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Oscar Piastri takes maiden Eurocup pole at Silverstone

by Ida Wood

Photo: Renault Sport Series

Oscar Piastri took his maiden Formula Renault Eurocup pole at Silverstone, in a session decided in the closing moments.

Overnight rain meant wet tyres were used at the start of qualifying, with just JD Motorsport and M2 Competition heading onto the track. Halfway through the 30-minute session the rest of the field started to appear, with the top spot changing multiple times as the track dried.

It wasn’t just the weather mixing up the leaderboard, as numerous drivers were caught out by track limits at Turn 5. FA Racing by Drivex’s Callan O’Keeffe was a repeat offender, and each time he moved to the top he was swiftly pushed back down the order.

R-ace GP driver Piastri, who had set the pace in free practice, seized the initiative and moved to the top with seven minutes to go. He improved twice on his best time to ensure he kept the position, and his last lap put him 0.220 seconds clear of team-mate Alexander Smolyar.

M2 Competition’s Kush Maini looked like a pole threat, and had topped the Thursday test, but was shuffled down to third at the end of qualifying.

O’Keeffe was fourth, 0.444s back, and narrowly ahead of Caio Collet (R-ace) and Petr Ptacek (Bhaitech).

Early pacesetter Joao Vieira was the top JD Motorsport car in seventh, beating team-mate Ugo de Wilde and MP Motorsport pair Victor Martins and Lorenzo Colombo at the bottom of the top 10. Championship leader Martins struggled, and was almost six tenths behind fellow second-year driver Piastri.

The single British entrant was Frank Bird, who qualified 16th for Arden.


Qualifying results
Pos Name Team Time
1 Oscar Piastri R-ace GP 1m57.873s
2 Alexander Smolyar R-ace GP +0.220s
3 Kush Maini M2 Competition +0.320s
4 Callan O’Keeffe FA Racing by Drivex +0.444s
5 Caio Collet R-ace GP +0.467s
6 Petr Ptacek Bhaitech +0.482s
7 Joao Vieira JD Motorsport +0.592s
8 Victor Martins MP Motorsport +0.597s
9 Ugo de Wilde JD Motorsport +0.719s
10 Lorenzo Colombo MP Motorsport +0.733s
11 Lucas Alecco Roy M2 Competition +0.870s
12 Federico Malvestiti Bhaitech +0.903s
13 Yves Baltas M2 Competition +1.051s
14 Leonardo Lorandi JD Motorsport +1.073s
15 Amaury Cordeel MP Motorsport +1.081s
16 Frank Bird Arden +1.239s
17 Patrik Pasma Arden +1.281s
18 Xavier Lloveras Global Racing Service +1.370s
19 Patrick Schott FA Racing by Drivex +1.568s
20 Brad Benavides FA Racing by Drivex +2.889s