The tension is rising in the Formula Renault Eurocup! Ahead of the final meeting of the season, Max Fewtrell, Yifei Ye and Christian Lundgaard are still in the hunt for the title that will be decided this coming October 20 and 21 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Once again, the Formula Renault Eurocup is going down to the wire. Three drivers are in an ultra-tight battle as attention turns to the Barcelona circuit where the finales of the Renault Sport Racing run categories rarely lack for suspense!
A favourite with the wind at his back
2017 rookie of the year, Max Fewtrell began the season with a lot of fanfare in living up to his favourite status. Moving from Tech 1 Racing to R-ace GP over the winter, the Renault Sport Academy driver scored two pole positions, a race win and a runner-up finish at Circuit Paul Ricard.
After leaving Monza with just one point, the Englishman won on home soil before a subpar meeting in the streets of Monaco. But after the summer break he came roaring back, beginning at the Red Bull Ring with six podiums in as many starts, including three consecutive victories… This streak, which is still alive, has put him atop the general classification before the Catalan finale!
Despite his current form, Max Fewtrell is now opting for vigilance. “Everything can go very quickly”, he says. “Sometimes we have been unlucky to fulfill our potential and even though everything now seems to be in place, nothing is done yet. My two rivals are extremely fast. It’s a bit annoying in qualifying… And they are very consistent in the races. They are always up front. To be honest, they don’t really have any weaknesses!"
History in the making
Consistent early in the season, China’s Yifei Ye collected five podium results, including a victory, in the first six races of the year. After making history as the first driver from his country to win in the Formula Renault Eurocup, Yifei Ye then had to wait until after the summer break to return to the top step of the podium in Budapest. The Josef Kaufmann Racing driver saw Christian Lundgaard dislodge him from the lead of the general classification the next day.
Always a front-runner, Yifei Ye seemed to be the only driver capable of taking the fight to Max Fewtrell at Hockenheim, but it was to no avail. To maintain his fading title hopes, Yifei Ye now knows he must finish ahead of his rival to lower his current 20.5 point deficit to the Briton.
“Like Max said, if you are fighting at the front of such a competitive category, you got to have some qualities”, he says. “There are only two races remaining and everything is still possible for the title. I am remaining positive and focused. I know the team will battle by my side just until the chequered flag waves Sunday night!”
More than an outsider
Christian Lundgaard has been Yifei Ye’s main rival for most of the season. The Dane has made quite an impression in his maiden season in Formula Renault with three victories and eight podium finishes. He has 14 top five results in the first 16 races of the year. The Renault Sport Academy driver was on his way to pulling away from his rivals before his run in with Victor Martins at Hockenheim.
Let down by the driveshaft of the broken wheel the day before in this incident, Christian Lundgaard left Hockenheim empty-handed and he no longer controls his fate. However, it is too early to erase the first-year driver from the list of contenders. He is odds on favourite for rookie of the year honours, which he can clinch against Logan Sargeant and Victor Martins as early as the Saturday in Catalunya! A double source of motivation that could very well give his title hopes a boost!
“The Hockenheim disappointment was hard to swallow”, the Dane confesses. “But I am still extremely motivated. As we have shown all year long, we are here to fight and this battle is far from over. I am sure we will return to the top in Barcelona!”
A favourite returning from a long way back, a monster of consistency ready to make the most of the least opportunity and a rookie who has nothing to lose… Who could dream of a better way to conclude the Formula Renault current era?