Following a month-long summer break, the Formula Renault Eurocup returns to action this weekend at the Nürburgring. The legendary German circuit will kick-off a particularly intense portion of the season for the drivers and teams with four meetings and eight races in only six weeks.
At the midway point of the season, the battle for the Formula Renault Eurocup title is wide-open as five drivers could leave Germany atop the general classification. The technically challenging Nürburgring circuit could clear up the situation or could see some get back in the hunt before a genuine final sprint that will lead the field to the Hungaroring, Barcelona, Hockenheim, then Abu Dhabi.
All square at the top
Often crucial in the quest for a title, the return to action could be even more so this year with Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP) and Victor Martins (MP Motorsport) tied for the championship lead.
While the Australian took the advantage just prior to the holidays with more race wins, his rival from the Renault Sport Academy intends to bounce back, beginning this weekend, on a track where he scored a podium result last year. Neither can afford to make an unforced error in their duel because their team mates, Lorenzo Colombo (MP Motorsport) and Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP), are respectively 13 and 21 points behind.
The Italian driver won three times in the four races before the break and will try to keep the momentum going to take the top spot. In parallel, the Russian is ready to give his all to make up lost ground after some subpar qualifying runs and a flip in the most recent meeting.
Fifth in the general classification, Caio Collet (R-ace GP) enters the second half of the season with a comfortable lead among the rookies. After getting his best result of the year in Belgium, the Brazilian driver from the Renault Sport Academy returns with the desire to confirm the progress he has made with a first overall victory.
Such a result would put him back in title contention, while also distancing the chase group currently led by JD Motorsport drivers, Ugo de Wilde and João Vieira. Both want to be back on the podium to hold in check the return of Kush Maini (M2 Competition) and Renault Sport Affiliate Driver Leonardo Lorandi (JD Motorsport), who is gradually getting back in the fight after claiming his first pole position.
Every point counts
While drivers like Amaury Cordeel (MP Motorsport) hope to make the most to provide their campaigns a second wind, the intensity should rise a notch in the field as the gaps are extremely tight between the drivers, but also between the teams.
Before the holidays, Petr Ptáček and Federico Malvestiti – the twelfth different driver to finish in the top three this season – brought an end to the points drought of their team, Bhaitech Racing. In Germany, the two will try to do more of the same to allow their squad to battle for fourth place with Arden Motorsport and M2 Competition.
After their maiden podium of the year in Belgium, Arden Motorsport will count on Patrik Pasma, Frank Bird and Alex Quinn, who will make his single-seater comeback after a stint in GT4. The trio’s goal will be to pull away from M2 Competition, where Kush Maini will now be seconded by Patrick Schott, who raced for FA Racing by Drivex just until the Castellet round.
The Swiss driver will find his former team mate Brad Benavides (FA Racing by Drivex) in his path. Never so close to finishing in the points at Spa, the latter would like to get over the hump with his new team mate, Poland’s Alex Karkosik, who took the title in the 2017 Formula Gulf Academy and scored several podiums in Euroformula Open and the MRF Challenge. Both will try to get the upper hand over Xavier Lloveras to claim the seventh place in the Teams’ classification to Global Racing Service.
- 2. Two drivers make their debut in the Formula Renault Eurocup this weekend: Alex Karkosik (FA Racing by Drivex) and Alex Quinn (Arden Motorsport).
- 4. Last year, R-ace GP secured its second consecutive Teams’ title with a resounding quadruple. Max Fewtrell won ahead of Victor Martins, Charles Milesi and Logan Sargeant.
- 7. Seven years before leading his only race in F1 at the Nürburgring, Markus Winkelhock won on this same track in the Formula Renault Eurocup.
- 73%. After Monaco (100%), the Nürburgring is the circuit where the pole position is most often converted to victory among the tracks on the 2019 calendar.
- 2008. Since 2008, the race winner or one of the race winners at the Nürburgring has always gone on to win the title: Valtteri Bottas (2008), Albert Costa (2009), Robin Frijns (2011), Stoffel Vandoorne (2012), Nyck de Vries (2014), Jack Aitken (2015), Sacha Fenestraz (2017) and Max Fewtrell (2018). .
Friday 30 August 2019
8:45-9:35 Collective tests 1
13:35-14:25 Collective tests 2
Saturday 31 August 2019
8:45-9:05 Qualifying 1
13:10-13:45 Race 1
Sunday 1 September 2019
8:45-9:05 Qualifying 2
16:00-16:35 Race 2