Starting from pole at the Red Bull Ring, Max Fewtrell (R-ace GP) scored his third victory of the year. On the same circuit where he claimed his maiden Formula Renault Eurocup win last year, the British member of the Renault Sport Academy dominated a race shortened by a violent storm. Joining him on the podium were Richard Verschoor (Josef Kaufmann Racing) and rookie Lorenzo Colombo (JD Motorsport). Eighth on Saturday, Yifei Ye (Josef Kaufmann Racing) still leads the general classification.
Fourth pole for Fewtrell
Saturday morning, the track was wet, but the racing line was dry for the start of qualifying. Everyone in the field took the gamble to start on the Michelin slick tyres.
Richard Verschoor set best time in the first group with a lap of 1:30.532s, 0.003s ahead of Christian Lundgaard (MP Motorsport). This time didn’t stand up against the fastest lap in the second group put in by Max Fewtrell in 1:29.671s, before the session concluded prematurely following the incident of Frank Bird (Tech1 Racing.)
Max Fewtrell and Richard Verschoor shared row one, ahead of six rookies : Lorenzo Colombo, Christian Lundgaard, Oscar Piastri (Arden Motorsport), Victor Martins (R-ace GP), Arthur Rougier (Fortec Motorsports) and Logan Sargeant (R-ace GP).
Lightning strikes in the field
Max Fewtrell put in a perfect start to hold on to the lead ahead of Richard Verschoor and Lorenzo Colombo. The action was a lot more intense further back and the safety car was immediately called into service after the retirements of Logan Sargeant, Alexander Smolyar, Clément Novalak (Josef Kaufmann Racing) and Sami Taoufik (Arden Motorsport) on lap one.
At the restart, Max Fewtrell gradually pulled away, while Neil Verhagen kept his charge to the front going. After passing three cars at the start, the Red Bull Junior Team driver overtook Oscar Piastri and Christian Lundgaard to slot into fourth place. Thomas Maxwell (JD Motorsport) and Yifei Ye also went on the attack getting past Victor Martins and Arthur Rougier.
On lap 13, the skies opened up over the Red Bull Ring. The safety car intervened for the second time, before the red flag was waved. The conditions did not improve and the race stewards stopped the proceedings prior to the race reaching 75% of the scheduled distance.
At the end of this race where half points were handed out, Max Fewtrell took the win ahead of Richard Verschoor, who claimed his first podium finish of the season, and Lorenzo Colombo, who took his first victory among the rookies. Next was Neil Verhagen, followed by Christian Lundgaard, Oscar Piastri and Thomas Maxwell. Yifei Ye, Victor Martins and Charles Milesi completed the top ten.
Max Fewtrell (R-ace GP): “It is never ideal to be in the lead when it begins to rain! It was really tricky, I was lucky not to end up in the gravel and I think that nearly everyone got caught out at turn two. Considering the conditions, I didn’t think we could continue. I was thus rather confident during the red flag and this win once again shows that we have the pace to take pole positions and win races. It is now vital that we keep this momentum going.”
Richard Verschoor (Josef Kaufmann Racing): “It has been a long time since I was last on the podium… Way too long! We have worked to recover after my difficult start to the season and I think we are headed in the right direction. Today, Max was too fast, because I pushed as hard as I could, but it was not enough to catch him. I would have liked for the rain to have come earlier, but you can’t order up the weather. I am still pleased with this second place and I hope this will be the start of a new season for me!”
Lorenzo Colombo (JD Motorsport): “I already had two podium results, but this is the first time I won the trophy for best rookie! It is fantastic to see that we are fast no matter the circuit, including the two that I hadn’t raced on before. Today, I was a little lucky because I got caught out at turn two but miraculously avoided the gravel trap. We need to work more on our race pace. Tomorrow, I start second and I would like to finish another step higher!”
|1. Yifei Ye (Josef Kaufmann Racing)||114|
|2. Christian Lundgaard (MP Motorsport)||103|
|3. Max Fewtrell (R-ace GP)||91.5|
|4. Charles Milesi (R-ace GP)||82.5|
|5. Logan Sargeant (R-ace GP)||80|
*Results subject to confirmation following technical and sporting verifications.