In 2016, Neubauer finished third in the French KZ2 Long Circuit Championship and then took a big step by tackling the Formula Renault and Toyota Racing NZ single-seater series.
The Frenchman overcame the numerous hurdles arising from his lightening ascension and earned a reputation as a dedicated hard-working driver in the Tech 1 Racing team. Even if Lady Luck didn’t always smile on him, he managed to show that he had improved throughout the season by becoming a regular top-10 finisher among the rookies.
Neubauer has now built solid foundations for what will be his second year in Formula Renault, and has chosen to bet on stability to make the best of the skills he acquired during his learning year.
“I’m very happy to be staying on at Tech 1 Racing in 2018,” he said. “It was part of the plan we’d put in place last year, and I saw no reason to leave as I’d learned so much with the team. This stability is going to give me a boost, and after my performance in winter testing I know I’ve made the right decision.
“Although my first season threw up a lot of challenges, it gave me an idea of how much work would be necessary for me to achieve my objectives. It isn’t easy for a driver to keep a cool head and not prioritise results, but I had to learn the bases without which nothing’s possible. For example, I wasn’t able to string everything together over a lap so my qualifying performances didn’t reflect my potential. So we took advantage of the winter to focus on my driving, get the best out of the tyres and do simulations. All this has helped me to progress and gain confidence and it’s on these aspects that I have to build this season.
“My aim is to be in the top 10 at each meeting to score the maximum number of points”, Neubauer summed up. “It represents a big step forward. I know I’m going to have good yardsticks as I’ve got very quick team-mates with whom I get on really well. In the meantime, I have to fine-tune my preparation as well as studying videos to restart with the bit between my teeth!”
“We’re delighted to have Thomas back with us,” said Simon Abadie, the Tech 1 Racing team manager. “From the outside his first year looked to be a pretty difficult one, but you have to bear in mind his short career in karts. Despite all the challenges that were in store for him we saw certain things that reflected his progress and he moved up to another level this winter. There’s still work to be done, but he can fight for points right from the start of the season. His aim is to be in the mix as often as possible while making maximum progress as we know he has the potential to be very quick.”
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