Victor Martins and Oscar Piastri will both return to the Eurocup Formula Renault series in 2019, although not with the outfits they raced with in their rookie campaigns.
Martins, who raced for R-ace GP in 2018 and took two victories at the Red Bull Ring and Spa-Francorchamps, will make the switch to MP Motorsport, where he will be looking to build on his fifth place in the championship.
“It’s great to know so soon what I will be doing next year,” said Martins. “It allows me to prepare myself well for an important second year in the Eurocup, which will switch to new cars for 2019. That means it will be a level playing field for everyone.
“Being secure about my plans will help me get a head-start on the competition, as I will be working with MP throughout the entire winter. I fully expect that, as a team, we can be front-runners again.”
Sander Dorsman, MP Motorsport’s team manager, was pleased to bring in an exciting talent and one of the strongest drivers from 2018, and he hopes the partnership can bring in more race victories in 2019.
“It’s fantastic news Victor is joining us for our 2019 Eurocup campaign,” said Dorsman. “He was an exceptional rookie, often challenging and, at times, beating the more experienced drivers in the series.
“I’m convinced with Victor we can again aim for wins and, ultimately, the title as we did in 2018.”
R-ace GP has been quick to announce their first driver for 2019, with Piastri making the move from Arden Motorsport. The Australian tested with R-ace GP in the post-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and he will fill the first seat of a team that took thirteen of the twenty available victories during the 2018 season.
“We had always planned to do a second year in Formula Renault Eurocup,” said Piastri. “There was a little bit of uncertainty with recent changes to junior categories but in the end, we took a lot of advice from trusted advisors in the paddock, my sponsors, and family, and decided that a second year in Formula Renault Eurocup was the right decision.
“Renault runs a fantastic championship, it’s very well organised, the circuits are amazing, and the driving standards and technical aspects are very well controlled, which are things I really value.
“I’m looking forward to driving the new car, it looks really good.”
Piastri will have the pressure of following in the footsteps of Max Fewtrell, Logan Sargeant, Charles Milesi and the aforementioned Martins, all of whom took victories for R-ace GP in 2018, and team boss Thibaut de Merindol is convinced the 2017 British Formula 4 runner-up will be able to do just that.
“I had the opportunity to test Oscar with the team after the final round in Barcelona and I have to say this test was more than a confirmation, it was a revelation!” said de Merindol.
“Oscar demonstrated very good pace but even more important he impressed all of the team with his accuracy, his control, and calm demeanour in and out of the car.
“From that point, I was convinced that he will be a top 2019 Formula Renault title contender and therefore I am extremely excited to have him signed to help us defend our team and driver titles.”