SG Formula's Hungarian Double Double The racing team from La Rochelle finished its weekend in Hungary as it had begun - with a resounding success! It started with a 1-2-3 in the Superpole session for Daniel Ricciardo, Andrea Caldarelli and ...
SG Formula's Hungarian Double Double
The racing team from La Rochelle finished its weekend in Hungary as it had begun - with a resounding success! It started with a 1-2-3 in the Superpole session for Daniel Ricciardo, Andrea Caldarelli and Jean-Eric Vergne which took them to the three front lines of the grid in both races, and finished in style with 1-2's at the finish!
Daniel Ricciardo had dominated proceedings during practice before the meeting so it was no surprise to see him come through his qualifying group with the best time. The Red Bull Junior Team man was also the quickest in the Superpole session, ahead of team-mate Andrea Caldarelli, who is a member of the Toyota Drivers Program.
It remained to be seen if the pair could maintain their form in race conditions, but the SG Formula drivers quickly dispelled any doubts. Daniel put paid to any opposition, both on the Saturday and the Sunday. 2nd placed man Andrea also put enough distance between himself and the rest of the field to avoid any danger in race 1, but in Sunday's race he had to work harder.
Rookie Jean-Eric Vergne started both races in 3rd place on the grid. He would have dearly liked to make it a triple podium success for his team, and he came close doing it. He lost two places at the start due to a clutch problem on the Saturday, and was only able to make up one place in the race. He got off to a good start on the Sunday and tried a late braking move to get past Andrea Caldarelli into 2nd place. But team-mate Andrea resisted well and Jean-Eric held back sportingly. This left room for Hegevald to slip past Jean-Eric, who then found himself locked in battle with two Epsilon Euskadi cars. However, SG Formula's other Red Bull Junior Team man held on valiantly and for the second time in the meeting he pocketed the points for coming 4th. In doing so he got his best Eurocup results and put himself back in the running in the championship.
Russian driver Anton Nebylitskiy just never managed to get going at this central European rendez-vous. On the other hand, Ramez Azzam came away from Hungary with a 16th and a 20th finishing places, after having the satisfaction of being one of the 24 drivers to qualify via the Superpole. These are not bad results considering that Ramez is one of the least-experienced drivers in the field, either in karting or car racing.
Both SG Formula and Daniel Ricciardo significantly increased their respective leads in the championship standings. Andrea Caldarelli moved into 2nd place in the standings, and Jean-Eric Vergne jumped from 15th to 8th.
Team-manager Stephane Guerin couldn't hide his joy and had a broad smile on his face on Sunday evening: "It's very unusual at Eurocup level to see a team pick up first and second in both races. It's the first time it happens to us at SG Formula and this is a very positive result for us. Daniel and Andrea are two guys who work very well together and the whole team benefits. It was very sporting of Jean-Eric to back off as he was trying to get past Andrea but unfortunately it made him lose his pace and he paid for it by dropping a place. There is nothing to worry about, Jean-Eric is regularly among the top five drivers in Europe. This is his maiden season in Formula Renault 2.0, and here in Hungary he was the best-placed rookie both during qualifying and in the two races. "
There will be no summer break for SG Formula! They have a full programme lined up in Formula 3, starting with Zandvoort next July 12-13. On the other hand, Formula Renault 2.0 will be taking a break until the end of August, when the team will return to the Nurburgring, where it was victorious in 2007.