EU 2.0: Series Estoril preview

Things go from bad to worse for Ricciardo! The state of play is rapidly changing from one day to the next in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0! Daniel Ricciardo (SG Formula) looked to be heading straight for the title. However, since September ...

Things go from bad to worse for Ricciardo!

The state of play is rapidly changing from one day to the next in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0! Daniel Ricciardo (SG Formula) looked to be heading straight for the title. However, since September Roberto Merhi (Epsilon Euskadi) and Valtteri Bottas (Motopark Academy) have dominated, with Andrea Caldarelli (SG Formula) also picking up points. Ricciardo and Caldarelli are now tied in the lead whilst Bottas and Merhi are trailing just a few points behind...

The end of the season is often full of surprises in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. Spectacular finishes by Kamui Kobayashi (2005), Filipe Albuquerque (2006) and Jon Lancaster (2007) in particular spring to mind. There's no reason why the 2008 season should be any different!

The closer we get to the moment of truth, the tighter the competition at the top of the overall standings. Since the start of September, Daniel Ricciardo has been struggling. Despite taking first place at Spa-Francorchamps, Silverstone and then Budapest his luck seems to be wearing thin at the moment! In the four races held at the Nurburgring and Le Mans, the Australian only made it to the podium once. He desperately needs to return to his winning ways, since his rivals have been making the most of his recent setbacks to make up ground.

Roberto Merhi and Valtteri Bottas have been on form since the end of summer. With the pressure off after picking up his first pole position, then claiming his first race win at the Nurburgring, Roberto Mehri has finished the last four races on the podium, including two on the highest step! Aged 17, the Spaniard seems to have raised the stakes over the summer - and he has no intention of stopping there!

Valtteri Bottas's record has been just as good since September. With two victories, one second place and one third place finish, the Finnish driver has bounced back following a disastrous weekend in Hungary where he came away with no points. Bottas kept his cool when dealing with his bad luck, as is so often the case with good Finnish drivers...

Andrea Caldarelli is not yet out of the running. It is true that the Italian is still looking for his first win of the season, but in finishing as runner-up five times and in third place three times, the SG Formula driver has made a virtue of consistency. Caldarelli has definitely been the main beneficiary of his teammate Daniel Ricciardo's run of bad luck, joining him at the top of the Eurocup standings. A win would be enough to gain the upper hand over his rivals. The title is within reach!

Mathematically speaking, Tobias Hegewald (Motopark Academy) and Cesar Ramos (BVM Minardi Team) may still be contenders for the championship, but with a 49 and 60 point deficit respectively, their chances are looking slim. Hegewald and Ramos, along with Albert Costa (Epsilon Euskadi) and Jean-Eric Vergne (SG Formula) will almost certainly have a role to play in settling the duel between the leaders. They are inching closer and closer to the leaders and, with nothing to lose, they will be giving it their all to finish the season on a high with a race win.

-credit: wsbyrenault.com

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Series Formula Renault
Drivers Kamui Kobayashi , Tobias Hegewald , Daniel Ricciardo , Albert Costa , Jon Lancaster , Roberto Merhi , Andrea Caldarelli , Valtteri Bottas , Jean-Eric Vergne