Who will get the go in the F1 car? The season is in full swing in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series and Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin) arrives in the Czech Republic with a seven point lead over Daniel Ricciardo (Tech 1 Racing), while Sten Pentus ...
Who will get the go in the F1 car?
The season is in full swing in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series and Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin) arrives in the Czech Republic with a seven point lead over Daniel Ricciardo (Tech 1 Racing), while Sten Pentus (Fortec Motorsport), in third place, lies in ambush. At the end of the two races at Brno, the leader of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series will earn the privilege of performing the Renault F1 Team exhibition at the next World Series by Renault meeting. Another incentive to go for broke...
The World Series by Renault will be setting up shop in the Czech Republic at Brno for the very first time. So this will also be the first time that Formula Renault 3.5 Series takes to a circuit that some qualify as a little Spa-Francorchamps. The track has a mix of average and quick bends and ups and downs, and that makes it pretty constraining for the chassis. For many drivers, Brno will be totally new, but certainly not for Jan Charouz (P1 Motorsport) and Filip Salaquarda (ISR), the two Czech drivers participating in the Series.
Winner of the Le Mans Series in 2009 and 4th in the Le Mans 24 Hours race, Jan Charouz is making a hugely successful return to single-seat racing this season. The Renault F1 Team reserve driver has already shown how well he has been able to assimilate the Formula Renault 3.5 Series car, qualifying in third place in the grid at Motorland Aragón. After five races, he already has five points to his credit and is counting on the Brno leg to claim his first podium in the discipline. Jan Charouz will also have the privilege of doing the Renault F1 Team exhibition at the Brno circuit. He will become the third Czech driver behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car, after Tomas Enge in 2001 and Jarek Janis in 2003.
Filip Salaquarda knows he has a car that can win, as proven by his team mate Esteban Guerrieri who took the ISR team's first victory in Formula Renault 3.5 Series, in just his third race in the discipline. After three consecutive retirements and one 15th place finish at Spa-Francorchamps, Filip Salaquarda chalked up his first points in the streets of Monaco and now has his sights set on the podium.
But the Czech drivers will find themselves up against championship leader, Mikhail Aleshin, who will be looking to forge ahead with another win on a circuit he too knows well, having raced there and been on the podium last season. The Moscovite is the only driver to have taken two wins this season, but he admits he's not interested in managing his lead yet, only going for more wins! With only seven points more than Daniel Ricciardo, he will have to contend with the mounting ambitions of the Australian. After race 2 at Brno, the leader in the overall standings will be invited to perform the Renault F1 Team exhibition at the next meeting of the World Series by Renault, at Magny-Cours.
Boosted by his victory in the streets of Monaco last week, in the curtain-raiser ahead of the F1 Grand Prix won by Mark Webber, Ricciardo's fellow countryman and team mate within the Red Bull Racing team, the Australian driver is hungry for more now. And the 2009 British Formula 3 Champion is not hiding his title ambitions any more.
But Ricciardo is not the only threat for the Russian driver. Sten Pentus, winner at Motorland and second at Spa, Sefano Coletti (Comtec Racing), twice on the podium at Spa and Albert Costa (Epsilon Euskadi), on the podium in Formula Renault 3.5 Series for the first time of his career at Monaco, all have their chances. Daniel Zampieri (Pons Racing), despite a slip-up at Monaco, is also in with a shout, as is Brendon Hartley (Tech 1 Racing). Hartley is a Red Bull Racing F1 reserve driver, just like his team mate Daniel Ricciardo, and the New Zealander will need to do better in qualifying, still his weak point for the moment, if he wants to take his first victory in Formula Renault 3.5 Series.
The cars will run in Saturday's race with the light aerodynamic configuration. Both the weekend's races will be broadcast live on Eurosport, on Saturday June 5 and Sunday June 6, at 1pm CET.