Eliminated on the installation lap on Saturday, Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP) found what he needed to bounce back and win race two of the Formula Renault Eurocup at the Hungaroring. In finishing ahead of Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP) and Victor Martins (MP Motorsport), the Australian now has a 37.5 point lead in the general classification ahead of the final three rounds of the season.
Piastri bounces back!
Like on Saturday, qualifying was run on a drying track where the Hankook slicks were the best option. The pace picked up and the Oscar Piastri - Alexander Smolyar duel went the way of the Australian with a session best 1:43.250s lap.
The leader of the general classification lined up on pole for the fifth time this season followed by team mate Alexander Smolyar and Victor Martins. After the best lap of Caio Collet (R-ace GP) was deleted as the rookie crossed the white line after the pit exit, Alex Quinn (Arden Motorsport) completed row two ahead of Amaury Cordeel (MP Motorsport), Kush Maini (M2 Competition), Leonardo Lorandi (JD Motorsport) and the Brazilian.
The Australian pulls away
Under clear skies, Alexander Smolyar tried but failed to overtake Oscar Piastri on an opening lap which saw Frank Bird (Arden Motorsport) retire while Leonardo Lorandi, Amaury Cordeel and Brad Benavides (FA Racing by Drivex) had to return to the pits. Alex Quinn suffered a technical issue and set off four laps after the start of the race.
After a safety car period to remove the car of Frank Bird, Oscar Piastri put in a strong restart to build a lead from Alexander Smolyar, who was now in a scrap with Victor Martins. Further back, Caio Collet passed Kush Maini after he gained three places in the opening lap.
In a race full of battles up and down the order, Patrick Schott (M2 Competition) and Xavier Lloveras (Global Racing Service) contested tenth place before coming together on lap seven. The race was, once again, neutralised to remove the car of the Spaniard, but Oscar Piastri didn’t waiver at the restart and immediately left his pursuers behind
The order remained the same just until the chequered flag with Oscar Piastri taking his sixth victory of the season ahead of Alexander Smolyar and Victor Martins. Fourth place, Caio Collet was best among the rookies for the second time of the weekend. Kush Maini held off Lorenzo Colombo (MP Motorsport) to finish fifth. Petr Ptáček (Bhaitech Racing) and João Vieira (JD Motorsport) were next in the top ten, while Lucas Alecco Roy (M2 Competition) and Alex Karkosik (FA Racing by Drivex) scored their first points in Formula Renault Eurocup.
Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP): “I really wanted to bounce back after driving through a huge puddle that sent me into the gravel on the installation lap yesterday. It began in qualifying, which is always important at this circuit, and I reached my target while also correcting my errors from the day before on this drying track surface. Alexander tried everything he could at the start to make it a good fight, but I was able to hold him off and stretch out a small advantage. We saw yesterday that the smallest error can cut into my lead, so we have to keep winning races and be consistently at the front in the final three rounds of the year.”
Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP): “I knew that my race pace was going to be a bit slower than Oscar’s, so I gave it all I could in the first two corners. Oscar was smarter and didn’t leave me any room nor any chance. Once I was in the dirty air, I had to defend my position from Victor. The two restarts were pretty tricky, especially when Oscar chose another spot to get back on the throttle! I wasn’t expecting that and I was on the backfoot after that. Still, it’s a lot of points and we need to have many more of that to stay in the hunt just until the end.”
Victor Martins (MP Motorsport): “My start was really poor and I knew it would be hard to follow and overtake the two R-ace GP cars after turn two. I still did the best I could. My race pace was quite interesting and strong and this is a nice reward for the team after our difficult weekend in Germany. If we keep going like this, we could have something to enjoy at the end of the season!”
Caio Collet (R-ace GP): “I was disappointed with qualifying even before I was penalized because I made the same mistakes as yesterday in the same conditions. I would have liked a totally dry or wet track, but that is not an excuse. I am more satisfied with how my race went after a good start that saw me to pick up a few places and a very good first restart to get past Kush. There was nothing I could do to catch up to Alexander and Victor, but we were running at a similar pace. My goal now is to put in a clean weekend to try to win a race before the end of the year.”
|1. Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP)||222|
|2. Victor Martins (MP Motorsport)||184.5|
|3. Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP)||180|
|4. Lorenzo Colombo (MP Motorsport)||155.5|
|5. Caio Collet (R-ace GP)||140|
*Results subject to confirmation following technical and sporting checks.