EU 2.0: Series Hungaroring test notes 2008-07-03

After the fast Spa-Francorchamps and Silverstone circuits, the racing now turns to the serpentine Hungaroring. The challenge has changed, but the story was the same as Daniel Ricciardo (SG Formula), Valtteri Bottas (Motopark Academy) and Roberto...

After the fast Spa-Francorchamps and Silverstone circuits, the racing now turns to the serpentine Hungaroring. The challenge has changed, but the story was the same as Daniel Ricciardo (SG Formula), Valtteri Bottas (Motopark Academy) and Roberto Mehri (Epsilon Euskadi) took the lead right from the start of the four hours of collective testing.

The heat was already stifling for the first day of collective testing at the Hungaroring. Four hours of driving were on the programme in preparation for the third meeting of the season.

During the first session, the fastest time changed hands several times. In fact, the majority of the forty-one drivers in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 had to learn the twists and turns of this tortuous circuit. At the beginning of the session, Daniel Ricciardo, Andrea Caldarelli (SG Formula) and Richard Singleton (Hitech Junior) fought for first place. By the half-way point, it was Daniel Ricciardo who had the upper hand with a time of 1'46''055.

On a circuit which increases its grip with each passing lap, the times improved. The main field improved constantly and Paul Meijer (Epsilon Sport) took the top spot. Winner of the second race of the season at Spa-Francorchamps, Meijer was back and looking perfectly at home in his new team.

At the end of the session, it was Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo who once again battled for first place. Bottas nosed ahead with a time of 1'45''293, but the leader of Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 rose to the challenge and set the best time of the morning in 1'44''920.

In the afternoon, during the second session, the drivers were staying out on track for extended periods. Consequently, it was some time before the laps set during the morning session were bettered. Halfway through the session, Daniel Ricciardo took the lead ahead of Jenzer Motorsport divers Pal Varhaug and Michele Faccin. At that point, no fewer than 26 drivers were within a second of each other.

It was soon the turn of the Epsilon-Euskadi to show themselves off as Albert Costa then Roberto Mehri improved on Ricciardo's time to beat. The Australian, however, struck back at the very end of the session. With a lap clocked at 1'44''372, he turned in the performance of the day.

In a quieter second session, his arch-rival Valtteri Bottas managed to sneak back into second place right at the finish. Mehri was therefore relegated to third place, ahead of Albert Costa and the surprising Christophe Zanella (Race Performance).

Daniel Ricciardo: "We found the perfect rhythm. We've tried different set-ups and I think that now we're going in the right direction. This is the first time I've driven on this circuit, it's quite diff0x00e9rent to anything we've seen so far this season. Valtteri Bottas is right behind me, I really need to try and beat him in qualifying!"

Valtteri Bottas: "On the old tyres, we weren't we really weren't very competitive. We've done a lot of driving, we've worked hard and at the end of the day we've opted for something that works well on new tyres. We've still got time to make improvements tomorrow. It's hot, it's important to have a car that won't work the rubber too hard."

Roberto Mehri: "It's going to be very important for me to win this weekend, to grab some points. Plus I could use a win for morale. I've come close a number of times, but I've still not got the results!"

-credit: wsbyrenault.com

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Series Formula Renault
Drivers Daniel Ricciardo , Albert Costa , Andrea Caldarelli , Michele Faccin , Pal Varhaug , Valtteri Bottas , Paul Meijer
Teams Jenzer Motorsport