Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP), on Saturday at Silverstone, became the third driver to win in as many races this season in the Formula Renault Eurocup. Starting from pole position, the Australian lost the lead to Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP) before benefiting from the retirement of the Russian to take the win ahead of rookies João Vieira (JD Motorsport) and Petr Ptáček (Bhaitech Racing). He also claimed the lead in the general classification.
First pole for Piastri
The Formula Renault Eurocup was welcomed by a slightly-damp track this morning. In these conditions, the slick tyres were soon the best option and Oscar Piastri went on to claim his first pole position in 1:57.873s ahead of team mate Alexander Smolyar.
Behind the two R-ace GP Formula Renault FR-19s it was rookie Kush Maini (M2 Competition) and Callan O’Keeffe (FA Racing by Drivex). Renault Sport Academy driver Caio Collet (R-ace GP) completed the top five, followed by Petr Ptáček and João Vieira.
Piastri inherits the win
Quicker off the line than the pole winner, Alexander Smolyar got alongside Oscar Piastri at turn one before the two went through the next corners side by side in a great duel that turned in favour of the Russian.
Further back, the action was animated with a run over the grass by Caio Collet. Despite a damaged front wing, Kush Maini held on to third place before ceding to Petr Ptáček on lap two, then João Vieira, Ugo de Wilde (JD Motorsport), Callan O’Keeffe and Caio Collet on the following lap.
Alexander Smolyar and Oscar Piastri quickly built out a gap from the rest of the field, but the race leader was forced to retire with a broken tie rod stud on lap nine. Alone with the lead, Oscar Piastri continued to pull away from Petr Ptáček, who surprised João Vieira four laps from the finish.
After 16 laps, Oscar Piastri clinched his first win in the category with a 12-second margin of victory from João Vieira, who became the third winner, in as many races, of the Hankook Trophy rewarding the highest-ranked rookie. Petr Ptáček claimed his first podium result in the Formula Renault Eurocup, which is also the first for Bhaitech Racing.
Fourth at the chequered flag, Callan O’Keeffe was penalized ten seconds for not respecting the track limits. The South African dropped down to eighth place behind Ugo de Wilde, Caio Collet, Lorenzo Colombo (MP Motorsport) and Leonardo Lorandi (JD Motorsport). Seventeenth on the grid, Patrik Pasma (Arden Motorsport) finished ninth, while Victor Martins (MP Motorsport) took the final point.
Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP): “Obviously that’s not the way I would have liked to win, but I’m really happy to bring R-ace GP a fifth consecutive win at Silverstone. It was very intense with Alex right from the first corner. We were side by side and very close in Maggotts and Becketts, but he used the tow before trying to pass on the outside at Stowe and got a better exit a few corners later! After he retired, I just had to stay on track and I want to thank the team for the great job they’ve done as our pace has been solid since the beginning of the weekend. I’m confident for tomorrow, but I have to improve my starts because it was far from perfect today.”
João Vieira (JD Motorsport): “This is the first time I’m racing at Silverstone and the tests were disrupted by the rain, so I am really pleased to be on the podium even though I am a bit surprised. After two difficult seasons during which I didn’t drive a lot, I know it is really hard to be back on top. This result is a real confidence booster!”
Petr Ptáček (Bhaitech Racing): “We were quick at Monza, but motorsports don’t always reflect your work. Today, we could have done better in qualifying, but this first podium in our third race in Formula Renault Eurocup shows we’re doing fine. I am really just happy I made it to the finish after my big jump in the run off area when I tried to avoid contact with Kush Maini. I really wasn’t sure the car would hold up!"
|1. Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP)||37|
|2. Ugo de Wilde (JD Motorsport)||37|
|3. Leonardo Lorandi (JD Motorsport)||32|
|4. Victor Martins (MP Motorsport)||31|
|5. Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP)||25|
*Results subject to confirmation following technical and sporting checks.