Tech 1 Racing has clinched the Formula Renault 2.0 title four times and it has already announced its determination to win back the European crown this year.
To achieve this aim Simon Abadie’s men showed their potential right from Magny-Cours. Gabriel Aubry dominated a session, finished in the top 5 on three occasions and was never outside the top 10. Rookie Max Fewtrell, member of the Renault Sport Academy also got among the front-runners, while Thomas Maxwell and Thomas Neubauer continued learning the ropes just shy of the top 10.
A week later on the Paul Ricard circuit Maxwell gave a glimpse of his potential as he coped with the mixed conditions and set a telling second-fastest time. Fewtrell and Aubry continued working on the basics with three top-10 placings in four sessions, while Neubauer had his first taste of the track as he prepared for the September meeting.
The final tests took the Toulouse-based outfit to the Nürburging and once again Tech 1 Racing was among the front-runners on a regular basis with Aubry going second quickest in one session. The Frenchman finished in the top 10 on three occasions like Max Fewtrell. The two Thomases, Maxwell and Neubauer, again ended the tests just outside the Top 10, which they will try to break into at Monza on April 21-23.
“Overall, the tests were very satisfactory for the whole team,” was how Sarah Abadie, the Tech 1 Racing Team manager, analysed the results. “The level of all our drivers improved, whether it was that of Gabriel or his team-mates who’ve just arrived in the Formula Renault Eurocup. The work we did in the winter seems to be bearing fruit. Gabriel Aubry spearheads our attack; and already his association with Max Fewtrell seems to be going pretty well. Thomas Neubauer and Thomas Maxwell are becoming more and more solid, quick and consistent. On each outing they’re all ironing out their weak points to reinforce their qualities. Now we can’t wait to confirm our observations in the first qualifying sessions and the first race, which will really tell us where we stand.”
Gabriel Aubry: “I’m very happy with the way the tests went. We did a good job thanks to the team’s planning. Everything was put in place and respected without the slightest problem. We kept on improving and my team-mates’ performances are encouraging in view of having references and comparisons during the year. I feel confident in the car and I’ve also got every confidence in Tech 1 Racing: we’re ready!”
Thomas Maxwell: “We made big steps forward all through the pre-season. I’ve learned a great deal about the car and about myself and we now know where we have to make progress to be even stronger and quicker. We have to continue our efforts before the first race at Monza where all the pieces of the puzzle should fall into place. I get on like a house on fire with my engineer and the mechanics in the team, and we’re all hoping for an excellent solid start to the season.”
Thomas Neubauer: “It was good preparation starting at Magny-Cours, the only circuit on which I’d already raced. I then had to get to grips with the Paul Ricard and Nürburgring layouts, which are more technical. My aim for my first season in single-seater racing is to improve all year and the team’s looking after me perfectly to help me achieve this. We’re really tightly knit and you couldn’t have a better place to learn.”
Max Fewtrell: “I’m really satisfied with how the pre-season unfolded. My relationship with Tech 1 Racing was reinforced during the tests. We achieved some really promising successes like the top five on the first morning at the Nürburgring and our second-quickest time at Magny-Cours. Things were a bit tougher on the Paul Ricard circuit because of the conditions that kept changing all the time, but we were always on pace against drivers who’re doing their second or third year. I’m feeling very positive as we’re about to tackle the 2017 season.”
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