Double podium for Piastri at Hockenheim

September 26, 2018

Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0

Oscar Piastri put in his best performance of the season at the penultimate round of the Formula Renault Eurocup to take two podium finishes and two Rookie wins all of which has seen him move up to 8th in the championship. The Arden Motorsport driver was on fire all weekend and has now brought himself into the fight for 6th in the championship with just one round remaining.

Having come from an unfortunate race at Nurburgring Oscar was out for redemption at Hockenheim with the season fast approaching it’s climax. From the off Oscar was showing the potential of finishing on the podium. In Friday testing he finished 4th in both sessions and ended the day just four tenths off the fastest time of the day.

For Qualifying Oscar was put into group A and put in a brilliant performance to finish 3rd just two tenths of a second off the fastest time. Being in the quicker group meant that Oscar would start on the inside of row three for race one giving him a good opportunity of a good result.

A great start off the line led Oscar to go three wide into turn two as he battled for 3rd. Although stuck on the outside Oscar was brave on the brakes and made a fantastic move to get into a podium position after two corners and on the run down to the turn six hairpin he was challenging for 2nd. His attempts to pass Yifei Ye were unsuccessful, but he quickly settled into position which led to a safety car coming out five minutes in to the race.

The restart led to problems for Oscar as he had Neil Verhagen to deal with who made a move down the inside at turn six. Oscar spent most of the restart stuck on the outside of every corner, but it was a crucial defence tactic which eventually took the pressure off by the end of the lap. With all the battling the two leaders had now gone and any chances of making positions were slim, but Oscar’s aims were to get a podium and he now looked on track to do that.

The rest of the race was about cementing that podium result. Oscar had one podium to his name this season which he picked up back at Spa and multiple top ten finishes. But Hockenheim would see him back on the rostrum as he cruised to take a comfortable 3rd, setting almost identical lap times to the top two. It was a brilliant result and showed had he stayed with the leaders, he would have certainly fought for victory.

Qualifying two on Sunday saw further improvement from Oscar, not in terms of position as he once again took 3rd, but in lap times! He was the fastest of all through the very technical third sector and was just 0.104 seconds off pole position. Being the quicker group once again would mean Oscar would once againstart from 5th place.

Another good start saw Oscar get the run on Verhagen to take 4th into turn two. However, the move was not complete there as through Parobolika the slipstream would see Verhagen briefly back past before Oscar made a brilliant move to secure 4th at turn six. Oscar became a part of the top five who were breaking away from the rest of the field. The race settled down as they usually do in the championship, but things would all change when the safety car came out halfway into the race.

The initial restart wasn’t great for Oscar as he dropped to 5th at turn two. But during his fight back at turn six he would jump up to 2nd after the race leader slowed up and 3rd place ran wide. During all the chaos Oscar carefully picked his way through to 2nd and had an eight tenths gap behind and one second to the leader.

Oscar would keep the pressure on Max Fewtrell and stayed with him as they opened up a gap to the rest of the field but with the leader making no mistakes he would be forced to settle for 2nd. It was a fantastic result, his best of the season, and would move him up to 8th in the championship. It was also Oscar’s second rookie win of the weekend and closed off what had been a fantastic weekend at Hockenheim!

If he hadn’t already done so this season, Oscar certainly turned a few heads at Hockenheim and will now be one to watch at the final round of the season. There’ll be a three week break before the trip to Catalunya and if things go well there’s a chance Oscar may be able to end the season 6th in the championship.


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