Lorenzo Colombo takes two from two at Paul Ricard as Oscar Piastri proves his talent in recovery drive
Italian Lorenzo Colombo has taken his second race victory and swept the Formula Renault Eurocup round at Circuit Paul Ricard, as polesitter Oscar Piastri was swamped off the start and spent the Sunday race on a recovery drive to maximise his championship points.
Australian Oscar Piastri was very slow off the start from pole position and was swamped by the pack as Colombo took the lead.
The order was Colombo, Alexander Smolyar, Victor Martins into Turn 1, with Piastri down to P18. Martins was all over Smolyar down Le Mistral straight and into the chicane, but couldn’t seem to find a way around the Russian driver.
Colombo was driving off into the sunset by the end of lap 1, as Smolyar held second in front of the two squabbling Renault Sport Academy drivers of Martins and Caio Collet behind him, and Kush Maini close behind them.
There were battles aplenty further back in the field, while Colombo lead from Smolyar by 2.6 seconds, and Smolyar consolidated his second to a 1.2 second gap to Martins behind.
Piastri was up to P14 by lap 4, as Martins caught Smolyar and the pair battled intensely through the back section before Smolyar was able to pull some clear air once again.
There was a short reprieve as Kush Maini pulled into pits from P5 to replace his front wing, but the up-field battle soon resumed between Smolyar and Martins for second.
Frank Bird, Oscar Piastri, Leonardo Lorandi, and Joao Vieira emerged as a four-way battle for P9, with Piastri pushing his way through the group and stealing P9, as the order behind him underwent constant change through some fervent overtaking. The order settled in as Vieira, Bird, Lorandi, after a lap. It came alive again as Bird took P10 before ultimately falling back behind the chasing pair into P12.
Piastri was unleashed and quickly dispatched Xavier Lloveras into the chicane for P8.
Colombo held a 7.5 second lead at the front as Martins continued to chip away at Smolyar. The Frenchman applied consistent pressure each lap, chasing Smolyar down Le Mistral straight and challenging the Russian into the chicane.
Piastri was on a charge, catching the next pair of Amaury Cordeel and Ugo De Wilde. The Australian R-ace GP driver pulled alongside Cordeel into Turn 1, taking P7 with two laps to go. Cordeel looked to challenged into Turn 3, but tucked in behind Piastri and chased the Australian down Le Mistral straight.
At the front, Lorenzo Colombo took win number 2 with a dominant 8.849 second lead ahead of Alexander Smolyar and Victor Martins.
There was drama at the last corner with Piastri running wide in the three-way battle for P6, but he held the position and ultimately crossed the line in uncertain circumstances.
Victor Martins retains the championship lead on 119 points, with Alexander Smolyar now in second on 116 points. Oscar Piastri recovered well to hold third on 110 points, but the two victories have brought Lorenzo Colombo into championship contention on 97 points in fourth.
The Formula Renault Eurocup returns at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, 27-28 July.
Formula Renault Eurocup - Race 2 @ Paul Ricard (Provisional Results)
Alexander Smolyar +8.849s
Victor Martins +9.545s
Caio Collet +14.654s
Sebastian Fernandez +22.182s
Oscar Piastri (AUS) +25.378s
Amaury Cordeel +25.512s
Ugo De Wilde +25.631s
Xavier Lloveras +30.320s
Joao Vieira +35.717s
Leonardo Lorandi +35.915s
Frank Bird +36.855s
Callan O’Keefe +38.316s
Patrik Pasma +42.157s
Patrick Schott +46.645s
Lucas Alecco Roy +58.543s
Fereico Malvestiti +1:00.369
Brad Benavides +1:00.606
Alessio Deledda +1:09.682
Petr Ptacek +1 lap
Kush Maini +1 lap