WSbR Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0

Daniel Ricciardo in a class of his own

Hungaroring – Race 1

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-Éric 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), Stéphane Richelmi (Epsilon Sport) and Carlos Muñoz (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-Éric 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.»

Pos Number Driver  Team  Laps Time GapFirst KPH 

1 12 Daniel RICCIARDO SG FORMULA 16 28:20.088 - 149.5   2 14 Andrea CALDARELLI SG FORMULA 16 28:25.485 +5.397 149.0   3 8 Roberto MERHI EPSILON EUSKADI 2 16 28:31.200 +11.112 148.9   4 6 Jean Eric VERGNE SG DRIVERS PROJECT 16 28:32.069 +11.981 148.5   5 25 Cesar RAMOS BVM MINARDI TEAM 16 28:32.310 +12.222 148.6   6 10 Tobias HEGEWALD MOTOPARK ACADEMY 16 28:33.853 +13.765 148.4   7 7 Albert COSTA EPSILON EUSKADI 2 16 28:36.745 +16.657 149.1   8 28 Pal VARHAUG JENZER MOTORSPORT 16 28:39.344 +19.256 148.5   9 17 Sergio CAMPANA PREMA POWERTEAM 16 28:40.132 +20.044 148.4   10 22 Kuba GIERMAZIAK TEAM MOTOPARK 16 28:41.441 +21.353 148.6   11 33 Paul MEIJER EPSILON SPORT 16 28:42.142 +22.054 148.6   12 37 Miki MONRAS HITECH JUNIOR TEAM 16 28:43.780 +23.692 148.4   13 24 Daniel ZAMPIERI BVM MINARDI TEAM 16 28:48.816 +28.728 147.7   14 26 Adrian QUAIFE-HOBBS BVM MINARDI TEAM 16 28:53.820 +33.732 147.8   15 16 Victor GARCIA PREMA POWERTEAM 16 28:54.297 +34.209 147.5   16 4 Ramez AZZAM SG DRIVERS PROJECT 16 28:55.513 +35.425 147.6   17 34 Bastien BORGET EPSILON SPORT 16 28:56.139 +36.051 148.1   18 23 Juan Pablo GARCÍA TEAM MOTOPARK 16 28:58.571 +38.483 147.9   19 30 Miguel OTEGUI IQUICK 16 28:59.163 +39.075 147.8   20 1 Jake ROSENZWEIG EPSILON EUSKADI 1 16 29:00.586 +40.498 147.8   21 19 Adam KOUT KRENEK MOTORSPORT 16 29:00.828 +40.740 147.5   22 2 Pablo MONTILLA EPSILON EUSKADI 1 16 29:00.944 +40.856 147.3   23 27 Michele FACCIN JENZER MOTORSPORT 16 29:05.523 +45.435 148.3   24 18 Patrick REITERER PREMA POWERTEAM 16 29:07.239 +47.151 147.9   25 66 Christopher ZANELLA RACE PERFORMANCE 16 29:08.612 +48.524 147.7   26 21 Nathanaël BERTHON BOUTSEN ENERGY RACING 16 29:10.078 +49.990 148.2   27 45 Nicolas MARROC TCS RACING 16 29:11.318 +51.230 146.4   28 39 Juan JACOBO HITECH JUNIOR RACING 16 29:17.052 +56.964 148.5   29 41 Dean SMITH FORTEC MOTORSPORT 16 29:58.109 +1:38.021 148.8   30 3 Richard CAMPOLLO EPSILON EUSKADI 1 15 27:01.579 1 Lap 147.5   31 38 Luciano BACHETA HITECH JUNIOR RACING 15 27:02.446 1 Lap 148.3   32 36 Richard SINGLETON HITECH JUNIOR TEAM 15 28:21.562 1 Lap 149.2     29 Siso CUNILL JENZER MOTORSPORT 7 13:15.820   147.6     43 Gabriel DIAS FORTEC COMPETITION 5 9:09.629   147.5     11 Valtteri BOTTAS MOTOPARK ACADEMY 3 5:48.486   143.4     5  Anton NEBILITSKYI SG DRIVERS PROJECT 1 2:20.478         9 Carlos MUÑOZ EPSILON EUSKADI 2 0           35 Stephane RICHELMI EPSILON SPORT 0