Merhi and Bottas share the poles Untouchable since the start of testing, Valtteri Bottas (Motopark Academy) was caught out in the SuperPole by Roberto Merhi (Epsilon Euskadi). The young Spanish driver thus claimed his first pole position in ...
Merhi and Bottas share the poles
Untouchable since the start of testing, Valtteri Bottas (Motopark Academy) was caught out in the SuperPole by Roberto Merhi (Epsilon Euskadi). The young Spanish driver thus claimed his first pole position in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. Bottas made up for it by taking pole for Sunday's race.
The morning mist was still visible as the Group B drivers took to the track. Andrea Caldarelli (SG Formula) took the lead ahead of Roberto Merhi (Epsilon Euskadi), Albert Costa (Epsilon Euskadi), Anton Nebilitsky (SG Formula) and Jean-Eric Vergne (SG Formula). The times improved, the positions changed and Roberto Merhi had grabbed pole with a lap of 1'58"307 ahead of Caldarelli, Vergne and Costa, but the session was interrupted two minutes from the end when Richard Campollo (Epsilon Euskadi) crashed out. At the restart, Cesar Ramos (BVM Minardi Team) and Miki Monras (Hitech Team) took advantage to climb into the top twelve and qualify for the SuperPole.
Dean Smith (Fotec Motorsport) was the first Group A driver to set a time worth noting. But shortly afterwards, Daniel Ricciardo (SG Formula) knocked him off first place with a lap of 1'58''252. Then Valtteri Bottas (Motorpark Academy) went on the offensive! The Finn completed his first flying lap in 1'57'558, then bettered it with a time of 1'57''462. Paul Mejier (Epsilon Sport) and Daniel Ricciardo battled for second position. Mejier gained the upper hand and finished second ahead of Ricciardo, Smith and Richard Singleton (Hitech Junior Team).
The drivers chose to wait before vying for the fastest time. Sergio Campana (Prema Powerteam) took the lead. Ten minutes from the chequered flag, the favourites went into action.
Roberto Merhi, Andrea Caldarelli then Jean-Eric Vergne held the provisional pole position from lap to lap. Then Valtteri Bottas, on his second flying lap, had the final say. He snatched pole with a lap of 1'57''958.
Roberto Merhi immediately struck back and took the lead in 1'57''748. Bottas tried to reclaim it but was unable to beat the lap time set by the young Spaniard. 17-year old Roberto Merhi took his first pole position in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Jean-Eric Vergne. The German, Tobias Hegewald (Motopark Academy) put in a strong performance and qualified on the fifth row.
Valtteri Bottas can be pleased with the second-best time which gave him pole position in the second race, his fourth, ahead of Roberto Merhi and Jean-Eric Vergne.
Roberto Mehri: "This is my first pole position in the Eurocup. I'm very happy, Bottas is very quick but I was able to get ahead of him. I'm hoping for a win."
Valtteri Bottas: "I wasn't able to drive a perfect lap, there were always little mistakes. I'll be in pole position for the start of the second race and I'm hoping to win."