Host of the season finale the past two years, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will, this year, begin the final stretch run before the contenders head to Hockenheim and Abu Dhabi. In Spain, the title race should live up to all its promise with six drivers still mathematically in contention for the Formula Renault Eurocup crown.
After having crowned Valtteri Bottas, Pierre Gasly and Max Fewtrell among others, the home of the F1 Spanish Grand Prix will not crown a new motor racing hopeful this year as the fight to get into the Renault Sport Academy remains wide open!
R-ace GP vs MP Motorsport?
While they are still six drivers in contention, the clear favorite is Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP), who has won three of the four races contested after the summer break.
Despite retiring on the installation lap at the Hungaroring, the Australian is now in control of his destiny even though he knows the hardest work is yet to come, beginning with this round at one of the few circuits where he left empty-handed in 2018.
His challengers and in particular Victor Martins (MP Motorsport) will try to exploit this weakness. The Frenchman is currently second in the general classification and looks to be the best placed to gain ground after scoring a pole position and a podium finish last year, and he also set the category track record during the pre-season collective tests earlier this year.
The Renault Sport Academy driver could however find other contenders in his way, like Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP) or Lorenzo Colombo (MP Motorsport), who will do their very best to keep the fight going all the way to Abu Dhabi.
The Italian will be all the more motivated as he wants to contain the return of rookie leader Caio Collet (R-ace GP) who has a 13-race streak of top eight finishes.
Besides these five protagonists, Amaury Cordeel (MP Motorsport) could join the battle at the sharp end of the order after his most productive weekend of the season in Budapest. His help could be extremely important for his team that hopes to deny R-ace GP a third successive Teams’ title!
Battles throughout the field
Even though he is still mathematically in contention for the title, Kush Maini (M2 Competition) knows his fate is no longer in his hands. The Indian will aim for a podium result to try to reduce the gap to rookie leader Caio Collet while also pulling away from the group of chasers led by three JD Motorsport drivers.
João Vieira, Ugo de Wilde and Leonardo Lorandi want to end their podium draught since Monaco to ease the pressure coming from Arden Motorsport, which is now just a handful of points from third place in the general classification thanks to the strong runs of Patrik Pasma, Frank Bird and Alex Quinn, who will race for the final time this season before handing over to Sebastián Fernández.
The fight for the top ten promises to be very intense in the final three rounds of the year. Now 10th in the general classification, Patrik Pasma knows that his spot is under threat from Petr Ptáček and Federico Malvestiti! The pair seem to have found their respective second winds in the back half of the season and will give it their all to let their Bhaitech Racing team battle for fifth place with M2 Competition.
An energized Spanish duel
Among the competitors who have steadily improved since the introduction of the Formula Renault FR-19, the Global Racing Service team must be mentioned. Led by Xavier Lloveras, the Spanish outfit will try to get its first top five result in the category on home soil.
The challenge will be double-tough as the Catalan driver will go it alone against a duo from the other Spanish team, FA Racing by Drivex!
L’enjeu sera double puisque le Catalan défendra seul les couleurs de son écurie face au duo d’une autre équipe espagnole, FA Racing by Drivex !
Brad Benavides, who is still looking for his first points of the year, will look to pick up the pace on a circuit he knows well after taking part in the pre-season collective tests while wild-card entry and Spanish F4 Championship leader Franco Colapinto will make his second appearance of the season after a promising debut at Spa.
- 1 Since the double of Kevin Korjus in 2010, Sacha Fenestraz is the only driver to win in Barcelona the year he won the title.
- 2 After Castellet, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is the second circuit to host the Formula Renault FR-19s for a second time after the pre-season collective tests.
- 11 The Spanish track is also the one on the calendar having been the venue for the biggest march forward towards victory. In 2008, Valtteri Bottas won after starting 11th on the grid.
- 13 consecutive points finishes for Caio Collet, a run still ongoing!
- 2011 Not since 2011 has there been a victorious Spanish driver in the category in Barcelona. That year, Javier Tarancón and Alex Riberas shared the spoils.
Friday 27 September 2019
9h50-10h40 Collective tests 1
13h20-14h10 Collective tests 2
Saturday 28 September 2019
9h00-9h20 Qualifying 1
13h15-13h50 Race 1
Sunday 29 September 2019
9h00-9h20 Qualifying 2
13h25-14h00 Race 2