The host of the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the Yas Marina Circuit will provide an ideal setting for the 2019 Formula Renault Eurocup season finale. With a race held at sunset on Friday and the finale Saturday afternoon, the Emirati track promises a stunning conclusion to the title fight pitting Oscar Piastri against Victor Martins.
On the Formula Renault Eurocup calendar for the first time, the Yas Marina Circuit will offer an all-new challenge for the teams, who will be able to work on and fine-tune their set-ups on Thursday with a three-hour and 30-minute free-practice session before a weekend that will surely make category history.
Masters of their fate
With a 13.5 point-lead, Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP) comes to the United Arab Emirates as the favourite. While the gap could see him clinch the title on Friday, he has no room for mistake against rival Victor Martins (MP Motorsport) as a pair of wins would assure the Frenchman the title and the watch especially created for the future champion by BRM Chronographes.
The last two protagonists hold their fate in their hands and the final duel promises to be particularly intense between these two motorsport hopefuls.
On one hand, Oscar Piastri intends to win the only title his team has yet to capture this season after the Teams’ and Rookies’ crowns clinched at Hockenheim. In addition, the Australian knows very well the circuit after his time in the United Arab Emirates F4 Championship two years ago.
On the other hand, Victor Martins hopes to quickly find his marks on the Abu Dhabi layout to keep the momentum going after four consecutive pole positions and to give his rival something to think about right from the first qualifying session. The stakes will be more important for him as he could be the first MP Motorsport to win the Formula Renault Eurocup title!
Top places to be fought for
Behind the leading duo, there are several drivers who would like to star under the lights, beginning with Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP). Out of contention for the title fight, the Russian could still finish second in the general classification. Winner of the Sunday Monaco race, the SMP Racing protégé clearly wants to win at another prestigious round, that of a night race, and add to his collection of exceptional BRM timepieces!
With the rookie of the year honours sewn up, Caio Collet (R-ace GP) returns, like his team mate Oscar Piastri, to a circuit he knows well. He hopes to underscore the progress he has made with his first success of the season and lock up fourth place against Lorenzo Colombo (MP Motorsport), who is anything but a newcomer to a track where he has tested in GP3.
The battle to finish as the runner-up among the rookies promises to be just as intense among the three drivers behind them. Thanks to consistency, Kush Maini (M2 Competition) has a 14-point advantage from Ugo de Wilde (JD Motorsport), who is the only rookie who won a race this year, and 25 to the good from Petr Ptáček (Bhaitech Racing), who has previously raced at the Yas Marina Circuit.
A little further back, Patrik Pasma (Arden Motorsport), Sebastián Fernández (Arden Motorsport), Leonardo Lorandi (JD Motorsport) and Federico Malvestiti (Bhaitech Racing) are ready to do all they can to finish in the top ten in the general classification.
The experience of the Arden and Bhaitech drivers, who have all previously raced in Abu Dhabi, could turn out to be particularly precious to reach their target. The British team would also like to steal away third place in the Teams’ classification from JD Motorsport, while the Italian squad wants to defend fifth place from M2 Competition.
Last chance to shine
To boost its chances, M2 Competition will bring back Lucas Alecco Roy, who too has a little Abu Dhabi experience. The German driver will be among the drivers who will try to add his name to the long list of drivers who have already finished on the podium this year.
Both driving for Global Racing Service, Xavier Lloveras and Alessio Deledda are determined to finish the maiden campaign of their team on a high note while Frank Bird (Arden Motorsport) is ready to show how much he is a team player.
Looking to continue the progress he has made in the second-half of the season, Amaury Cordeel (MP Motorsport) will also aim for his first podium on a track where he raced at 2018, a year prior to his new team mate Matteo Nannini.
The reigning United Arab Emirates F4 champion, hailing from the same family than the former F1 driver, will make his debut as a wild card entry with MP Motorsport. The field will be completed by two other wild cards, Grégoire Saucy (R-ace GP), who will pursue his return to the category after a promising fifth place at Hockenheim, and Matthias Lüthen (Global Racing Service), a Formula Renault Eurocup newcomer.
- 1 The first visit of the Formula Renault Eurocup to Abu Dhabi.
- 1 For the first time, a Formula Renault Eurocup race will finish at night.
- 2 This is just the second time that the Formula Renault Eurocup is venturing outside the European Continent. The first time was in 2006 at Istanbul Park.
- 3 For the third consecutive year, the title will be decided at the final round of the season. In 2016, Lando Norris clinched the title at Spa-Francorchamps before the finale in Estoril.
- 10 drivers have already run at the Yas Marina Circuit before this week.
Thursday 24 October 2019
9:00-12:30 Free practice
16:40-17:30 Collective tests 1
19:30-20:20 Collective tests 2
Friday 25 October 2019
11:30-11:50 Qualifying 1
18:00-18:35 Race 1
Saturday 26 October 2019
9:00-9:20 Qualifying 2
13:30-14:05 Race 2