MEDIA RELEASE/Oscar Piastri – Photos: supplied
Australian Oscar Piastri bounced back from disappointment in Hungary to claim his series-leading sixth victory of the season and take a 37.5-point lead in the Formula Renault Eurocup standings.
Consistently quick around the tight and twisty Hungaroring circuit, he topped the times in pre-race test and practice sessions before winning from pole position on Sunday, while recording the fastest lap of the race.
It was a firm warning to his title rivals that he will take some beating in the standings, after a rare DNF the day before, when he, unfortunately, lost control of the car on a patch of standing water en route to the grid as torrential rain soaked the venue.
However, there was no such problem under sunny skies 24 hours later as he defended well from team-mate and title rival Alexander Smolyar at the start before twice pulling away from the field after separate Safety Car interventions, crossing the line 2.8 seconds clear of the pack.
His victory, coupled with only half points being awarded for race one as it was red-flagged for safety reasons before half-distance, mean the Melbournian leaves Hungary with a substantial championship lead and just six races left to run.
Oscar will return to action in three weeks’ time as the series moves to Barcelona in Spain for rounds 15 and 16 over the weekend of September 27 – 29, where he will look to solidify his championship lead into the final stretch.
“The team has been really good these past two weeks. We had pace in every session both last weekend and this. I had an off session in qualifying on Saturday, but the team has done a good job with the car and, hopefully, that can continue.
“I wasn’t pushing very hard on the way to the grid for race one, the car just aquaplaned and once I got grip I had too much lock on, so it threw me into a spin. It was frustrating but I got lucky with the race only being given half points, so I only really lost what would have been four points for sixth place.
“On Sunday I had solid pace in qualifying and that carried over into the race. Once I built up a gap it was pretty much plain sailing, though my start wasn’t amazing, so I have to work on that for the next few rounds.
“From now it’s about being consistent. Winning races is a good way to be consistent but where I can still improve is when things aren’t quite perfect. I need to make life easier for myself, making sure I am around the top three. If I can do that it should pay dividends by the end of the year.”
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