Nearly two months after Monaco, the Formula Renault Eurocup returns to action at the Red Bull Ring (July 20-22). Meeting five of the year will reunite the competitors in a rural setting before they quickly head into the second half of the season at Spa-Francorchamps. Will this be the ideal opportunity for someone to do something special before the summer break?
Situated in the heart of the Austrian Alps, the Red Bull Ring is among the most popular stops on the calendar with its unique setting and its track that is perfect for creating a show, while leaving very little room for error. The gaps are always small and the races often feature plenty of plot twists… What better to spice up a still undecided campaign!
Who will stand out?
While the leader in the general classification, Yifei Ye (Josef Kaufmann Racing) didn’t step on to the podium in Monaco, he finished both races ahead of his closest championship rival, Christian Lundgaard (MP Motorsport). In the heart of Austria’s Styria region, the duel promises to intensify between the 2016 France F4 Champion and the Danish member of the Renault Sport Academy, but both will need to keep an eye on their pursuers.
Before the break in the action, French drivers Charles Milesi (R-ace GP) and Victor Martins (R-ace GP) made a mighty impression. Winner at Silverstone and Monaco, Charles Milesi will look to keep the momentum going, while his compatriot wants to continue his upswing in performance after his Monaco podium and maiden win in the Formula Renault NEC at Monza.
Their team mates Logan Sargeant (R-ace GP) and Max Fewtrell (R-ace GP) intend to be among the contenders for the win. Regularly in the points since the start of the year, the American driver wants to taste the champagne again as soon as possible, while the Brit returns to the track where he won for the first time in Formula Renault last year.
Outsiders on the lookout
Behind, the chase group is beginning to take form. While Lorenzo Colombo (JD Motorsport) left Monaco empty-handed, the Italian still wants to convert his speed into a first victory.
Victorious in Monaco, Alex Peroni (MP Motorsport) will try to show that he can be just as fast on a more traditional circuit. The Australian driver believes his titles chances are over and now he has nothing to lose! After completing his school exams, fellow Aussie Oscar Piastri (Arden Motorsport) now has his sights set on his first podium result after a convincing start to the season.
Max Defourny (MP Motorsport) and Thomas Maxwell (JD Motorsport) both have prior experience at the Red Bull Ring and hope to score a maximum amount of points. Red Bull Junior Team protégé Neil Verhagen (Tech 1 Racing) needs to get his season back on track on the circuit owned by the Austrian energy drinks company.
After leaving Monaco out of the points, SMP Racing driver Alexander Smolyar (Tech 1 Racing) aims for a quick return to the top ten. Thomas Neubauer (Tech 1 Racing), Richard Verschoor (Josef Kaufmann Racing) and Frank Bird (Tech 1 Racing) are always very aggressive and hope to upset the apple cart on a track they all know quite well…As does Raúl Guzmán (Fortec Motorsports), whose motivation is high after two promising outings in the US!
Nikita Volegov (Arden Motorsport) will make his debut in Formula Renault at the Austrian meeting. Following two victories and 14 podium finishes these past two years in SMP F4 NEZ and in the Spanish F4 Championship, the Russian driver now moves up to the next level!
Now or never!
Several drivers will have to take the bull by the horns if they want to succeed. Nearly a year after making his Formula Renault debut at the Red Bull Ring, Xavier Lloveras (AVF by Adrián Vallés) can finally use experience to score his first points of the season, just as Axel Matus (AVF by Adrián Vallés) and Najy Razak (JD Motorsport) can.
In parallel, Eliseo Martinez (AVF by Adrián Vallés), Clément Novalak (Josef Kaufmann Racing) and Sami Taoufik (Arden Motorsport) will try to join the top ten after already coming close this season. There will be battles up and down the order, because Christian Muñoz (AVF by Adrián Vallés), Arthur Rougier (Fortec Motorsports), Christian Hahn (Fortec Motorsports) and Vladimir Tziortzis (Fortec Motorsports) all share the same goal!
3 Renault has three F1 victories in Austria.
4.324 Alex Peroni’s Monaco win resulted in the largest margin of victory so far this season.
6 Six different winners, including 3 rookies : Logan Sargeant, Max Fewtrell, Yifei Ye, Christian Lundgaard, Charles Milesi and Alex Peroni.
9 Nine drivers have finished on the podium so far this season.
98.481km The number of kilometres Yifei Ye has led (versus 176.47 km by Max Fewtrell).
2016 The year of the legendary duel between Lando Norris and Max Defourny, with more than ten lead changes in the race.
Friday July 20, 2018
10:00–10:50 Collective tests 1
14:45–15:35 Collective tests 2
18:20–18:55 Qualifying 1
Saturday July 21, 2018
11:00–11:35 Qualifying 2
14:55–15:30 Race 1
Sunday July 22, 2018
10:05–10:40 Race 2