Renault Sport Academy Driver Sacha Fenestraz secured a race victory in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship season-opener in Pau to leave France at the head of the Drivers’ Championship.

Sacha made a bright start to the weekend in the Pyrenees, qualifying fifth for race one. He gained one position in the race to finish fourth, which also meant he was top rookie in the field.

In the second qualifying session to determine the grid for races two and three, Sacha claimed a sensational pole position, timing his run to perfection in drying conditions. He made that advantage count, leading from lights to flag in tricky conditions with spots of rain falling on parts of the street circuit for his first Formula 3 win.

Sacha made a quick start in race three, moving from seventh to fifth by turn one. But heavy rain meant Sacha had to pit for wet tyres, putting him to the back of the field. The race was brought to a halt at half distance with half points being awarded with Sacha finishing 20th.

Nevertheless, it was an excellent weekend for the 18-year-old who leads both the Drivers’ and Rookies’ standings, with the next round at the Hungaroring (1-3 June).

Sacha Fenestraz: "It was a good way to start the season, but we have work to do to improve things. I wasn’t expecting to leave Pau leading the Championship, so that’s really awesome. It’s a long way to go! It’s super nice to get my first win, the team did a really job all weekend and we worked hard together. Race three we took a risk going on slick tyres and it didn’t work, that was a bit unlucky. I’m really looking forward to Budapest in a few weeks time and we’ll work hard to be even stronger there."