In the aftermath of the most prestigious round during the F1 Monaco Grand Prix weekend, the Formula Renault Eurocup returns to action at Circuit Paul Ricard (May 31-June 2). Winners in the Principality, Victor Martins (MP Motorsport) and Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP) will look to pull away in the general classification, but their rivals are already preparing their pre-summer break replies.
Three weeks before the Formula 1 and Clio Cup drivers battle during the French Grand Prix weekend, the Formula Renault Eurocup will be in action on the Castellet track, reputed for its challenging high-speed Signes sweeper and the double right Beausset corner.
Round four of the season should be one of the most important to follow, because since 2011 one of the race winners at Circuit Paul Ricard has gone on to win the title... In this context, all the contenders will more than ever want to excel hoping that history will repeat itself after the night race season finale in Abu Dhabi on October 26!
Three drivers pulling away
With their victories in Monaco, Victor Martins (MP Motorsport) and Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP) have jumped to the two top places in the general classification.
The French driver of the Renault Sport Academy and the SMP Racing protégé want to continue their respective streaks of three consecutive podium results to pull away from their rivals, led by Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP). After missing his chance to taste the bubbly in Monaco, the Australian hopes to bounce back as soon as possible to reclaim the lead.
These three title contenders all have arguments in their favour as they return to the track where they made their Formula Renault Eurocup debuts. Last year, Victor Martins finished just off the podium, in front of Oscar Piastri, while Alexander Smolyar set the new track record for the category during the pre-season tests!
The chase is on!
Behind the leading trio, the chase group is led by Brazilians Caio Collet (R-ace GP) and João Vieira (JD Motorsport).
Third on Saturday in Monaco, the Renault Sport Academy rookie wants to keep the momentum up by going after his first win on a track he knows all too well since he won the French F4 Championship. Runner-up at Silverstone and third in Monaco, João Vieira will also be one of the contenders for victory.
Lorenzo Colombo (MP Motorsport) and Ugo de Wilde (JD Motorsport) lost some ground after the Monza meeting, but they will try to get back on the podium to stay in contact with the leaders. Dropping a bit down the order after Monaco, Renault Sport Affiliated Driver Leonardo Lorandi (JD Motorsport) and Kush Maini (M2 Competition) have the same goal, as does Petr Ptáček (Bhaitech Racing), whose team was the only one to leave Monaco empty-handed.
Callan O’Keeffe (FA Racing by Drivex will aim to continue his run of four successive races in the points to enter the top ten in the general classification. However, he will have to contend with Patrik Pasma (Arden Motorsport) and Xavier Lloveras (Global Racing Services), who has extra motivation after breaking his duck as he scored the first points of his team in finishing sixth in Monaco.
Outsiders looking for revenge
Some competitors will benefit from this second race weekend in as many weeks to quickly forget their disappointing Monaco performances.
Following their double retirements, Sebastián Fernández (Arden Motorsport) and Lucas Alecco Roy (M2 Competition) want to bounce back to increase their tally or score their first points of the season. In parallel, Federico Malvestiti (Bhaitech Racing), Frank Bird (Arden Motorsport) and Amaury Cordeel (MP Motorsport) will also aim to return to the increasingly coveted and competitive top ten.
And finally, Patrick Schott (FA Racing by Drivex), Brad Benavides (FA Racing by Drivex) and Alessio Deledda (Global Racing Series) equalled or better their best result of the season in Monaco. These three rookies will now try to confirm the progress they’ve made by scoring their first points in the category before the summer break.
Scheduled for Saturday at 15:20 and Sunday at 15:25, the two Formula Renault Eurocup races held in support of the Circuit Paul Ricard 1000KMS will be aired on the Renault Sport Series Facebook page as well as the Renault Sport YouTube channel.
- 1 Victor Martins is the only driver to finish in the top ten in the first six races of the season.
- 7 Seven different teams scored points in Monaco. All eight teams entered have scored points.
- 8 Eight of the last nine drivers to win the Formula Renault Eurocup championship won at Castellet during their campagne: Robin Frijns, Stoffel Vandoorne, Pierre Gasly, Nyck de Vries, Lando Norris, Sacha Fenestraz and Max Fewtrell. The Formula Renault Eurocup didn’t race at the Circuit Paul Ricard in 2015.
- 10 In Monaco, Caio Collet became the tenth driver to step onto the podium this year.
- 20 After consultation with the competitors, qualifying will now be 20 minutes.
- 50 Three weeks after the Formula Renault Eurocup meeting, more than 50 drivers from national and regional Clio Cups will travel from around the world to battle at Circuit Paul Ricard in a Clio Cup Open especially organized in support of the Formula 1 French Grand Prix.
Friday May 31, 2019
10:10-11:00 Collective test 1
16:00-16:50 Collective test 2
Saturday June 1, 2019
10:00-10:20 Qualifying 1
15:50-16:25 Race 1
Sunday June 2, 2019
9:30-9:50 Qualifying 2
15:25-16:00 Race 2