Tech 1 Racing shines in Budapest The Tech 1 Racing team scored its second victory of the season on the Hungaroring - and did it in style! On Saturday, Daniel Ricciardo pulled off a clean sweep with pole, victory and the fastest lap in the ...
Tech 1 Racing shines in Budapest
The Tech 1 Racing team scored its second victory of the season on the Hungaroring - and did it in style! On Saturday, Daniel Ricciardo pulled off a clean sweep with pole, victory and the fastest lap in the race. Tech 1 Racing left Hungary with a 26-point lead in the teams' championship, while Ricciardo is currently lying second in the drivers' ratings, 11 points behind the leader.
Hungary has often been a happy hunting ground for Tech 1 Racing. This year was no exception, and the Toulouse-based team made a big impression in the super-hot ambience of the Hungaroring in front of 135 000 spectators. After hard-working free practice sessions in which Ricciardo and Brendon Hartley adjusted the setup of their cars, the first qualifying session saw the Tech 1 drivers put on a demonstration.
In the light aero setup, Ricciardo set his fifth pole position of the year, and the two cars in the Red Bull Junior team colours almost locked out the front row. The championship leader managed to split the two Tech 1 drivers with the Australian on pole and the New Zealander third.
Ricciardo scored a flag-to-flag win and was far and away the quickest driver on the track as proved by his fastest lap. He finished 13 seconds in front of the second-placed car, despite having his early lead reduced to nothing by a safety car intervention. Hartley fell back to fourth at the start where he finished after fending off his pursuers.
"Saturday was perfect," laughed a delighted Simon Abadie, the Tech 1 Racing team manager. "Daniel dominated and was uncatchable. Had it not been for the safety car, he'd have won by twenty seconds. He really needed that second victory, which came just a couple of days after his twenty-first birthday, in front of his family and his childhood friends who all arrived from Australia. Brendon too was very quick. He fluffed his start and he deserved to finish third. He drove a superb race, and he fought like a lion right till the end and tried everything on a circuit where overtaking is virtually impossible."
On Sunday all the cars were in normal aero trim. Qualifying didn't go off quite so well as Ricciardo finished seventh and Hartley tenth. The race followed the same pattern. Daniel saw the flag in sixth place and the Brendon in ninth. "We don't yet know the reason why, but in the second race, we were down on performance," said Abadie. "We were the quickest in the light aero setup and then on Sunday we ran into problems with more downforce. We've got to analyse the reasons in the cold light of day.
"In terms of performance and results it's been a good weekend. Daniel's victory on Saturday made people sit up and take notice and we've made the break in the teams' classification. On the other hand, it hasn't been a great weekend in the drivers' ratings for Daniel in terms of points, as he arrived nine points behind the leader, Mikhail Aleshin: he leaves eleven points in arrears. But it's not a big gap and it's still all up for grabs. Now, it's important to bag a large haul of points at each race and finish in front of the Russian every time."
"Daniel is only in his first season in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, and his main rival for the title is now in his third year in the formula. If he wins this season he will equal Robert Kubica's feat in 2005^a"
The Formula Renault 3.5 Series now has a 2-month break. The next round will take place at the start of September on the Hockenheim circuit in Germany. It'll be the World Series by Renault's first visit to the German track. "We've got six races to make the difference. We're going to do our utmost to win both titles," concluded Abadie.