Boost for Bottas With the four-man battle for the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 between Valtteri Bottas (Motopark Academy), Roberto Merhi (Epsilon Euskadi), Andrea Caldarelli (SG Formula) and Daniel Ricciardo (SG Formula) set to continue this ...
Boost for Bottas
With the four-man battle for the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 between Valtteri Bottas (Motopark Academy), Roberto Merhi (Epsilon Euskadi), Andrea Caldarelli (SG Formula) and Daniel Ricciardo (SG Formula) set to continue this weekend, Bottas gained a valuable psychological edge by clocking the day's fastest time. Ricciardo, meanwhile, made an early exit...
The sun was still shining, and so was Valtteri Bottas... Tristan Vautier (SG Formula), Gabriel Dias (Fortec Motorsport) and Johan Jokinen (IQuick) were all impressive early on, the Danish driver taking the lead with a time of 1'37"361.
The weather conditions were ideal and quicker times followed as the end of the session approached. Michele Faccin (Jenzer Motorsport) briefly climbed to the top of the time sheets, but Valtteri Bottas was yet to have his say. The Finn was the first to drop below the 1'37 mark. Times of 1'36''530 then 1'36''507 put him head and shoulders above his rivals.
In warmer conditions, the afternoon session was a quieter affair. With five minutes to go, Tristan Vautier was leading. Albert Costa (Epsilon Euskadi) was the first man to better him, before history repeated itself as Valtteri Bottas claimed the lead. Bottas did not improve on his time from the morning, but still came out with the fastest time of the session, with Michele Faccin in second.
In Group 1, Jean-Eric Vergne (SG Formula) was the first man to really hit his stride. The Frenchman took an early lead, before Alex Morgan (Fortec Motorsport) dislodged him midway through the session.
Daniel Ricciardo then strung together a series of rapid times. The Australian improved lap on lap. A time of 1'37''093 put him top of the pile, with Morgan second and Pal Varhaug (Jenzer Motorsport) in third. The action was then interrupted as Antonio Felix da Costa (Motopark Academy) crashed off.
The afternoon session was notable initially for Daniel Ricciardo's crash. Daniel lost control of his car on the second bend and hit the safety railings. He would take no further part in proceedings.
Roberto Merhi, who had had a quiet time of things so far in testing here, will be feeling more confident after clocking the fastest time of the afternoon, ahead of Pal Varhaug. The Spaniard's time was well short of that set by Valtteri Bottas, however. The title race is still very much on!
Valtteri Bottas: "We have had two really good days of testing. Our car is performing well on new tyres and old. I need to put in a similar performance tomorrow, but this was a good start to the weekend. It puts a bit of pressure on my rivals. But I mustn't think about them. I just have to stay focused on my goal."
Roberto Merhi: "I'm feeling a little better this afternoon, but my time was still well short of Bottas's! I got stuck in the pack this morning. But our setup is much better than yesterday."