Roberto Merhi: victory at last

Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 - Nurburgring – Race 1

No stranger to the podium and in the running for the title, Roberto Merhi (Epsilon Euskadi) just lacked a win. Starting in pole position, the young Spanish driver led from start to finish beating Valtteri Bottas (Motopark Academy) and Daniel Ricciardo (SG Formula).

At the start, Valtteri Bottas attempted to surprise poleman Roberto Merhi, but the Spaniard held on and stayed ahead of the Finn. Starting seventh, Daniel Ricciardo was third at the end of lap one. Tobias Hegewald (Motorpark Academy) was in fourth, just ahead of Andrea Caldarelli.

Roberto Merhi made a quick get away while Valtteri Bottas tried to contain Daniel Ricciardo. In the meantime, the Australian was steadily losing ground. A little further back, Tobias Hegewald was also increasing his lead over his pursuers, Andrea Caldarelli, Jean-Éric Vergne (SG Formula) and Dean Smith (Fortec Motorsport).

As always in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, back in the main pack, the action was heavy going. Carlos Munoz (Epsilon Euskadi) Nicolas Marroc (TCS Racing) and Miguel Otegi (Iquick) collided, forcing the safety car to come out shortly after mid-point in the race.

After the restart, the race order remained the same. Merhi meanwhile had to watch out as Bottas, Ricciardo and Hegewald had caught up while safety car was out. These four promising young drivers quickly opened up a gap between themselves and the rest of the field. On his home track, Tobias Hegewald was proving more and more threatening to the leader of Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, Daniel Ricciardo.

Roberto Merhi, who led from start to finish, finally claimed victory in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. His win came ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Danial Ricciardo which puts Merhi back in the running for the title, even if this seventh race only marks the halfway point of the season.

Roberto Mehri: "I won last summer at Spa in the Italian Formula Renaut 2.0 Series, but today is my first international win. I worked hard over the summer in preparation for the second half of the season. It paid off today. I drove well here last year, so I knew that this circuit could be bring me success.  I hope that this win will bring more. It's good motivation for things to come!»

Valtteri Bottas: «I knew that the start was going to be important. I tried to sneak ahead, but Roberto managed to keep hold of first place. It's good to score points today. I'm starting in pole tomorrow. I'm hoping to get back to winning. I've got a busy day tomorrow. I'm driving in three races!»

Daniel Ricciardo: «I did badly in qualifying, and started from the fourth row, so I knew it was going to be tough. I took risks at the start, as it's always more difficult overtaking later on. You need to know how to score points, and this third place is important for the Championship. Sunday I'm in fifth, so I need to make the most of the start again.»

Pos Number Driver  Team  Laps Time GapFirst KPH 

1 8 Roberto MERHI EPSILON EUSKADI 2 13 27:44.596 - 155.0   2 11 Valtteri BOTTAS MOTOPARK ACADEMY 13 27:45.983 +1.387 155.2   3 12 Daniel RICCIARDO SG FORMULA 13 27:48.478 +3.882 154.3   4 10 Tobias HEGEWALD MOTOPARK ACADEMY 13 27:49.814 +5.218 154.3   5 14 Andrea CALDARELLI SG FORMULA 13 27:52.363 +7.767 153.7   6 6 Jean Eric VERGNE SG DRIVERS PROJECT 13 27:54.000 +9.404 153.4   7 41 Dean SMITH FORTEC MOTORSPORT 13 27:54.714 +10.118 153.6   8 33 Paul MEIJER EPSILON SPORT 13 27:55.472 +10.876 153.6   9 22 Kuba GIERMAZIAK TEAM MOTOPARK 13 27:55.924 +11.328 153.9   10 70 Antonio Felix DA COSTA MOTOPARK ACADEMY 13 27:56.213 +11.617 153.5   11 44 Alex MORGAN FORTEC COMPETITION 13 27:56.463 +11.867 153.5   12 21 Nathanaël BERTHON BOUTSEN ENERGY RACING 13 27:58.945 +14.349 153.1   13 1 Jake ROSENZWEIG EPSILON EUSKADI 1 13 27:59.217 +14.621 153.0   14 37 Miki MONRAS HITECH JUNIOR TEAM 13 28:02.803 +18.207 152.8   15 27 Michele FACCIN JENZER MOTORSPORT 13 28:03.442 +18.846 153.3   16 31 Himar ACOSTA IQUICK 13 28:06.607 +22.011 152.2   17 38 Luciano BACHETA HITECH JUNIOR RACING 13 28:07.765 +23.169 152.4   18 43 Gabriel DIAS FORTEC COMPETITION 13 28:08.596 +24.000 152.8   19 16 Sergio CAMPANA PREMA POWERTEAM 13 28:11.551 +26.955 151.6   20 23 Juan Pablo GARCÍA TEAM MOTOPARK 13 28:11.955 +27.359 152.3   21 24 Daniel ZAMPIERI BVM MINARDI TEAM 13 28:12.223 +27.627 152.2   22 3 Richard CAMPOLLO EPSILON EUSKADI 1 13 28:12.633 +28.037 152.3   23 71 Vinicius SAMMARONE TEAM MOTOPARK 13 28:13.225 +28.629 152.3   24 19 Adam KOUT KRENEK MOTORSPORT 13 28:13.538 +28.942 151.8   25 25 Cesar RAMOS BVM MINARDI TEAM 13 28:13.960 +29.364 152.3   26 2 Pablo MONTILLA EPSILON EUSKADI 1 13 28:14.259 +29.663 152.2   27 39 Juan JACOBO HITECH JUNIOR RACING 13 28:14.540 +29.944 154.2   28 28 Pal VARHAUG JENZER MOTORSPORT 13 28:15.299 +30.703 152.1   29 26 Adrian QUAIFE-HOBBS BVM MINARDI TEAM 13 28:15.584 +30.988 152.6   30 7 Albert COSTA EPSILON EUSKADI 2 13 28:15.796 +31.200 154.0   31 29 Christopher ZANELLA JENZER MOTORSPORT 13 28:16.267 +31.671 152.6   32 42 Daniel MCKENZIE FORTEC MOTORSPORT 13 28:16.816 +32.220 152.3   33 17 Vasiliauskas KAZIMIERAS PREMA POWERTEAM 13 28:31.739 +47.143 152.0   34 35 Stephane RICHELMI EPSILON SPORT 11 24:05.396 2 Laps 152.4     45 Nicolas MARROC TCS RACING 5 10:32.199   152.2     30 Miguel OTEGUI IQUICK 5 10:32.583   152.5     9 Carlos MUÑOZ EPSILON EUSKADI 2 5 10:33.278   152.2     40 Dino BUTORAC RB RACING TEAM 1 3:27.211         5  Anton NEBILITSKYI SG DRIVERS PROJECT 1 3:48.788         4 Ramez AZZAM SG DRIVERS PROJECT 0           18 Patrick REITERER PREMA POWERTEAM 0           36 Richard SINGLETON HITECH JUNIOR TEAM 0