The second half of the Formula Renault Eurocup began at the Nürburgring with leader Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP) winning his fourth race of the year at the conclusion of an epic duel with rookie Patrik Pasma (Arden Motorsport). The Australian adds to his lead in the general classification while team mate Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP) completes the podium.
Piastri comes out swinging in qualifying
Held this morning, the first qualifying session went the way of Oscar Piastri with a lap of 1:55.695s at the end of a stunning five-minute final sprint.
Alexander Smolyar was leading before the red flag caused by Alex Karkosik (FA Racing by Drivex) but the SMP Racing driver eventually dropped down to seventh behind five rookies led by Patrik Pasma, who finished second at 0.7s to the pole winner.
Piastri ahead of Pasma
Patrik Pasma surprised Oscar Piastri at the start, but the Australian answered back before the Finn returned the favour at turn five. Third on the grid, Petr Ptácek (Bhaitech Racing) lost ten positions while Alex Quinn (Arden Motorsport) moved up third ahead of Kush Maini (M2 Competition), Alexander Smolyar, Victor Martins (MP Motorsport), Caio Collet (R-ace GP) and Lorenzo Colombo (MP Motorsport), who started 14th.
The safety car then made its only appearance of the race to allow for the removal of the car of Patrick Schott (M2 Competition).
While the race order barely changed at the restart, Patrik Pasma and Oscar Piastri quickly built a small lead from the chase led by Alex Quinn, but the pressure applied by Oscar Piastri on the leader allowed them to close the gap as the laps ticked off. Alexander Smolyar and Victor Martins overtook Kush Maini on lap eight in the process with Caio Collet doing the same two laps later.
After several unsuccessful attempts, Oscar Piastri finally found an opening at the outside of turn one on lap 14, while his team mate Alexander Smolyar surprised Alex Quinn for third place.
From there Oscar Piastri went on for his fourth triumph of the year, 2.7s ahead of Patrik Pasma. Threatened just until the chequered flag by Alexander Smolyar, the Finnish rookie claims his first Hankook Trophy and maiden podium in the Formula Renault Eurocup.
Alex Quinn finishes fourth in his first single-seater race since 2017 and Formula Renault Eurocup debut ahead of Victor Martins and Caio Collet. Kush Maini held off Amaury Cordeel (MP Motorsport) for seventh place, while Xavier Lloveras (Global Racing Service) and Ugo de Wilde (JD Motorsport) took the final points on offer following the retirement of Lorenzo Colombo five laps from the end of the race.
Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP): “This was a tough one to win! My start was far from perfect, but I held on to second place before trying to pass Patrik everywhere I could. I was confident after the pace we showed in qualifying, but I also knew what to expect from Patrik. I tried the inside a lot, it didn’t work, then I went to the outside at turn one. It was great, nice and fair, but I’m hoping for an easier day tomorrow before taking on the final four rounds of the season!”
Patrik Pasma (Arden Motorsport): “Even though I didn’t win this very intense race, second place is our best result of the year. I think this shows the work we all put in since the start of the season with the team is beginning to pay off. We need to carry on like this and I hope we will be able to finish one spot higher tomorrow!”
Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP): “I made a few mistakes to get my tyres up to temperatures after the red flag in qualifying. I knew that I would have to push to score a lot of points. Some drivers defended very aggressively at some corners, but I was able to go from seventh to third while finishing ahead some of my rivals in the championship. I hope to do even better tomorrow.”
|1. Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP)||172|
|2. Victor Martins (MP Motorsport)||157|
|3. Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP)||141|
|4. Lorenzo Colombo (MP Motorsport)||134|
|5. Caio Collet (R-ace GP)||107|
*Results subject to confirmation following technical and sporting checks.