R-ace GP driver Petr Ptacek returned to the point-scoring positions as the Formula Renault Eurocup resumed at the Nürburgring this weekend – but the 17-year-old is resolute in his determination to be challenging even higher up the grid.
The Sauber Academy member finished P8 in Saturday’s first race and P11 during Sunday’s second on-track encounter at the former home of the German Grand Prix.
Free practice and qualifying didn’t bring the progress Petr hoped for at the start of his race weekend. But the experience did bring some insight and learning that could provide a valuable turning point in his 2020 fortunes.
“We struggled since the free practice at the Nürburgring, qualifying was just not good enough, especially for me,” Petr said. “For the moment, we have to figure out a better way to go. We need to improve in lots of little areas and if we qualify higher it will make our lives easier in the races. That’s a priority for us.”
Making progress during the opening race proved difficult for almost the entire field, and Petr could do very little other than to hold on to his P8 starting position.
During the second race, Petr expertly fended off some strong pressure from behind and was well positioned to bring home some more points. However, a lack of grip in the closing stages meant he was powerless to prevent a drop to P11.
“We’ve learned a lot this weekend so we have to see how that will help us in the future races,” he said. “It’s fair to say that the first three rounds are not as good as we wanted them to be.
“But I think there are some positives to take. This experience is certainly making us stronger. We’re still hungry for good results and we know we have some things we really need to work on.
“None of us – especially me – will stop until we’re challenging for the top positions. That’s the only reason we go racing. We want to win and I believe we can.”
Petr will travel to Magny Cours in France for the fourth round of the 2020 season this weekend (13-14 September) and he’s hoping his Nürburgring experience will help to secure a performance improvement.
“The momentum of having another race weekend so soon helps,” he said. “It’s all fresh so you don’t have to wait long to see how the improvements will look.”