Coletti comes out on top
After Brendon Hartley's win yesterday, Epsilon Red Bull once again took the honours at the Hungaroring. This time, it was Monaco driver Stefano Coletti's turn to prevail after an impressive solo effort. Markus Niemela (BVM Minardi) scored his first podium finish, while Nelson Panciatici (SG Formula) confirmed that he was back on form.
For once, the first lap saw no incidents and the whole field could go after polesitter Stefano Coletti, who had made the perfect start. Markus Niemela immediately got the better of Nelson Panciatici.
These three were followed by Brendon Hartley, Jules Bianchi (SG Formula), Jaime Alguersuari (Epsilon Red Bull), Frank Kechele (Motopark Academy), Aleix Alcaraz, Mihai Marinescu (District Racing) and Oliver Turvey (Jenzer Motorsport). After sending his car into a spin, Jon Lancaster (SG Formula) missed out on the opportunity to repeat his runner-up spot from race 1.
Hartley fell back to sixth on lap 2, overtaken by Bianchi and Alguersuari. His team-mate Mika MÃ¤ki, at that stage out of the points, was forced to retire due to mechanical problems.
Meanwhile, Coletti pushed hard to build up a two car length lead on the chasing pack, still tightly bunched. Unfortunately, the Monaco driver's lead was wiped out as the safety car came out onto the track at the end of lap 4: Charles Pic (SG Formula) and Simeon Ivanov (BVM Minardi Team) had ran into each other.
After the safety car was withdrawn, the race order changed very little. At the back of the field, Joe Ghanem (Carlin Motorsport) shunted Bianca Steiner, sending her car into a spin. On lap 8, Alguersuari moved past Bianchi, who in any case still had to serve the drive through penalty he received at the Nurburgring. The Frenchman took some consolation by notching up the fastest race lap. Once again, Coletti moved clear and eased to his first race win in Formula Renault 2.0.
Markus Niemela, who had put daylight between himself and Panciatici, could see his rival close up on him with two laps to go. Jaime Alguersuari, Brendon Hartley and Franck Kechele were just behind, waiting to take advantage of any slip-ups.. But in the end, the race order remained unchanged until the chequered flag. In fact, Jaime Alguersuari could count himself lucky, as his engine blew up just after he crossed the finish line!
Seventh place went to Aleix Alcaraz, who scored his first Eurocup points. Ninth and tenth, Oliver Turvey and Henki Waldschmidt (Prema Power Team) limited the damage in terms of the championship.
Stefano Coletti: "This win feels good after a difficult start to the season. We have managed to solve the problems as they have come up with the team and today's win proves that our hard work has begun to pay off. Obviously, I'm happy."
Markus Niemela: "It wasn't an easy race. After yesterday's race, the team had to change the braking system, which had taken a knock in the race. I had to adjust the repairs during the race. This podium-finish gives me confidence for the rest of the season."
Nelson Panciatici: "I would have preferred to win! I made a good start, but Stefano shut me out at the end of the straight and I lost a place at the first corner. After that, I fought hard and managed to hold onto my position, despite pressure from the group that was just behind me."