Formula Renault Eurocup leader Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP) was quickest in the collective tests at the Nürburgring. With a best lap of 1:55.850s, the Australian was followed by team mate Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP) and Lorenzo Colombo (MP Motorsport). Renault Sport Academy driver Caio Collet (R-ace GP) set the pace among the rookies.
Following a month-long break, the Formula Renault Eurocup was back in action at 8:45 for the first collective test session of round six of the year.
There were several swaps of the top spot in the opening minutes among Frank Bird (Arden Motorsport) and the trio of MP Motorsport drivers before their R-ace GP rivals and Patrik Pasma (Arden Motorsport) joined the fight.
Alexander Smolyar emerged as the leader after the first 30 minutes before Alex Quinn (Arden Motorsport) kicked off the sprint final. Lorenzo Colombo, Caio Collet and Oscar Piastri all took turns at the sharp end of the order, but Alexander Smolyar rose above the rest with a time of 1:55.883s to lead from Oscar Piastri, Lorenzo Colombo, Caio Collet and Victor Martins.
Oscar Piastri dominated the afternoon session, which was run in much warmer conditions. While Caio Collet and Kush Maini (M2 Competition) each briefly led the way and Alexander Smolyar was on top before the session, the Australian answered eight minutes from the end of play.
Improving several times, the leader in the general classification posted a final lap of 1:55.850s to edge out his Russian team mate. Like in the morning test, Lorenzo Colombo finished ahead of rookie Caio Collet to block an R-ace GP lock-out of the top three places, while Petr Ptáček (Bhaitech Racing) completed the top five.
The first qualifying session will take place tomorrow morning at 8:45, local time. The start of race one of the weekend is scheduled for 13:10.
Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP): “The opening session was mostly a chance to run after the summer hiatus as we all were a bit rusty. The second was excellent in every way and things look good for tomorrow. We have to keep an eye on the rise in temperature between qualifying and the race, but being consistent will be the goal in the second half of the season. Problems outside our control and driver mistakes on my part may have prevented us from having a bigger lead in the championship, but we have learned some lessons and everything is still to play for!”
Lorenzo Colombo (MP Motorsport): “It was good to be back in the car. I was third in both sessions, but there are three tenths of a second to find against the R-ace GP cars. I am sure that my feedback along with Victor’s will lead to us getting the right set-ups for qualifying. That will be the key tomorrow as overtaking is difficult here. The plan for the second half of the season is to reproduce my two meetings before the break in winning as often as possible!”
Alex Quinn (Arden Motorsport): “I learned a lot in my first day in Formula Renault since the 2016 rookie tests. It was quite hard physically after not being in a car for a year. It was a bit of a shock to the system, but I am going to be stronger and stronger and I am thrilled how the two sessions went with a very nicely balanced car and good feedback from my engineer. I haven’t really set any target, as everything except for the team is new to me. I just want to do my best, continue to learn as much as I can and see where it takes me!”
Alex Karkosik (FA Racing by Drivex): “It was a tough first day with an electrical problem this morning and a genuine physical challenge in the afternoon. With the steering wheel close to the body, I think that this Formula Renault is more physically demanding than the Formula Renault 3.5 that I drove in Bahrain. We will see how it goes tomorrow, but the goal will be to keep up with the pack. I am getting back into the swing of things after a year out of the car to concentrate on my studies, but I really hope to close the gap throughout the weekend.”