This season Formula Renault 2.0 promises a lot, as many drivers learned from past experiences of other talented drivers failing in F3, due to a precipitous rise. Case of Dorian Boccolacci, Alessio Lorandi and many others.
The trend is to move from F4 directly to F3. However, drivers who have first competed the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 to mature and fight the championship first, then had a better pass through F3, and a good role in European F3 opens many doors.
Drivers who have played a good role since their first F3 race and who were graduates of the Eurocup have recent cases: Alexander Albon, Charles Leclerc, Esteban Ocon and Daniil Kvyat, and I believe that the current champion of the Formula Renault 2.0 Lando Norris will do it pretty well too.
Therefore, some drivers who were top in F4 now decide to compete in Formula Renault 2.0 first. Case of Richard Verschoor, Ye Yifei, Axel Matus and Dan Ticktum, to cite examples.
Thats the key of the resurrection of the Formula Renault 2.0
This 2017 season with some good names
For now there are 21 drivers enrolled. One of the main candidates is Robert Shwartzman, Russian driver who finished 8th last season running for Josef Kaumann Racing. Another that this year already starts with experience is Will Palmer (brother of Jolyon) that will test in F1 with McLaren this year. Also Sacha Fenestraz, the Frenchman who was 5th last year as second best rookie.
But the newcomers in the category have more interesting drivers, such as the Red Bull Junior Team: Dan Ticktum, the aggressive driver who will race with Arden, and Richard Verschoor, with 28 wins in F4 and fighting for the Toyota Racing Series championship.
Also to highlight are Axel Matus, who dominated the F4 NACAM – and who already has experience in single seaters. Also the Chinese Ye Yifei who comes from winning the decaffeinated French F4.
Of course, we should not underestimate Jarno Opmeer, Verschoor’s rival in the North European F4; Nor the youngsters Neil Verhagen, American of Red Bull that was dominating champion of the F 1600 and the Russian Alexander Vartanyan, that does not finish to shine. And of course, Max Fewtrell, with a great team like Tech 1 behind and after a great role in the British F3 are reflecting that the grid has level and the championship will be very interesting.
The grid (actually)
- Josef Kaumann: Fenestraz/Yifei/Leeds
- R ace GP: Shwartzman/Palmer/Guzmán
- Tech 1: Fewtrell/Aubry/Maxwell/Neubauer
- MP: Verschoor/Verhagen/Opmeer
- AVF: Matus/Chaves/Pflucker
- Arden: Ticktum
- Fortec: Bird/Korneev
- JD: Simenauer/Vartanyan
OBS: Also is espected to watch new Ferrari Driver Academy member Marcus Armstrong to compete in Formula Renault 2.0 this year.