Renault Vitality maintained its consistency in the 2020 F1 Esports Pro Series with three top five finishes in the second round of the highly competitive championship. The results keep Renault Vitality third in the teams’ championship, mirroring its sister team Renault DP World F1 Team in the FIA Formula One World Championship.
After a strong opening round two weeks ago, Nicolas Longuet and Fabrizio Donoso were back in action at Zandvoort, Montreal and Red Bull Ring for round two. The event started well on the Dutch circuit, with Renault Vitality locking out the second row of the grid as Nicolas lined up third ahead of Fabrizio in fourth. Unfortunately the team could not capitalize on the performance as Fabrizio was hit by an opponent and finished in thirteenth, while Nicolas finished fifth after working an alternative strategy to the rest of the field.
Fired up to make amends in Canada, both drivers were on form in qualifying, but a technical issue with his brake pedal saw Fabrizio start fourteenth while Nicolas lined up inside the top ten in ninth. This time out Renault Vitality maximized its strategy, with Fabrizio gaining two positions to finish twelfth and Nicolas moving up five places to claim fourth at the flag, just two tenths from the podium.
The Austrian Grand Prix saw bad luck again strike Fabrizio as a repeat of the glitch from Zandvoort put him down in thirteenth on the grid after running in the top three all session. Nicolas started sixth. In the race the team adopted different strategies for the cars, with Nicolas starting on Soft tyres and Fabrizio on Medium. Caught in the DRS train, Fabrizio wasn’t able to overtake and finished P17. Nicolas however moved up one spot to fifth, despite wing damage from an opponent in the middle of the race.
Renault Vitality remains third in the championship, more than 20 points ahead of fourth position. It now looks to the next rounds on the championship calendar, which take place at historic tracks Silverstone, Spa and Monza on 18 and 19 November.
Nicolas Longuet: “I am not satisfied with my personal performance over those rounds. I made mistakes in qualifying, which cost a lot in terms of race results, so I apologise to the team for that. We are still P3 in the constructors’ standings and we need to improve if we are to maintain it in the next event and onwards. However there are some positives to take from this event. We know we are capable of fighting at the top, and Fabrizio got really unlucky with his pedal issues in two of the three tracks, which cost us a lot of points. Hopefully, the next event will go smoother and as planned.”
Fabrizio Donoso: “It was just not my event, but I showed I was up there able to fight with the top three. Unlucky days happen, but this one is hard to take. We have to move on now. A fresh mind is needed and I believe in myself to come back stronger for event 3. Preparation has been really strong and I can’t thank the team enough for everything they have done for us drivers, be it before or while we are driving."
Richard Arnaud (coach): “Definitely mixed feeling after this event. On one hand, we managed to have a 20+ points gap to P4 in the team standings, which was the objective, but we did not capitalize on some opportunities. The results do not reflect the team performance: we were stronger than we were in event 1. Zero points for Fabrizio are just due to bad luck as his pace was top five in all races. Both cars can compete at the top and it is up to us to convert that in the third event. We can have a word to say in the battle on top between Alfa Romeo and Red Bull!"