Pic without hesitation
Arthur Pic (Tech 1 Racing) made the very best of his opportunity in Budapest today, claiming his fourth victory in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. Taking advantage of retirements by Kevin Korjus (Koiranen Bros Motorsport) and Luciano Bacheta (Interwetten), the French driver is back in second place in the overall standings, seventeen points behind Korjus. Will Stevens (Manor Competition), second, and Aaro Vainio (Tech 1 Racing), third, both climb onto the podium for the first time.
Despite the ambient heat, Saturday morning saw a very keenly contested qualifying session. Kevin Korjus was close to claiming his first pole position in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, but in the final moments of the session Aaro Vainio bettered everyone else’s time. The young Finnish driver, at just 16, took his first pole position in the discipline. By producing the second best time, he also secured the pole position for the second race of the weekend.
With Aaro Vainio making a disappointing start from pole, and Kevin Korjus hesitant too, Arthur Pic leapt on the opportunity to lead into turn 1, ahead of Luciano Bacheta and Will Stevens. Kevin Korjus completed lap 1 in fourth place, ahead of Aaro Vainio, 5th. Anguished sounds rose from the stands when local hero, Tamas Pal Kiss (Atech GP), has to retire in the first lap. Behind the top five, Genis Olivé (Epsilon Euskadi) was overtaken by both Miguel Otegui (Epsilon Euskadi) and Miki Weckstrom (Koiranen Bros Motorsport). The Spanish driver fell back from 6th to 8th place. He moved back up to seventh when Weckstrom span off.
The leading group remained very compact and the gaps very narrow, with the first eleven all within seven seconds after five laps. Miguel Otegui was the first to change the situation by ousting Aaro Vainio from fifth place.
Arthur Pic managed to put a few metres of clear space between his car and the chasing Luciano Bacheta and Will Stevens. Meanwhile Luciano Bacheta was more concerned with fending off Will Stevens than pressing Arthur Pic, and Stevens himself was under pressure from Kevin Korjus. From 11th place on the grid, Miguel Otegui had moved up to 6th but had to retire on lap 13. At the same time, when Luciano Bacheta had a gear shift problem, Kevin Korjus failed to avoid slowed up car and the two collided. This resulted in the first retirement of the season for the leader of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. Will Stevens and Aaro Vainio took advantage to go 2nd and 3rd.
The misfortunes of Korjus and Bacheta couldn’t have come at a better time for Arthur Pic. Pic’s fourth win of the season, combined with retirements for Kervin Korjus and Luciano Bacheta, put Pic into second place overall, only seventeen points behind Korjus. Will Stevens finished second ahead of Aaro Vainio, giving the two drivers their first podium finishes in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0.
Arthur Pic : "I took advantage of hesitancy from the others at the start, but the first laps were difficult because Luciano Bacheta wouldn’t let go. After that he was busy containing Will Stevens and I took advantage of that. That was a big result for me today, I have to continue like that and finish ahead of Kevin in every race to be champion."
Will Stevens : "It’s great to finish on the podium for my first participation in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 this season. I was disappointed with my qualifying, but the race was perfect. My team made an enormous effort to be there this weekend, so it's a great result for us."
Aaro Vainio : "Getting the pole this morning was really big for us. I made some stupid mistakes early in the season, and today I've finally turned in a good performance in qualifying and a good result. I got off to a bad start, but after that I was fine. Tomorrow I need an uneventful race for another podium!