Sergey Sirotkin may have been making the headlines for being on-course to be the youngest ever Formula One driver next season, but he has finally made himself newsworthy for the right reasons in Hungary this weekend by finishing third in a Formula Renault 3.5 race.
The series is widely regarded as being on par with GP2 as a feeder formula for F1, housing the likes of McLaren youngsters Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne and Red Bull juniors Antonio Felix da Costa and Carlos Sainz Jr. In Hungary on Saturday, Sirotkin managed to put all of the bad press about pay drivers behind him to come third behind race winner Nico Muller and Magnussen.
After the race, Sirotkin expressed his delight following a tough year.
“We haven’t had much success this season, what with missing out on podiums and big points, but I managed to get some here today,” the eighteen-year-old said. “I’m delighted. We now need to work hard and make sure we finish the season in style.”
For da Costa, Sunday’s race yielded even greater rewards as the Red Bull junior driver won his second race of the season. Having been linked with Daniel Ricciardo’s seat at Toro Rosso, da Costa required a good result following the late entry of Sainz into the race for the position. This may just be the decisive result for da Costa though, with Sainz finishing down in P22.