Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP) has won the Formula Renault Eurocup title at the conclusion of the final race of the 2019 season. His rival Victor Martins (MP Motorsport) won ahead of Lorenzo Colombo (MP Motorsport) and rookie Caio Collet (R-ace GP), but the Australian managed his race to seal the deal and allow R-ace GP to win all three titles in the first season of the Formula Renault FR-19.
Martins sets pole record
With no option but to win to keep his title hopes alive, Victor Martins won a sixth successive pole position at the conclusion of another duel with the general classification leader Oscar Piastri.
With the fastest lap of the weekend in 2:08.014s, the Frenchman won his ninth pole of the season to equal the record set by Scott Speed in 2004 and Sacha Fenestraz in 2017. Wild-card entry Matteo Nannini (MP Motorsport) was third in his second qualifying session in the category ahead of Lorenzo Colombo and Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP).
Martins wins, Piastri controls
The start of the race was given in temperatures above 50°C. When the lights went out, Victor Martins held onto the lead while Lorenzo Colombo picked up two places to slot in between his team mate and Oscar Piastri.
On lap two, Oscar Piastri was attacked by Matteo Nannini, but the big winner of their duel was Caio Collet. Starting sixth, the Brazilian - who had already secured rookie of the year honours - made an inside pass on both drivers to move into third place. Oscar Piastri stayed ahead of Matteo Nannini as the Italian was surprised by Alexander Smolyar before taking back the position a lap later.
Race leader Victor Martins quickly pulled away from Lorenzo Colombo, who did the same to Caio Collet. Further down the order, Kush Maini (M2 Competition) and Frank Bird (Arden Motorsport) made contact on lap five.
Victor Martins won going away from Lorenzo Colombo with a five-second margin of victory and another five seconds ahead of Caio Collet, who finished in the points for the 19th consecutive race. The Frenchman’s efforts for the title were in vain as fourth place was good enough for Oscar Piastri to become the first Australian driver to win the Formula Renault Eurocup title and a watch specifically created by BRM Chronographes.
Ineligible to score points, wild-card entry Matteo Nannini finished fifth ahead of Alexander Smolyar. Starting 11th, Sebastián Fernández crossed the line seventh, ahead of Patrik Pasma. The results of the two drivers sealed Arden Motorsport third place in the Teams’ classification. Amaury Cordeel (MP Motorsport) and Xavier Lloveras (Global Racing Service) completed the top ten while Ugo de Wilde (JD Motorsport) picked up the final point on offer.
Victor Martins (MP Motorsport): “Mixed feelings today. We could not have done better today with the pole and a good start that let me focus on my driving. I took each lap and corner one after the other to avoid mistakes, build a lead and win. I am happy to win the last race of the season, but my poor start yesterday was really a shame. I have to focus on the future and I know how to keep improving. I would like to thank my team, because we had excellent pace from mid-season on to win nine poles, including six in a row, as well as six wins. Now we will see what the future has in store for me!”
Lorenzo Colombo (MP Motorsport): “It was a real pleasure to race on this circuit this weekend, even more so with two podium finishes. I am quite satisfied with my results this season, like today where I secured the one-two finish for MP Motorsport. This showed that our work paid off although we came up short of the ultimate goal. My season was somewhat opposite of Victor’s with the first-half of the season concluded with three victories in four races. Since the start of the second-half, I have struggled to find a good feeling with the car. You can’t look back, but it’s good to finish on a high note!”
Caio Collet (R-ace GP): “It’s good to finish the season on the podium. I struggled a bit in qualifying and I am sure our potential was a lot better than what we showed this weekend. I think that we could not have aimed for better than third place today as the speed of MP Motorsport, and especially Victor’s, was a step above. However, I have the feeling that the team and I have done a good job this year and I look forward to see what I will be doing in 2020!”
Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP): “I think it will take some time to completely sink in. I didn’t have a good race, but today wasn’t what was important. It was extremely competitive all season long and the 7.5-point gap means little in the end. R-ace GP and MP Motorsport were the two teams to beat this season, which made life easier for me to move up the order when we were struggling. Victor and I had rather similar campaigns. I was a bit faster in the middle of the year while Victor finished strong. I think that we were the two that got the most out of the new Formula Renault. However, we were able to capitalize when we were on form and limit the damage when there were difficulties or when we made mistakes. My target is to move on to the FIA Formula 3 Championship, but nothing is done as yet as I need to look at my different options.”
|1. Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP)||320|
|2. Victor Martins (MP Motorsport)||312.5|
|3. Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP)||255|
|4. Lorenzo Colombo (MP Motorsport)||214.5|
|5. Caio Collet (R-ace GP)||207|
*Results subject to confirmation following technical and sporting checks.