Following the start of the second half of the season at the Nürburgring, the Formula Renault Eurocup heads this week to the Hungaroring. After his double win in Germany, points leader Oscar Piastri has a golden opportunity to break away from the field and push out a number of title contenders from the title race.
Venue for round seven of the season, the Hungaroring weekend will highlight the many ongoing battles throughout the field. On the same track that has hosted the Hungarian Grand Prix since 1986, the drivers and teams have a test day today (Wednesday) to get used to the many tight corners that characterize this track before the serious business begins!
Stop or go for Piastri?
With the double in Germany, Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP) now has a commanding 40-point lead in the general classification. After just missing out on a podium last year, the Melbourne native now has a chance to make a break and take a large stride toward the title with three rounds remaining on the calendar.
After submitting to the dominating return to action of the leader, his rivals must now respond before it is too late. After dropping out even before the start of the Sunday race at the Nürburgring, Victor Martins (MP Motorsport) is now just four points ahead of Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP).
Another to leave Germany with a Goose Egg, Lorenzo Colombo (MP Motorsport) also needs to make up ground on a track where he collected one of his five podium results in 2018. The Italian driver also has to deal with rookie Caio Collet (R-ace GP) who is right behind him thanks to his emotional third place dedicated to his Renault Sport Academy team mate Anthoine Hubert.
Just until now animated by the battles in the rookie category, the fight for the midfield positions saw last week the arrival of some new faces who would like nothing more than to confirm their potentials in Hungary.
While Kush Maini (M2 Competition) now leads the chase of Caio Collet ahead of the JD Motorsport trio of Ugo de Wilde, João Vieira and Leonardo Lorandi, the four drivers hope to battle at the front of the order to counter the return to force of Arden Motorsport.
The British team made an impressive return to action with two podium finishes in Germany and is now just 29 points adrift of third place in the Teams’ Classification, Arden Motorsport wants to take the fight to JD Motorsport. To do this, the squad is trusting Alex Quinn, who impressed in his return after a near one-year absence, but also Patrik Pasma and Frank Bird.
The fight should therefore intensify, especially as Petr Ptáček (Bhaitech Racing) could also play a role. With two solid qualifying showings and a long-time contender for a top three result at the Nürburgring, the Czech driver was frustrated to only finish fifth and has already promised to get his revenge!
Battles at all levels
With two point-scoring finishes last time out, Xavier Lloveras (Global Racing Service) equalled the best result of his team in the category and narrowed the gap to Federico Malvestiti (Bhaitech Racing) while pulling away from Amaury Cordeel (MP Motorsport).
While he aims higher, the Spaniard has to learn the Budapest track because his part-time campaigns in 2017 and 2018 didn’t include the Hungarian circuit. His two rivals are also newcomers to the venue and hope they can reverse the trend.
The FA Racing by Drivex also hopes to make a tangible improvement with drivers Brad Benavides and Alex Karkosik, who is now more familiar with the new Formula Renault. Both have to score their first points of the season to attack Global Racing Service, which has moved up to seventh in the Teams’ Classification.
After making his debut with M2 Competition, Patrick Schott wants to show his potential by integrating the top ten, while Lucas Alecco Roy joins the Belgian squad and the field for the fourth round of his programme in the category.
- 1 If he scores another brace of wins, Oscar Piastri will join the very exclusive club of drivers having won four consecutive races since the Formula Renault Eurocup was a single-make: Scott Speed (2004), Michaël Ammermüller (2005) and Jon Lancaster (2007).
- 1 The task promises to be a difficult one for the leader because you have to go all the way back to 2008 to find the last driver to win two races out of two in Budapest. Non-other than Daniel Ricciardo…
- 11 If he gets a top ten result Saturday, Oscar Piastri will beat the streak of most consecutive finishes in the points of Victor Martins, that came to an end this past Sunday!
- 14 Patrik Pasma and Alex Quinn became the 13th and 14th drivers to score a podium result this season which is the first time since 2015.
- 4381 meters. The Hungaroring is the second shortest circuit on the calendar after Monaco. It is also one of those where the pole winner finishes the least often (58%), although the race winners have also been among the top three on the grid.
Friday 6 September, 2019
9:00-9:50 Collective tests 1
14:20-15:10 Collective tests 2
Saturday 7 September, 2019
10:00-10:20 Qualifying 1
13:55-14:30 Race 1
Sunday 8 September, 2019
9:35-9:55 Qualifying 2
15:25-16:00 Race 2