SMP Racing driver Alexander Smolyar finished fifth in the second race of the eighth Formula Renault Eurocup round, which took place on 28-29 September in Barcelona in Spain.In Saturday’s race Alexander stood on the second step of the podium and demonstrated good pace in the second qualifying round on Sunday, being second fastest, only 0.036s away from the leader.
During the whole race Smolyar was fighting in the top five, was fending off his rival’s attacks and finished in 5th place. He has scored 208 points so far and takes third place in the overall standings, 34.5 points ahead of his nearest pursuer.
“The weekend was two-fold, from the very beginning we had a lot of problems on Friday. We missed the first practice session and drove only a few laps on the old tyres during the second session,” Alexander Smolyar said. “Qualifying was difficult. I had no expectations of any good result, but everything surprisingly worked out for me. I managed to finish third, although I lost 0.3 seconds to the leader. I am not very sure that these 0.3 seconds were due to the fact that I missed the first day with practice sessions. Everyone improved their lap, but I didn’t because I overheated the tyre. I am sure that I could drive better, and considering that we almost missed Friday, I think it was a very good result. In the first race I had a good start, I got close to Piastri and passed him. Yes, he was forced off the track in the first corner, but at that moment I was overtaking him already. I can’t say if I could keep my position, because I don’t know what pace Piastri had, but in general the race went well, I went up to the second step of the podium. We got closer to the championship leader, so I was pleased with the result. Sunday started well, we were second fastest in qualifying, losing only 0.03 seconds to the leader. The pace was very high, and I am very pleased that I managed to compete for pole position. I was sure that it would be possible to fight for the podium, but, unfortunately, I didn’t have a good start and then lost a few positions. By the end of the race, I managed to gain several places and score at least some points. The round was very positive in terms of speed, but I'm not happy with the result of the second race. I hope things will be better in Hockenheim and we can continue to fight for the title.”
The ninth Formula Renault Eurocup round will take place on October 4-6 at the Hockenheimring in Germany.