Despite inclement weather, the competitors entered in the Formula Renault Eurocup continued to learn more about their new cars at Circuit Nevers Magny-Cours. On Wednesday, Australian Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP) set the benchmark time in 1:42.003s to lead from Sebastián Fernández (Arden Motorsport) and Cameron Das (M2 Competition). The Brazilian driver of the Renault Sport Academy Caio Collet (R-ace GP) was quickest among the rookies.
This second day of the collective tests this year began in dry conditions before the first rain of the morning fell during the first stoppage provoked by Frank Bird (Arden Motorsport). During a session that was genuinely perturbed by wind and showers, Cameron Das moved to the top of the order in 1:42.258s ahead of team mate Esteban Muth (M2 Competition). Patrick Schott (FA Racing by Drivex), Petr Ptáček (BhaiTech Racing) and Patrik Pasma (Arden Motorsport) completed the top five at the mid-day break.
Conditions steadily improved in the afternoon as did the pace in the opening hour. After João Vieira’s (JD Motorsport) spin, the drivers prepared for the ten-minute final sprint on the Hankook slick compound. Oscar Piastri set best time of the day in 1:42.003s before the spin committed by Federico Malvestiti (BhaiTech Racing) brought a premature end to the session. The Australian was followed by Sebastián Fernández, Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP), Caio Collet et Federico Malvestiti. Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP), Caio Collet and Federico Malvestiti.
Perfect timing for Oscar Piastri
Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP): “The weather conditions made the day very difficult. This afternoon, I was a bit lucky to post my best time at the right time. It is always nice to be up front, but I don’t think we can draw any conclusions as the track was still very wet in certain places. With this new Formula Renault, it is harder to catch the car when it slides and it makes it a physical challenge behind the wheel. So far, everything has gone well with R-ace GP. I think it is he best team in the paddock and we will do everything to keep the number 1 on my car!”
Sebastián Fernández racks up the kilometres
Sebastián Fernández (Arden Motorsport): “These first two days of tests have gone very well, even though the conditions could have been a little better! We have made good progress in our learning of the car and continue to learn more as soon as we are on track even if this car is quite similar to the old F3 car. This year, I will only race in six meetings in parallel with other programmes. I don’t expect to win the title, but I want to rack up the kilometres, continue to progress and, if everything goes well, run up front.”
Cameron Das between the rain drops
Cameron Das (M2 Competition): “This is a genuine learning process as everything is brand new for the team and myself. Each lap allows us to learn more and we have had the chance to understand the car in radically different conditions! You have to be mindful in the corners and braking zones with this car. It is not extremely hard to drive, but it requires a slightly different driving style that I have used up until now. In any case, we are heading in the right direction and even though I was a bit lucky to set the best time this morning, our pace was promising compared to those who were on track at the same time.”
Rookie Caio Collet in the top five
Caio Collet (R-ace GP): “Despite a slight setback yesterday afternoon and conditions far from ideal, everything is going well so far! I am learning a lot and I hope that the sky will be a bit friendlier tomorrow so we can continue our work in dry conditions. Our pace is relatively good in the wet, but it is still too early to draw any conclusions It is quite interesting to have to adapt to a new car that has more downforce and power, but also a bit heavier steering. I don’t have any precise objectives, but I will try to do my best every time I get in the car. I think that the results should naturally follow.”