Yifei Ye rounded out the season-opening Euroformula weekend at the Hungaroring with a second win in the new Dallara 320, on another very warm day on the outskirts of Budapest. The young Chinese Crypto Tower Racing runner demonstrated excellent control of the situation throughout the entire day, which he started by taking his second pole position of the weekend.
After crossing the finishing line, he commented: “A good start led to a lights-to-flag victory. It wasn’t too easy to manage the tyres, but we did it. We didn’t have so much pressure from behind so it was a more more-or-less an easy race for me. But as we have seen from the beginning of the weekend, everyone was quite closely matched, so the difference we can make is in qualifying: how fast can we put the lap together? How fast can we put the performance in? And that’s the advantage we need to get. Really happy about this weekend, and hopefully we can carry this momentum to Paul Ricard.”
The CryptoTower Racing Team driver was unopposed at the start, and lead from Van Amersfoort Racing’s Andreas Estner after an action-packed first lap. Ye then managed his tyres to pull away at the front of the field and took fastest lap to crown a perfect score from the weekend. Estner opened up a gap of his own early on to Carlin’s Zane Maloney, who claimed the rookie class win in third place.
His team-mate Ido Cohen kept pace with him in fifth, while VAR’s Sebastian Estner finished a charging sixth after sitting behind Motopark’s Manuel Maldonado early on. A great start to the race for Estner was compromised after reaching the first corner, and it took some time before he was able to recover places. He sat behind Maldonado for several laps until pulling off a canny move at the first corner, then immediately pulled away from the Venezuelan. Sole Double R Racing representative Ayrton Simmons watched the battle between Maldonado and Estner closely in seventh, but couldn’t find a way to gain a place. VAR’s Alexandre Bardinon set a good pace in eighth, ahead of Drivex School’s Glenn van Berlo, Motopark’s slow-starting Niklas Krutten, van Berlo’s team-mate and Shihab Al-Habsi. Rui Andrade span his CryptoTower car early on but fought back to finish 12th.
PROVISIONAL STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 2 OF 18
Overall: 1. Ye, 54 points; 2. A.Estner, 36; 3. Maloney, 27; 4. S.Estner, 25; 5. Cohen, 20; 6. Maldonado, 18; etc
Rookies: 1. Maloney, S.Estner, 18 p.; 3. Van Berlo, Krütten, 10; 5. Al-Habsi, 3.
Teams: 1. VAR, 25 p.; 2. CryptoTower RT, 20; 3. Carlin, 14; 4. Motopark, 3.