Amaury Cordeel (MP Motorsport) led the way in the rainy collective tests at Hockenheim. The Belgian rookie set the fastest time of the day in the morning ahead of Renault Sport Academy drivers Victor Martins and Caio Collet (R-ace GP). The Formula Renault Eurocup leader Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP) was fastest in the afternoon.
Two 50-minute sessions were on the Friday schedule for the first appearance of the Formula Renault FR-19 at Hockenheim, as well as the debut in the category of Cem Bölükbaşı (M2 Competition), who is a regular in the F1 Esports Series
The rain began to fall over the circuit just after the start of the first session. Grégoire Saucy (R-ace GP) and Kush Maini (M2 Competition) were the first to get caught out by the conditions before the incident of Lorenzo Colombo (MP Motorsport) brought a premature end to the running. Rookie Amaury Cordeel emerged on top with a lap of 1:44.381s ahead of Victor Martins, Caio Collet, Lorenzo Colombo and Frank Bird (Arden Motorsport).
The damp conditions persisted in the afternoon, where Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP), Oscar Piastri and Victor Martins took turns at the top of the timing screen before the first interruption caused by Alessio Deledda (Global Racing Service). When the action resumed, the Russian driver moved back to the top of the order, but Oscar Piastri was first out for the final nine-minute sprint.
The Australian then improved to 1:53.132s, just before the spin of Leonardo Lorandi (JD Motorsport) brought an end to the session. The leader of the general classification was followed by Alexander Smolyar, Victor Martins and rookies Caio Collet and Leonardo Lorandi.
Tomorrow, qualifying will begin at 9h05 with the start of the first race of the weekend scheduled for 15h35.
Amaury Cordeel (MP Motorsport): “The first session went really well, while the afternoon session was a little less so. I wasn’t able to complete a perfect lap and that dropped me down the order, but I believe our potential will allow us to run up front this weekend. I am always confident in the rain, but I don’t focus on it and I will do my best whatever the conditions.”
Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP): “I think the times from the first session are not very representative because you just had to go out early to be up front before it began to rain. However, our pace was interesting both in the morning and the afternoon. Looking at the performance of the team all throughout the season, I am pretty confident even though we probably will not have dry conditions tomorrow… From T12, this track has very large kerbs, gravel traps and close walls. You have to be careful in this sector if it rains while also being faster than the other guys, but that is part of the job!”
Caio Collet (R-ace GP): “Despite the weather, it was a pretty smooth day. I still need to find a little more pace to be on par with my team mates, but I am positive when I see the strong performance of the team in the rain. I look forward to tomorrow. The goal will be to wrap up the rookie title, but I don’t want to think about it too much. I will also do my best to take my first overall win and I am pretty confident even if it means I have to beat my extremely fast team mates to do it!”
Cem Bölükbaşı (M2 Competition): “My first day in a single-seater was good, even though I was hoping for a dry track to get used to the Formula Renault. It was pretty tricky, because I wanted to push my limits each lap and it was hard with the changing track conditions. I focused on learning the car and the conditions with as many laps as possible although some spins cost me a bit of running time. I didn’t notice any huge differences between the simulator and the real thing, except for the weight that you cannot completely reproduce with the games. I think the difference are less in dry conditions, with the exception of the kers, which are tougher in real life! I can’t wait to continue my learning process tomorrow. I haven’t set any particular goals this weekend, the results do not matter if I feel I have done my best!”