Max Fewtrell (R-ace GP) was quickest during the Formula Renault Eurocup Friday collective tests at Hockenheim. With a time of 1:37.766s, the Renault Sport Academy driver led from title rivals Yifei Ye (Josef Kaufmann Racing) and Christian Lundgaard (MP Motorsport), who set the pace in the afternoon session that was perturbed by rain.
Eight years after the last race and six months since the pre-season tests organised at this same circuit, the Formula Renault Eurocup was back in action at the German track for two 50-minute sessions.
The contenders take centre stage
29 drivers went on in the morning session to find their bearings on the Hockenheimring. Quickly, Christian Lundgaard took command of the session and immediately answered his rival when he was dislodged from the top of the order.
With six minutes to go, Oscar Piastri (Arden Motorsport) kicked off the final sprint. While Yifei Ye and Christian Lundgaard each briefly led, Max Fewtrell came through late to set the best time of 1:37.766s. Oscar Piastri and Charles Milesi (R-ace GP) completed the top five.
Lundgaard ahead of the rain
The afternoon session begin under menacing skies. After 10 minutes, a full course yellow was needed to remove the car of Freek Schothorst (MP Motorsport) from the last corner. Already atop the timing screen, Christian Lundgaard improved as soon as the track went green, but Logan Sargeant moved ahead at the midway point.
In the final ten minutes, the order changed under the impulse of Lorenzo Colombo (JD Motorsport), then several others. Christian Lundgaard wound up with the best lap of 1:37.958s just before the rain returned. The Dane was followed by Yifei Ye, Lorenzo Colombo, Oscar Piastri and Alexander Smolyar (Tech 1 Racing).
Qualifying 1 will take place Saturday morning at 9:00. Race 1 will start at 13:35.
Max Fewtrell (R-ace GP): “This is a good way to begin the weekend. This morning, we saw that we were competitive. We didn’t run new tyres this afternoon in order to fine-tune some details on the car. Everything seems to be in order, but we still have to work hard to keep the momentum going.”
Christian Lundgaard (MP Motorsport): “We collected a lot of data and found some good setups during the winter tests. We were split between trying out some new things and starting off from this base. As there were only two sessions and one of them was threatened by rain, we tried something different this morning. Unfortunately, it didn’t work, but we can compare with the data. We were a little off the pace in sector one, but strong in the other two, and we are positive ahead of qualifying.”
Yifei Ye (Josef Kaufmann Racing): “We were in good shape on used tyres this morning, but I had to adjust my driving style in sector three when we went to new rubber. The car felt good this afternoon, but the traffic blocked us from finishing higher with a good time. Last year in Formula Renault NEC, qualifying was in the rain and the races were run in the dry. That didn’t stop me from taking both poles and winning both races. We have known for a long time that no matter what the conditions will be this weekend, we are fast at Hockenheim!”