Four races to go - ten points and two titles at stake! At Hockenheim, Daniel Ricciardo scored another victory, his third of the season, and he still has every chance of winning the drivers' title. Thanks to this success and the points scored by...
Four races to go - ten points and two titles at stake!
At Hockenheim, Daniel Ricciardo scored another victory, his third of the season, and he still has every chance of winning the drivers' title. Thanks to this success and the points scored by Jean-Eric Vergne on his Formula Renault 3.5 Series debut, Tech 1 Racing has increased its lead in the teams' championship. The Toulouse-based squad is preparing flat out for two crucial meetings at Silverstone in a few days, and Barcelona in October for the final.
The Formula Renault 3.5 Series pitched its tent on the Hockenheim circuit for the first time. Things got off to an ideal start for Tech 1 Racing as Daniel Ricciardo set a searing pace straight away with the fastest time in free practice. Jean-Eric Vergne, the recently-crowned British F3 Champion, began his collaboration with the team in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series with the twelfth-quickest time.
On Saturday in the low downforce aero configuration, Ricciardo and Vergne tackled qualifying full of confidence. The Australian in dominant form bagged his sixth pole of the season, a record for the series. The Frenchman set the eleventh time, but was penalized for non-respect of the racing line. Thus, he was sent to the rear of the grid for his first FR 3.5 start.
Ricciardo scored a flag-to-flag victory, his third in 2010, and closed the gap to Mikhail Aleshin in the championship to 2 points. Vergne made a great start to the race, and overtook several cars finishing in eleventh place.
If everything went off perfectly on Saturday, Lady Luck frowned on the team on Sunday. "We didn't have a good qualifying session," admitted Simon Abadie, the Tech 1 Racing Team Manager. ""We had the speed, and when our two drivers were on their quickest lap with new tyres heated to the right temperature, the red flag was shown and they had to lift off." The result was that Daniel started from tenth place and Jean-Eric from fourteenth.
Both drivers made a great get-away and fought their way up to the front-runners. "It all began well. Daniel was fifth just behind Aleshin, and Jean-Eric seventh. After the obligatory pit stop Daniel emerged in front of Mikhail. Unfortunately he was handed a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane. This dashed his hopes of scoring any points. We're very skeptical about this drive-through, as we can't find any trace of it in the data. To add to our bad luck, Daniel Zampieri who was second was disqualified after the race helping Aleshin to snatch more points."
The Australian finished eleventh and did not add to his tally. Vergne drove a very solid race, and taking the fight to to Aleshin at the end of the race, he opened his score in the FR 3.5 Series with fifth place.
"First of all, I'd like to congratulate Jean-Eric for a very good first weekend in the championship. Daniel too had a great weekend; he was by far the quickest driver on the track. But after closing the gap to Aleshin on Saturday it was a shame to lose points again on Sunday. But he's only ten points behind the Russian at present. Silverstone and Barcelona are two circuits on which we generally go very well, so we have to prepare for the races in a calm state of mind. In the teams' title chase we've got a thirty-three point lead, so it's looking good. But for us the most important thing is for Daniel to be crowned champion."
-source: tech 1