Renault Sport Academy driver Victor Martins (MP Motorsport) won race one of the Formula Renault Eurocup at the Hungaroring, shortened due to the extremely difficult wet conditions. The Frenchman was followed by Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP), Lorenzo Colombo (MP Motorsport) and rookie Caio Collet (R-ace GP), who all gained ground on leader Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP) after he went off on the installation lap.
Martins in the waning seconds
On a drying track surface after overnight rain, the times quickly fell in qualifying and a majority of the drivers came back to the pits at mid-session to switch to the Hankook slick tyres.
The battle for the pole heated up after the Patrick Schott (M2 Competition) went off five minutes from the end of the session. The drivers went back out for two flying laps and Victor Martins claimed his third pole position of the season in 1:42.566s to lead from Alexander Smolyar, Lorenzo Colombo and rookies Caio Collet and Amaury Cordeel (MP Motorsport).
The title race back on!
Under a heavy downpour, the leader of the general classification Oscar Piastri got caught out on the drenched track surface. The Australian, who qualified sixth, was out of the race before it even started, as was Ugo de Wilde (JD Motorsport) and Brad Benavides (FA Racing by Drivex).
The race began behind the safety car with the hope of improved weather. Yet, the showers intensified and the race stewards decided to wave the red flag before the completion of lap five.
The final results were taken from the running order at the end of lap three. Victor Martins was declared the winner ahead of Alexander Smolyar and Lorenzo Colombo. Fourth overall, Caio Collet stepped on the podium to receive his sixth Hankook Trophy of the season.
Amaury Cordeel finished fifth, his best result in the category, ahead of the three Arden Motorsport drivers Frank Bird, Patrik Pasma and Alex Quinn, who moved up two places after the issues of Oscar Piastri and Ugo de Wilde. Xavier Lloveras (Global Racing Service) and Renault Sport Affiliate Driver Leonardo Lorandi (JD Motorsport) completed the top ten.
Victor Martins (MP Motorsport): “I think it was right decision to stop the race for safety reasons. All of us were aquaplaning and I told my engineer as early as the installation lap that it was maybe a little too dangerous. You just had to survive that lap actually! With this win I scored 12.5 points but it also prevented me to reclaim 25 from Oscar. I am not totally satisfied and I hope we can have a real race tomorrow!”
Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP): “It was just common sense to show the red flag. I even wondered on the grid if it wouldn’t be better to cancel the race, because I would rather race another day or weekend to battle for full points. I kept the car on the track and finished second. It is hard to be thrilled because it was for half points, but I understand that safety comes ahead of everything else.”
Lorenzo Colombo (MP Motorsport): “Stopping the race was a fair decision. Personally, it was like there was a wall of water in front of me, which made it really hard just to stay on the least soaked line. I am particularly pleased with how we did in qualifying where the entire team bouncing back after a difficult weekend at the Nürburgring. My confidence is back and I hope that we will have better conditions tomorrow to go for a top result.”
Caio Collet (R-ace GP): “Qualifying was already tricky with mixed conditions that forced us to switch to slicks at mid-session. This afternoon, it would have been safety car after safety car if we went green, so I hope for more stable conditions and better weather tomorrow!”
|1. Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP)||197|
|2. Victor Martins (MP Motorsport)||169.5|
|3. Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP)||162|
|4. Lorenzo Colombo (MP Motorsport)||147.5|
|5. Caio Collet (R-ace GP)||128|
*Results subject to confirmation following technical and sporting checks.