Daniel Ricciardo in a class of his own On terrific form in this race, Daniel Ricciardo (SG Formula) once again proved himself the man of the moment in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. Starting from pole position the Australian claimed his third ...
Daniel Ricciardo in a class of his own
On terrific form in this race, Daniel Ricciardo (SG Formula) once again proved himself the man of the moment in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. Starting from pole position the Australian claimed his third victory in five races. His teammate Andrea Caldarelli (SG Formula) finished second benefitting from the retirement Valtteri Bottas (Motopark Academy) to take second place in the overall standings.
In intense heat and with the stands packed, the three SG Formula cars of Daniel Ricciardo, Andrea Caldarelli and Jean-0x00c9ric Vergne monopolized the front of the grid. At the start, all eyes were on Roberto Merhi (Epsilon Euskadi), fourth, as he had to take all the risks to muscle his way into the group.
As the race began, Caldarelli drew alongside Ricciardo who fought back, confidently taking the lead. In the main field, many of the drivers made contact, Anton Nebilitsky (SG Formula), Dean Smith (Fortec Motorsport), St0x00e9phane Richelmi (Epsilon Sport) and Carlos Mu0x00f1oz (Epsilon Euskadi) losing out in a big way. Starting in twenty-fifth position, Valtteri Bottas was also involved in the tussle, falling back into the depths of the race order before retiring.
Behind the two leaders, Merhi began to put pressure on Vergne before the first lap had finished. Vergne ran wide, losing two places to the Epsilon Euskadi drivers, Roberto Merhi and Albert Costa.
Daniel Ricciardo got away unchallenged, while Andrea Caldarelli held off Roberto Merhi and Albert Costa. Costa looked for a way past his teammate who countered well. A little further back, Jean-0x00c9ric Vergne had to watch out for Cesar Ramos (BVM Minardi Team) and Tobias Hegewald (Motopark Academy).
At the mid-point in the race, Daniel Ricciardo was building up quite a lead over Andrea Caldarelli. The Italian took advantage of the battle between the two Epsilon Sport cars enlarge the gap. Costa tried to take advantage of Merhi at the end of the start-finish straight. He passed his team-mate, but braked too late and span off the track, rejoining the race in ninth place. Merhi kept his third position, but found himself on the lookout for Vergne, Ramos and Hegewald.
Up in front, the positions would remain the same. Daniel Ricciardo extended his lead in the championship with a third victory this season, ahead of Andrea Caldarelli and Roberto Merhi. The leader at the start of the race, Albert Costa, managed to claw back two places to finish seventh.
Daniel Ricciardo: "Taking my two first pole positions of the season was already one success. It wasn't easy holding Andrea off at the start. We took a lot of corners side by side. But my car was becoming more and more comfortable to drive and I was able to build up a lead."
Andrea Caldarelli: "I knew the only way to overtake Daniel was to get a better start than him. When I saw that I wasn't going to get past him, I didn't force the issue. I knew it would be tough for Bottas to score points today, second place suits me fine."
Roberto Mehri: "I made a good start, but soon I had too much over-steer. Albert Costa caught up with me. We need to be careful, because it's always difficult to race against team mates. He went off from braking too late. After that I held it together till the finish. I need to work hard to do better tomorrow."