Bottas strikes a blow As expected, the four big names in winter testing proved that they are the drivers to look out for this season, by taking the first four places on the front two rows of the grid. Valtteri Bottas (Motopark Academy) achieved...
Bottas strikes a blow
As expected, the four big names in winter testing proved that they are the drivers to look out for this season, by taking the first four places on the front two rows of the grid. Valtteri Bottas (Motopark Academy) achieved a good result, taking both pole positions in front of Daniel Ricciardo (SG Formula), Andrea Caldarelli (SG Formula) and Roberto Merhi (Epsilon Euskadi).
The weather was ideal the first SuperPole of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. On the pace immediately, Valtteri Bottas turned in the best time of 2'20''579, ahead of Roberto Merhi and Siso Cunill (Jenzer Motorsport).
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (BVM Minardi Team) moved into second position, while a good number of drivers were still setting their times, including the SG Formula drivers. At the session's half way stage, the driver order was as follows: Valtteri Bottas, Adrian Quaife-Hobbs, Roberto Merhi, Siso Cunill and Mathieu Arzeno (Epsilon Sport).
It was not until the second part of the session that the SG Formula drivers came out. Daniel Ricciardo snatched pole in front of Jean-0x00c9ric Vergne. Then Andrea Caldarelli set the fastest lap time. Valtteri Bottas wasn't going to take it lying down, reclaiming the lead with a time of 2'19''100. The last minutes of the session were looking decisive even if Bottas had made a big impact with his time.
Daniel Ricciardo climbed back to second position, while Roberto Merhi managed a place in the top three. Andrea Caldarelli, with a final push, slipped in between Ricciardo and Merhi. Albert Costa finished fifth, ahead of Michele Faccin and Jean-0x00c9ric Vergne.
The grid for the first race will be based on each driver's best time, and that for race two on their second-fastest time. In this case, the first seven will start in the same order.
Valtteri Bottas will therefore start in pole position for each of the two races, ahead of Ricciardo, Caldarelli and Merhi. The four favourites are living up to expectations
Valtteri Bottas: "The car was very running very well I took advantage of three clear laps, two of which went very well. We are ready; I'll do what it takes to win. Starting in both pole positions is a definite advantage."
Daniel Ricciardo: "It could have been worse. Yesterday I was too careful, today I pushed harder. I was a little disappointed to end up in second position. I will need to put in a good performance from the start! The Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 really is a competitive series; the race will be wide open."
The initial times set by the group of drivers with even race numbers fell and Tobias Hegewald (Motopark Academy) grabbed provisional pole position, immediately bettered by Daniel Ricciardo then Andrea Caldarelli.
The drivers had time to complete one more fast lap. Daniel Zampieri (BVM Minardi Team) improved on the fastest lap. Shortly afterwards Jean-0x00c9ric Vergne took the lead, before Caldarelli showed the best performance of the series in 2'20''266.
In the odd-number series, it was some minutes before the drivers were close to the times of the first group. Valtteri Bottas quickly took the top position over the rest of the competitors and set the fastest time of the two groups in 2'19''762. The two Jenzer Motorsport drivers, Michele Faccin and Siso Cunill, complete the top three.