stevens (Strakka Racing) was third followed by Laine (Strakka Racing) and Stanaway (Lotus). But the first lap ended with an accident by Fantin (International Draco Racing) who crashed in turn 8 at Les Combes.
Stanaway shortly afte overtook Laine to recover the fourth place in lap 1. Behind, Pierre Gasly (Arden Motorsport) managed to climb to eighth place, after leaving eleventh.
With just 10 minutes of race completed, Ghiotto (International Draco Racing) and Merhi (Zeta Corse) were the first to make their pit stop. Then Gasly and Sirotkin (Fortec Motorsports) followed them, but the Russian would abandon shortly after.
Missing 23-minute of race Nato (Dams), Sørensen (Tech 1 Racing) and Van Buuren (Pons Racing) took advantage of the yellow flag to enter in box. Sørensen would stand in the box and took a long time to go out and Nato lost the virtual positions, after seeing how Gasly drove past him.
By lap 9, Stevens, Jaafar (ISR) and Buller (Arden Motorsport) stopped to change tyres and the situation was ideal for Gasly, thanks to the new strategy he could overcome Jaafar and placed 5 seconds of the podium, 5 seconds behind Stevens. At the top Rowland began to close the gap and stood less than a second in the middle of the race, of Sainz. In this situation both drivers decided to pit to change tyres. It was a key moment of the race but Rowland lots a lot of time in the pit stop. This made him lose distance with Sainz and lose the second position achieved after Stevens. Only one car could face the distance with Sainz.
With Stanaway making the last stop with 15 minutes remaining, and reaching third place of the podium, the results were: Sainz leader followed by Stevens, Stanaway (penalized 20 seconds after the race to make the stop outside permitted by the regulations), Rowland, Gasly, Nato, Jaafar, Laine, Van Buuren and Stockinger closing the points. With the penalty of Stanaway, the Lotus driver finished 7th-8th at the end of the race.
With 7 minutes left, Luca Ghiotto abandoned the race after leaving his car parked at the exit of Les Combes.
Finally Sainz won extending his distance to 4 points of Gasly, Stevens finished second followed by Rowland, Gasly, Nato, Jaafar, Laine, Stanaway, Van Buuren and Sørensen closing the points after a hard fought battle with Stockinger.