Budapest, Race 1: Easy win for Ceccon
It was an easy win for Kevin Ceccon in Race 1 in Budapest, after a race that was deeply influenced by the Safety-Car that came on track on lap 9 for a crash involving Marco Barba. The Safety-Car picked up Filippi but the Italian driver wasn't the leader anymore, as he had just served his mandatory pit-stop. Ceccon was leading in that moment and with all the group blocked behind the Safety-Car, he had the chance to complete two laps at nearly full racing speed, building up an impressive advantage that allowed him to change his tires without worries, then taking the checkered flag with a 50" advantage on the nearest rival. At the end of the race, anyway, Race Direction decided to hand Ceccon a 60" penalty for not slowing enough during the caution period; With the penalty dropping Kevin to P5, Ombra immediately filed an appeal that freezes the classification giving Ceccon an easy win until the matter will be discussed by the Hungarian ASN.
The final controversy took the attention away from an exciting race that took off with an amazing start by Fabio Onidi, who passed both Ceccon and Luca Filippi and took the lead. Anyway Filippi was quicker, and came back on the Lazarus driver, passing him on lap 6 and immediately building a gap; unfortunately, Luca ruined his race later on with a mistake at the pit-stop.
In the meantime Tambay had chosen an early pit-stop strategy to avoid traffic, and it worked flawlessly, putting him in 3rd position when all the rivals completed their tire changes, behind Venturini and ahead of Onidi. Venturini, who again did a very good race, had to cope with heavy tire wear in the final laps and on lap 19 he did a mistake that offered the Frenchman an easy chance for a pass.
So Tambay crossed the line 2nd ahead of Venturini, with Onidi 4th keeping at bay a very focused Sergei Afanasiev. Rodolfo Gonzalez did a very good recovery finishing fifth from P11 on the grid. The driver from Caracas finished ahead of Fabrizio Crestani and Pasquale Di Sabatino, who will start from pole position in tomorrow's Race 2 thanks to the reversed grid.
Kevin Ceccon: "We decided to lodge an appeal because we think that we can't pay a mistake made by who called the Safety-Car in. Furthermore, I've been punished for not slowing down while both those laps were around 2" slower than my race pace. This is why we think that appealing was our right. It's a pity because I'm not really enjoying this win...".
Adrien Tambay: "I'm a bit confused by what happened with the Safety-Car, but apart from this my race was really good, and the call we did with the team with the early pit-stop was the right one. A second place is a good result anyway, and I hope that the appeal will be refused".
Giovanni Venturini: "My start was good, I passed Ceccon and I tried to go on the inside of Onidi, but he quickly closed the door. From then on the race was good, my car was really quick so I managed to control the race with no worries until the last laps, when tire wear made things tricky. Anyway without my mistake I would have been second, I touched the grass under braking and Adrien went through".
Budapest, 4 June, Race 1
1 Kevin CECCON Ombra Racing 21 laps in 35'17"721
2 Adrien TAMBAY Gravity - Charouz Dams +49.547
3 Giovanni VENTURINI Griffitz Durango +53.185
4 Fabio ONIDI Lazarus +54.288
5 Sergei AFANASIEV Dams +55.084
6 Rodolfo GONZALEZ Campos Racing +1:03.140
7 Fabrizio CRESTANI Lazarus +1:03.634
8 Pasquale DI SABATINO TP Formula +1:08.779
9 Bruno MENDEZ Campos Racing +1:09.898
10 Rio HARYANTO Dams +1:10.894
11 Luca FILIPPI Supernova Racing +1:15.708
12 Francesco DRACONE Emmebi Motorsport +1:36.600
13 Samuele BUTTARELLI TP Formula +1 LAP
14 Stefano BIZZARRI Ombra Racing +1 LAP
15 Giuseppe CIPRIANI Griffitz Durango +3 LAPS
16 Marco BARBA Campos Racing D.N.F.
Fastest lap Luca FILIPPI (Supernova Racing) 1:34.527, avg 166.84kph
Drivers standings: 1. Venturini 47; 2. Ceccon 45; 3. Onidi 34; 4. Tambay 31; 5. Filippi 25; 6. Afanasiev 22; 7. Buttarelli e Barba 16; 9. Di Sabatino 10; 10. Gonzalez 8; 11. Crestani 6; 12. Mendez 4; 13. Zaugg 3; 14. Haryanto e Dracone 1.
Under 21 standings: 1. Ceccon 53; 2. Venturini 51; 3. Tambay 36; 4. Buttarelli 34; 5. Mendez 28; 6. Haryanto 16; 7. Bizzarri 6.
Teams standings: 1. DAMS 53; 2. Ombra 51; 3. Griffitz Durango 47; 4. Lazarus 40; 5. SuperNova 28; 6. Campos Racing 26; 7. TP Formula 20; 8. Emmebi 1.