Final push before the holidays The gap may have fluctuated, but Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin) has led the Formula Renault 3.5 Series since the first race of the season. More motivated than ever after performing the Renault F1 Team exhibition ...
Final push before the holidays
The gap may have fluctuated, but Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin) has led the Formula Renault 3.5 Series since the first race of the season. More motivated than ever after performing the Renault F1 Team exhibition at Magny-Cours, the Russian driver is determined to win the title and the F1 test which goes with it. But Daniel Ricciardo (Tech 1 Racing) is only nine points behind, while Esteban Guerrieri (ISR) is seventeen points adrift for the moment. Mikhail Aleshin needs to stand firm in Budapest, before heading off for what will be a well-deserved summer break.
The Hungaroring hosts the sixth leg of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. In the July heat, the Hungarian roller coaster will be as demanding on the mechanics as on the drivers themselves. Just before the two-month long summer break, the twenty-four drivers in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series will be giving it their all to try to change the standings in their favour.
For Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Guerrieri, the goal is to unseat Mikhail Aleshin from first place before the season enters the final straight that will take them to Hockenheim, then on to Silverstone and Barcelona. However the Russian driver shows no sign of letting go of the leadership. Far from being overwhelmed by the Renault F1 Team exhibition that he got to perform at Magny-Cours, Mikhail Aleshin actually extended his lead in the French round, claiming his third race win of the season. Even if Budapest has never really been his best circuit, the main thing for the Muscovite will be to contain his rivals in the heat of Hungary.
Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Guerrieri were dangerously close to Mikhail Aleshin after the races at Brno, but the gaps widened again at Magny-Cours. With four pole positions on the clock, Daniel Ricciardo, who is competing in his first season in Formula Renault 3.5 Series, has already been on the podium four times and won once in the streets of Monaco. The Australian needs to pocket a second victory asap to sew a seed of doubt or two in Aleshin's mind.
The on-form man of the moment is certainly Esteban Guerrieri. Like Mikhail Aleshin, the Argentinean driver has already won three races this year. Yet the season had got off to an inauspicious start for him, with three consecutive retirements. Since then he has really been on song, notching up a series of good results from Spa-Francorchamps onwards, both in qualifying and in racing. Set against the youth of Daniel Ricciardo (age 20), Esteban Guerrieri's experience (at 25), could serve him well. Ricciardo and Guerrieri are there in waiting, ready to take advantage of the slightest sign of weakness from Aleshin.
Behind the leading trio, the positions are tight with six drivers grouped in fourteen points. Among them Sten Pentus (Fortec Motorsport), 4th, and Nathanaël Berthon (International Draco Racing), 5th, each have one win to their name this season. Stefano Coletti (Comtec Racing), Brendon Hartley (Tech 1 Racing), Albert Costa (Epsilon Euskadi) and Daniel Zampieri (Pons Racing) have already been on the podium, but are chasing their first victory. They have all shown consistent form in racing and are by no means mere spectators in the fight between Aleshin, Ricciardo and Guerrieri. They are all still in with a chance in the drivers' championship stakes.
In the teams' standings, it's Tech 1 Racing who have stretched out a healthy lead, twenty-four points ahead of Carlin and ISR. Simon Abadie's team, looking for their third team title in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, are counting on Daniel Ricciardo and Brendon Hartley to further extend their lead. In second and third place, the Carlin and ISR teams are just a point apart and fourth placed Fortec Motorsport are not far behind.