Neil Verhagen

Formula Renault Eurocup - Tough drives from Neil Verhagen in Monza

#21 Neil Verhagen (USA – Tech 1 Renault)
Qualifying 1: 10th (Group A) – Race 1 Grid: 20th – Race 1 Result: 11th
Qualifying 2: 11th (Group A) – Race 2 Grid: 21st – Race 2 Result: DNF (Incident)
Formula Renault Eurocup Championship position: 13th – 8 points – after 4 of 20 races

Determined driving from Red Bull Junior Neil Verhagen at Monza should have netted the 17-year-old American more than just eleventh in Race 1 and a DNF the second time out. As at the opening round of the Formula Renault Eurocup at Paul Ricard a week ago, poor grid positions limited the possibilities.

An inspired drive in Saturday's thirty minute race saw the Tech 1 racer jump into the action from the start. By the time there was an early Safety Car car he had already pushed through to 13th from 20th on the grid.

Racing for it

Verhagen kept at it and though it was extremely hard to make further ground he picked up another two places by the finish. Frustrated to just miss out on the points he was determined to go even further in Race 2 though he was coming from P21 on the grid.

"Yes I went for it and was passing cars again but then ran out of road, the crash wasn't as bad as it looked and I'm OK but obviously my race ended there. It was a very frustrating weekend all round. We can take positives from the race pace again but we can't be starting from so far back."

Looking for it

"We were quick in the winter, quick enough to be racing for the win but at the moment there is a missing link as far as qualifying goes. We'll work through it as a team and will solve the problem, the team and myself are better than this, as far as I am concerned it is unacceptable, it's that simple."

"It did seem that we missed out on getting any slipstream in qualifying, I wasn't looking for one, as I said last week that isn't the way to do it but you kind of hope to get lucky once or twice but that didn't happen and that didn't help the situation. No excuses, we know that wasn't the problem, we have to find that missing link and go forward. We have a winning combination, we've got to make it work."