From May 27 to the 29th, the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 will, for the first time in its contemporary format, race on the streets of Monaco. For this second meeting of the year, the contenders will battle in the curtain raiser for the most prestigeous of all F1 Grands Prix. And for this exceptional weekend there will be a just as exceptional qualifying format before the single-race under the watchful eyes of the F1 Circus.
With 45 years of detecting and training the most promising hopefuls in motor racing, the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 will rediscover the magic of urban circuits, 11 years after the meeting at the Circuito Urbano Bilbao.
At Monaco, the category offers competitors a fantastic opportunity to showcase their talents. The exceptional nature of the weekend will see the introduction of a qualifying system gathering all the drivers into a single group for 55 minutes to set the starting grid.
This means that the pressure to shine and get noticed while preserving one’s chances of earning one of season ending cash prizes will be at its highest !
A new duel between Norris and Defourny ?
While Lando Norris (Josef Kaufmann Racing) and Max Defourny (R-ace GP) shared the spoils at Motorland Aragón, the British rookie tops the general classification and will try to add to his lead in his first go on a street circuit. Following his participation at the Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS round in Pau last year, the Belgian driver will hope to make the most of that experience to retake command of the category.
Experience, the key to success ?
In addition to Max Defourny, nine other drivers will try to use their past experience on urban circuits for their maiden race at Monaco. The most experienced among them is Dorian Boccolacci (Tech 1 Racing), who has raced at Pau, the Norisring and Macau. Fourth in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and leader in the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC, the French driver is also the only one to have beaten Lando Norris and Max Defourny in the NEC.
Already victorious three times at Monaco, the Tech 1 Racing team will field Gabriel Aubry, Hugo de Sadeleer and Sacha Fenestraz, who tasted the bubbly at Pau these past few years. The last two mentioned will be out to score their first points.
Winners last year in the Principality with Jazeman Jaafar, Fortec Motorsports can also count on the experience obtained at Pau by Bruno Baptista and Vasily Romanov to hope for solid results. An asset shared by the duo at JD Motorsport thanks to James Allen in France and Alexey Korneev in Sotchi. And finally, Monte-Carlo will be the venue for the return to the Formula Renault 2.0 of Nikita Mazepin (AVF by Adrián Vallés). The Russian is also competing in the FIA F3 European Championship this season.
They have everything to learn
Third after his two podiums in Spain, the top rookie in 2015, Harrison Scott (AVF by Adrián Vallés), will rely on his ability to adapt quickly in his quest for a first victory. This will also be the goal of the Sahara Force India Academy protégé, Jehan Daruvala (Josef Kaufmann Racing), and Will Palmer (R-ace GP), brother of the Renault Sport Formula One Team driver and twice a podium finisher at Silverstone in the NEC.
SMP Racing protégé Robert Shwartzman (Josef Kaufmann Racing), Julien Falchero (R-ace GP), Ferdinand Habsburg (Fortec Motorsports) and Henrique Chaves (AVF by Adrián Vallés) will aim for their first podium of the year to stay in contact with the leaders. Rodrigo Pflucker (Cram Motorsport), David Porcelli (MGR Motorsport), David Richert (Cram Motorsport) and Alex Perullo (Technorace) will all be looking to score their first points at the conclusion of a race where Petru Florescu (AVF by Adrián Vallés) will make his debut in the category.
Lando Norris : “The Monaco round will be really exciting. None of us have raced there before and we will all be starting from scratch. Confidence in one’s self and the car will be the keys to pushing our limits. Generally speaking, the entire weekend should be fantastic. One race is never enough, but we will compete in front of the F1 teams. It is a truly exceptional opportunity !”
Jean-Pascal Dauce, Renault Sport Racing Customer Racing Programme Director : “Even more than in previous years, our participation as a curtain raiser of the F1 Monaco Grand Prix is of particular importance. With Renault’s new strategy reaffirming its long-term involvement in motor racing and in the promotion categories, we will have the privilege to see the Formula Renault 2.0 cars race between the barriers. The challenge will be that much more elevated and our drivers will have to cope with the pressure of being watched by the sport’s elite, including the Renault Sport Formula One Team ! We wish all of our competitors success and join the list of winners in Monaco with Renault that have gone on to become professional drivers.”
Programme and TV
The planning and programing will be on par with this exceptional event. Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 competitors will have a 45-minute practice session on Friday before a 55-minute qualifying on Saturday. The race organized has the curtain raiser for the F1 Monaco Grand Prix will be aired live on the Eurosport Player, Canal + Sport and BT Sport UK from 11:10am. Eurosport International will have delayed coverage at 10:30pm.
Friday 27 May 2016
8h00 – 8h45 Collective tests
Saturday 28 May 2016
9h00 – 9h55 Qualifying
Sunday 29 May 2016
11h10 – 11h41 Race (25 minutes + 1 lap)