The countdown has begun and the competitors entered in the Formula Renault Eurocup are picking up the pace of their preparations ahead of a campaign promising to be historic.
A leader in nurturing the young drivers since 1971, Formula Renault celebrates this year its 50th season in, once again, bringing together the best hopefuls in some of the most renowned teams in motorsport.
An unparalleled calendar
On 11 March, the paddock will unite for the first time of the year for the pre-season collective tests at Circuit Ricardo Tormo de Valencia before continuing preparations at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and Circuit Paul Ricard.
The Autodromo di Monza* will kick off a prestigious calendar exclusively made up of F1-homologated tracks. The field will then travel to Silverstone before acting for the fifth consecutive year as the Monaco Grand Prix curtain raiser. Following the round at Circuit Paul Ricard, the Formula Renault Eurocup will be in action at Zandvoort – for the first time since 2000 – eight weeks after the return of Formula 1 to the Dutch track before heading to Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in support of the celebrated 24 Hours of Spa.
Following the summer break, the second half of the campaign will continue with rounds at the Nürburgring, Hungaroring and Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya ahead of a magnificent final meeting in the land of a thousand and one nights at the Yas Marina Circuit, confirmed for October 22, 23 and 24.
Like last year, each weekend will consist of two 30-minute + one lap races, of which each will have its own qualifying session**, emphasizing technical and sporting fairness on which the category has built its reputation.
An expanded field
With the first collective tests just around the corner, the field is progressively expanding with more than 20 cars expected at Valencia and a competitive grid where promising new drivers will challenge ambitious returnees.
R-ace GP is set to defend its title with three of the four top rookies from last season: Brazilian Caio Collet, who is a member of the Renault Sport Academy and 2019 rookie champion, as well as Indian Kush Maini and Czech Petr Ptáček.
After just barely missing out on the title, MP Motorsport will rely notably on French F4 Champion and Renault Sport Academy protégé, Hadrien David. Meanwhile, Arden Motorsport will bet on his runner-up Reshad De Gerus and Jackson Walls, who finished fifth in the Australian F4 Championship, while JD Motorsport will line-up Finn William Atalato, who took third place in the F4 category at the FIA Motorsports Games.
After discovering the category last year, M2 Competition, BhaiTech Racing, Global Racing Service and FA Racing want to take their racing to the next level by mixing the experience with Spaniard Xavier Lloveras (Global Racing Service) and the new generation thanks to Reece Ushijima (M2 Competition) and László Tóth (BhaiTech Racing).
For its return to Formula Renault, 18 years after taking Alexandre Prémat to the national title under the ASM banner, ART Grand Prix will try to make an impression with Switzerland’s Grégoire Saucy and member of the Mercedes-AMG F1 young driver programme, Paul Aron from Estonia.
After a 2019 season marked by the introduction of the Formula Renault FR-19, 2020 will also bring its share of changes that could re-establish the order.
The 1.8l turbo engine from Renault Mégane R.S will receive some upgrades, including new mapping that rebalances its power in accordance with the federal authorities requests. They will also be able to get the most from the high-performance products from Castrol, which is now a partner of the Formula Renault Eurocup.
These changes, combined with the introduction during the season of a new Hankook tyre compound that has already proved successful in development testing, are expected to generate gains of up to two seconds per lap.
With 50 days to go before the first race, everything is coming together for a historic season in which the winner will be offered a spot in the Renault Sport Academy, financial support and privileged access to the Renault F1 Team facilities as part of his progression towards the pinnacle of the sport!
2020 Formula Renault Eurocup calendar
Essais collectifs de présaison
11-12 March: Circuit Ricardo Tormo (Spain)
14-15 March: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (Spain)
31 March-1 April: Circuit Paul Ricard (France)
17-19 April: Autodromo di Monza (Italy)¹
8-10 May: Silverstone (United Kingdom)¹
21-24 May: Monaco
29-31 May: Circuit Paul Ricard (France)
26-28 June: Zandvoort (The Netherlands)¹
23-25 July: Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium)¹
4-6 September: Nürburgring (Germany)¹
25-27 September: Hungaroring (Hungary)¹
9-11 October: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (Spain)
22-24 October: Yas Marina Circuit (Abu Dhabi)
¹Pre-event test day
* subject to developments related to Covid-19.
** Monaco excepted