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Dienstag, 21 Mai 2019 14:32

Who will reign over Monaco?

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For the fourth consecutive year, the Formula Renault Eurocup will be the curtain raiser of the F1 Monaco Grand Prix.

In this unique showcase offered by Renault Sport Racing, the young, up-and-coming drivers will have two races to demonstrate the full extent of their talent in front of motor racing’s power brokers !
Among the most atypical meetings on a calendar that will conclude with a night race in Abu Dhabi, the Monaco round was won by Alain Couderc, Didier Pironi and Dany Snobeck between 1973 and 1977. Since 2016, Sacha Fenestraz, Will Palmer, Alex Peroni and Charles Milesi have won the all-important races in the Principality.
This year it will be an even bigger challenge with a larger, longer and more powerful car, which will forgive even less the least mistake between the guard rails. Only one thing is for sure : at least one driver will add his name to the prestigious list of Monaco race winners !
First trends confirmed ?
After two wins at Silverstone, Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP) heads to Monaco as the leader in the general classification. While the circuit designed by Antony Noghès hasn’t been kind to him last year, the Australian intends to extend his winning streak thanks to the experience of his team, which won with Charles Milesi 12 months ago.
The hunt group is currently led by Victor Martins (MP Motorsport), who is one of the men to keep an eye on this weekend. Third in both races in 2018, the Renault Sport Academy driver is now aiming for the top step of the podium to bring his team a second victory in Monaco after Alex Peroni’s success last year.
Like Oscar Piastri, Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP) will look to count on his team’s past in Monte-Carlo to close the gap to his team mate. This target is shared by Ugo de Wilde (JD Motorsport). The Belgian driver was the first winner of the season and he hopes to quickly adapt to the Monaco specificities after having taken two podium finishes in the streets of Pau in the French F4 Championship last year.
An extremely tight field
Rookie category leader, Ugo de Wilde nevertheless has to be wary of the drivers who are chasing him, led by Kush Maini (M2 Competition) and Lorenzo Colombo (MP Motorsport).
While the Indian driver is about to discover the magic of the street track contrary to the Italian, his performances and consistency since the start of the season makes him one of the most serious contenders at this round. The same goes for Leonardo Lorandi and João Vieira, whose JD Motorsport team is the only structure to have already had all its drivers to finish in the top three this year.
Caio Collet (R-ace GP) could also be one of the main contenders for the win. The Brazilian driver of the Renault Sport Academy was a double-winner at Pau last year in the French F4 Championship and intends to show what he’s got under the watchful eyes of the Renault F1 Team.
In the aftermath of its first podium result in the Formula Renault Eurocup, Bhaitech Racing wants to do it again with Petr Ptáček or Federico Malvestiti, who is eager to bounce back after leaving Silverstone empty-handed.
Despite his experience, Callan O’Keeffe (FA Racing by Drivex) has never raced on a street circuit. The South African will however try to confirm the progress of his team, highlighted by a second row starting position and two eighth places at Silverstone. In the points in the first two meetings of the season, Patrik Pasma (Arden Motorsport) and Yves Baltas (M2 Competition) also head to Monaco with huge ambitions.
Winning returns ?
Absent from Silverstone due to their double programmes with the FIA Formula 3 Championship, Sebastián Fernández (Arden Motorsport) and Alessio Deledda (Global Racing Series) do not intend to miss their return to Monaco.
After leaving Silverstone without points, Frank Bird (Arden Motorsport) – who already raced at Monaco in 2017 and 2018 – and Amaury Cordeel (MP Motorsport) are aiming for a fast return to the top ten while this round will be the opportunity for other drivers to get their first points on the board.
Coming close to scoring points in Great Britain, Xavier Lloveras (Global Racing Service) will use his experience of the track to do it this weekend while Patrick Schott (FA Racing by Drivex) and Brad Benavides (FA Racing by Drivex) will try to kick-start their rookie campaigns. Last but not least, Lucas Alecco Roy (M2 Competition) will try to convert his promising debut two weeks ago at Silverstone into a spot in the top ten.
Scheduled for Saturday at 10:15 and Sunday at 12h00, the two Formula Renault Eurocup races will be aired on the Renault Sport Series Facebook page as well as the Renault Sport YouTube channel.
Fast facts
  • 2 For the only time this season, the drivers will be split into two qualifying groups. The drivers in the slower group will line up on the odd number positions on the Saturday grid, while the fastest will line up on the same positions on Sunday.
  • 3 Three open-wheel categories will be in action at Monaco : the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, the FIA Formula 2 Championship and the Formula Renault Eurocup.
  • 30 minutes plus one lap. The Monaco races are now as long as the other races on the calendar.
  • 100%. The pole winner has always won in Monaco since the return of the Formula Renault Eurocup to the Principality in 2016.
  • 1973, the year of the first Formula Renault race held in Monaco.
Thursday May 23

8:00–8:50 - Free Practice
Friday May 24

7:55–8:25 - Qualifying (Group A)

8:33–9:03 - Qualifying (Group B)
Saturday May 25

10:15–10:50 - Race 1
Sunday May 26

12:00–12:35 - Race 2
Entry list

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