#31 Neil Verhagen (USA – MP Motorsport Renault)
Qualifying 1: 11th (Group A) – Race 1 Grid: 22nd – Race 1 Result: DNF (Incident)
Qualifying 2: 6th (Group A) – Race 2 Grid: 11th – Race 2 Result: 4th
Formula Renault Eurocup Championship position: 6th – 12 points – after 2 of 20 races
#29 Richard Verschoor (NED – MP Motorsport Renault)
Qualifying 1: 6th (Group A) – Race 1 Grid: 12th – Race 1 Result: 10th
Qualifying 2: 7th (Group A) – Race 2 Grid: 13th – Race 2 Result: 7th
Formula Renault Eurocup Championship position: 11th – 7 points – after 2 of 20 races
#33 Dan Ticktum (GBR – Arden Renault)
Qualifying 1: 6th (Group B) – Race 1 Grid: 11th – Race 1 Result: 11th
Qualifying 2: 5th (Group B) – Race 2 Grid: 10th – Race 2 Result: DNF (Incident)
Formula Renault Eurocup Championship position: 16th – 0 points – after 2 of 20 races
A weekend of great action started the Formula Renault Eurocup season at Monza and the youngest Red Bull Junior, Neil Verhagen, made his mark with a great fourth in Race 2. Richard Verschoor and Dan Ticktum also showed great pace with Verschoor cutting through to 7th in Race 2 while Ticktum was denied a good result there, the victim of a first lap melee.
Best Rookie for Verhagen
The 16-year-old American Verhagen improved through the weekend as he explained. "We started off in practice, a little more off pace than we would like and Q1 wasn't what we wanted, so we weren't in a great position for the first race. It wasn't much of a race either, a lot of time behind the safety car. Then when we did get racing I was passing another car and he just ran me off the circuit, nowhere to go at all."
"Today was a lot better, Qualifying was a quite an improvement, I did a better job, didn't make the couple of mistakes I made on Saturday and got a clear run with a good tow. I really enjoyed the race, worked my way up to P4."
Indeed it was a great showing ahead of the more experienced competitors. "To finish top Rookie in my first weekend, I'm really very happy."
Better racing than qualifying for Verschoor
Only two months older than Verhagen, 16-year-old Dutchman Verschoor expected more of himself and was frustrated that his obvious speed didn't produce the results he wanted. "Yes the speed was there but the results weren't what we were looking for. All down to qualifying really. I just didn't do what I needed to during qualy and had to fight back from there. It's just down to me making a better job of it next time."
"Race 1 went OK but it just wasn't long enough, safety car then it was stopped. Today's race was better, P13 to P7 is not bad, the car was good and I was driving it so we made up some good places. That's the good thing and if I can get the qualifying right we can get the results. All credit to Neil for his good result."
Better luck next time for Ticktum
With a great run through preseason testing, 17-year-old Briton Dan Ticktum was very disappointed with the first event. "Bit of a disastrous weekend, one to forget really, I'm pretty pi#@ed as you might guess but it goes like that sometimes. The biggest disappointment was having the wrong lap deleted from my times this morning. I should have been P1 in my group and the race would have been a whole lot different. As it was I started P10 and got mixed up in that first lap mess, got crashed into so didn't get past the first lap."
"The qualifying yesterday should have been better but I didn't quite get the track position right, then someone was stopped in front and spoilt the lap so we were P11 on the grid. The race was OK but there wasn't a lot of it, safety car then stopped early."
"Still we know that the speed is there, looking forward to next time out," he concluded.