Daniel Mancinelli knows the ropes
Daniel Mancinelli and One Racing have clearly understood exactly how the New Formula Renault 2.0 works. Picking up from where he left off in Valencia and Barcelona, the Italian has set another fastest time here at Magny-Cours. After two invaluable days of collective testing, which gave all the drivers the opportunity to put in plenty of laps and gather a wealth of precious information, Daniel Mancinelli set the fastest time ahead of Miguel Otegui (Epsilon Euskadi) and Arthur Pic (SG Formula).
The Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 field assembled at the Magny-Cours circuit, where the French round of the World Series by Renault is to be held this season, for these two days of testing. This gave teams and drivers the chance to do further development work on the New Formula Renault 2.0.
On Monday, the sun was shining in Magny Cours, allowing the drivers to clock up a good number of laps out on track and gradually up the tempo. For many of them, it was first and foremost a question of getting to know the Magny-Cours circuit. Lap times soon started to improve very rapidly and, at the close of the morning session, it was Luciano Bacheta (Interwetten) who had set the fastest time with a lap in 1'38"483. Having already looked comfortable in Barcelona, the Interwetten driver proved he knows just how to handle the New Formula Renault 2.0. At the end of the day on Monday, he was still fastest ahead of Daniel Mancinelli, the in-form driver in these collective testing sessions, followed by André Negrao (Cram Competition) and Daniel de Jong (MP Motorsport).
As the drivers moved onto fresh rubber as the Monday afternoon session drew to a close, lap times started to dip under the 1'38 mark. This time, it was the turn of a Rookie driver, Alex Riberas (Epsilon Euskadi), to show what he could do. The young Spaniard, at just 16 years of age and fresh back from a Karting competition, set the fastest time of the day with a lap in 1'37"350. Despite having practically no experience in single-seater racing, this put him faster than Luciano Bacheta, Arthur Pic and Giovanni Venturini (Epsilon Euskadi), another young recruit to the ranks of Epsilon Euskadi.
On Tuesday, it was down to 'old hands' in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 to try and regain the upper hand. Luciano Bacheta and Daniel Mancinelli were to dominate for most of the session. But, in the end, it was André Negrao who finished the morning at the top of the timing screens, with a lap in 1'37"552. At this point, the Brazilian was fastest ahead of Daniel Mancinelli, Miguel Otegui and Kal Oscar Liiv (MP Motorsport).
The afternoon session was interrupted by its fair share of red flags, with each of the three SG Formula cars running off track at some point. Kal Oscar Liiv, one of the first drivers to switch onto fresh tyres, soon set the fastest time. But Miguel Otegui and then Daniel Mancinelli took it in turns to hit back as the session drew to a close. With a lap in 1'37"067, the Italian not only set the best time for both these days of collective testing, but also smashed the Formula Renault 2.0 lap record in the process, held previously by Jules Bianchi. It was left to Arthur Pic and Miguel Otegui to fight it out for second spot right until the chequered flag. At the close, the Spaniard finally got the better of the Frenchman. Next stop, Motorland Aragón, for two more days of collective testing.
Daniel Mancinelli: "We are trying to find out as much as possible about how the New Formula Renault 2.0 responds to different settings and we've gathered quite a bit of information. At a circuit like Magny-Cours, the new gearbox is something that you really appreciate. For me, this car is a real pleasure to drive."
Luciano Bacheta: "In Valencia, we hardly put in any track time at all, but in Barcelona and here, we really got our development programme rolling. We were constantly up there with the leaders, which always helps you to relax and focus on the real job in hand. With the Interwetten team, we have high hopes for this season."
Alex Riberas: "I only drove a single-seater for the very first time this December! So I have hardly any experience at all. Obviously, I am satisfied with my performance. I felt very good in this car right from the word go. I'm only just 16 years old, so I am still very young. I want to do another season in Karting and then come and try my hand in Eurocup Formula Renault in 2011. That is something we are going to be talking to Epsilon Euskadi about."
Official Renault Sport Press Release