A double top-10 for Julien Jousse! The fourth round of the World Series took place on the Hungaroring, close to Budapest, last weekend. It was an event of mixed fortunes for Tech 1 Racing: Alvaro Parente came away from...
A double top-10 for Julien Jousse!
The fourth round of the World Series took place on the Hungaroring, close to Budapest, last weekend. It was an event of mixed fortunes for Tech 1 Racing: Alvaro Parente came away from the weekend with no points, but Julien Jousse stepped up a gear and scored in both races.
The Hungaroring is tight, twisty and dusty with hardly any overtaking opportunities: not the ideal territory for the powerful Formula Renault 3.5 cars. On Thursday, the Tech 1 Racing team had their work cut out to adapt the set-up of the Formula Renault 3.5 to this very specific circuit.
Unfortunately, Alvaro Parente did not get a proper chance during qualifying. A mechanical problem with the suspension made his car very difficult to drive, and the Portuguese had to settle for the fifth row -- just behind his team mate Julien Jousse. The Frenchman could have qualified within the top two rows had he not gone off the track during his final flying lap -- which judging from his two previous sector times, would have been his quickest.
Saturday's race included an obligatory pit stop, and Tech 1 Racing's drivers both hoped to make up some places. But July 14 was simply not Alvaro's day: a jammed wheel nut caused him to lose about 10 seconds in the pits. Impatient to make up the time lost, he spun on the 10th lap and was forced to retire.
In the meantime, Julien Jousse was enjoying his strongest race of the year. After a rapid pit stop, the Frenchman found himself in amongst the leaders. Running between Sebastian Vettel and Giedo van der Garde -- two F1 test drivers -- the rookie had a faultless run to the finish and took an excellent fifth place.
Julien therefore started Sunday's race from sixth position, while Alvaro had to settle for the 13th row. Jousse was fourth at the end of the first lap, and managed to hold off Vettel until lap eight. The Tech 1 Racing driver made a small mistake that cost him three places, but he still finished seventh and scored four extra points in the championship. Alvaro's nightmare continued, as he had to retire following another spin.
Despite this setback, team boss Simon Abadie was pleased with many aspects of the Hungaroring weekend. " We started the race meeting with a slight performance deficit compared to the others, " he said. " But as we completed more laps, we found those two or three tenths of a second that enabled us to be right up there with the frontrunners. Alvaro's problems have meant that we have played our joker now, so we will have to make sure that there are no further problems for the rest of the year. Our objective is to be back on winning form again at Spa. By contrast, Julien has enjoyed his best weekend of the year so far. His performances have been contained since Monza, but now he has proved his speed on a circuit that is fundamentally different. He did admittedly make two mistakes, but leaving those aside, he is definitely on the right road towards consistent top 10 finishes. "
The team's motivation will be at its highest for the next races at Spa-Francorchamps, from August 18-19. Simon added: "There is everything still to play for. We are not going to get rattled and we will just continue to work hard. Every member of the team is aware that we cannot afford mistakes in such a highly-competitive championship. These types of character-building setback just serve to give us extra maturity."
-credit: tech 1 racing