Tech 1 Racing claims two one-two finishes in Monza

Following their first outing at the Autodromo di Monza in April of this year, Tech 1 Racing returned to the Italian track for the opening round of the Formula Renault NEC. A week before the Eurocup resumes, the team had an ideal opportunity to assess the progress of its drivers. The Toulouse-based outfit enjoyed a positive weekend, as its drivers monopolised the leading places and Gabriel Aubry won his first two races in Formula Renault.

Tech 1 Racing set the foundations for its dominant weekend on Friday as Gabriel Aubry set the fastest time in both test sessions, just ahead of his team-mate Max Fewtrell. Thomas Maxwell also improved during the day, finishing close to the top five ahead of qualifying.

The next day, Gabriel Aubry picked up where he had left off, grabbing pole position for race one ahead of Max Fewtrell. The Frenchman repeated the trick in Q2, as the Briton took third place. Thomas Maxwell qualified fourth and seventh respectively. Hampered by missing the test sessions to sit his baccalauréat, Thomas Neubauer was understandably slightly off the pace.

In the afternoon, Gabriel Aubry kept cool at the front, despite the slipstream enjoyed by his rivals and the safety car periods to hold off Max Fewtrell, who collected his first podium finish in Formula Renault. Thomas Neubauer fought through the field magnificently to close to within two seconds of the podium, something Thomas Maxwell might also have achieved had he not been hit by another car on the opening corner.

On Sunday, Gabriel Aubry made it two wins out of two after another terrific battle with Max Fewtrell. After taking third place with a superb start, Thomas Maxwell had to settle for fifth place in the end, whilst Thomas Neubauer had to retire after a collision.

"It was an excellent weekend for the team," summarised Olivier Maernhout, Tech 1 Racing Team Manager. "Gabi had a perfect weekend, dominating all of the sessions. Only Max managed to beat him to the fastest race lap on Sunday. Although we were competing outside of the championship, we're delighted with the serious attitude and determination shown by Gabi. Max was also in good form this weekend. If Q1 hadn't been red flagged, he might well have secured his first pole position in Formula Renault. Despite that, Max kept his concentration and focus, producing two strong races with some clever moves to try and take the fight to Gabi. His good results in Italy should serve as a springboard for the rest of the Eurocup championship."

"It was also a useful weekend for Thomas Maxwell, who was unlucky to get involved in a collision on Saturday. He bounced back on Sunday, although he was unable to hang onto third place due to a few minor mistakes. It showed him how important it is to remain focused and never give up if you want to race to your full potential. We are also delighted with the progress made by Thomas Neubauer, who was hampered in qualifying as he found his bearings. Thomas nevertheless put together an intelligent race, improving all the time and ending up close to a podium place. That should provide him with some encouragement, despite Sunday's more eventful race. He was ready to pounce on every opportunity, but eventually had to retire after what was an inevitable collision, given the limited room left for Thomas by the other driver."  

"With two pole positions and two one-two finishes, these results are pleasing for the whole team," concluded Olivier Maernhout. "They give us a bit of positive momentum after some slightly disappointing results on the street circuits. This foray into Formula Renault NEC was perfect for our drivers to get back into the swing of things and for us to fine-tune our preparations before the Eurocup resumes in Budapest (29 June-2 July)."