Starting from pole position in Monaco, Victor Martins (MP Motorsport) collected his maiden win of the season in the Formula Renault Eurocup. The French driver of the Renault Sport Academy received the winner’s trophy from Renault Sport Racing President Jérôme Stoll and was joined on the podium by SMP Racing protégé Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP) and rookie Caio Collet (R-ace GP).
Victor Martins took the pole on Friday for race one in the Principality with the best time in Group A.
With a perfect launch off the line, Victor Martins held onto the lead ahead of Alexander Smolyar and Caio Collet. Starting fourth, João Vieira fell behind Xavier Lloveras and Lorenzo Colombo (MP Motorsport) on the opening lap that proved fatal to the hopes of Sebastián Fernández (Arden Motorsport) and Monaco local Lucas Alecco Roy (M2 Competition).
Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP) animated the action in the midfield pack. After losing two places at turn one, the leader in the general classification made an inside move at Rascasse to overtake Leonardo Lorandi (JD Motorsport) in a dual that saw the Renault Sport Affiliated Driver’s race come to a premature end. The Australian inherited sixth place when João Vieira got it wrong at the Swimming Pool before pouring the pressure on Lorenzo Colombo to take fourth place after the technical problem suffered by Xavier Lloveras.
Unflappable in the lead despite the retirements of Amaury Cordeel (MP Motorsport) and Yves Baltas (M2 Competition) in the final laps, Victor Martins claimed his first win of the season ahead of Alexander Smolyar and winner of the Hankook Trophy, reserved for the highest placed rookie, Caio Collet.
Despite resisting Oscar Piastri, Lorenzo Colombo received a two-place penalty after the race for not handing back all of the positions he picked up when he missed the apex at turn one. Oscar Piastri and João Vieira were promoted to fourth and fifth place ahead of the Italian driver. Patrik Pasma (Arden Motorsport), Callan O’Keeffe (FA Racing by Drivex), Ugo de Wilde (JD Motorsport) and Kush Maini (M2 Competition) completed the top ten.
Race 2 for the Formula Renault Eurocup in Monaco will be held tomorrow at noon. Alexander Smolyar will start from pole ahead of Victor Martins, João Vieira, Caio Collet and Oscar Piastri.
Victor Martins (MP Motorsport): “This is amazing! A win in Monaco was one of my goals at the start of the season and we have done it. I wanted a good start and it actually went better than expected. Once in the lead, I just had to focus on my job to build a gap and then manage it when Alexander caught up. It was a rather quiet race for me. We’ve had an excellent weekend so far and I am really pleased with the progress we have made with the team. We have to keep focused for tomorrow because anything can happen in Monaco. My risk taking will depend on the opportunities!”
Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP): “It is good to be on the podium… But I wanted to win! My start was good, but Victor’s was better and from there it became difficult to change the result. As we all know, it is extremely hard to overtake in Monaco and there was never an opportunity. I looked after my car just until mid-distance before attacking to see what my pace was compared to Victor. The gap closed quickly, so I am pretty confident for tomorrow as I will be on pole position.”
Caio Collet (R-ace GP): “Getting a podium finish is tough enough, but it is even more so in Monaco. The feeling are really incredible and special even though the points awarded are the same for all the races. I was able to get a good start before getting blocked a bit by Alex at turn one. It was a proper, but fair battle! I want to thank the team for giving me a car with the pace it had today and I will try to do the same thing tomorrow to get another podium result from the fourth place on the grid. This first “real” podium will help boost my confidence. Step by step, I am getting the hang of it and I am already a much different driver than I was at the start of the season.”
|1. Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP)||74|
|2. Victor Martins (MP Motorsport)||71|
|3. Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP)||61|
|4. Ugo de Wilde (JD Motorsport)||45|
|5. Caio Collet (R-ace GP)||43|
*Results subject to confirmation following technical and sporting checks.