Rising star Petr Ptacek is hoping he can turn his previous good form at Monza into a healthy points return when he kicks off his Formula Renault Eurocup campaign at the iconic Italian track this weekend (12-14 April).
The 16-year-old is using Renault Sport’s relaunched single-seater series to take the next step in his promising career during 2019. He’ll line up for BhaiTech Racing in the ten-round championship that starts in Italy and ends in Abu Dhabi at the end of October.
The super-fast Monza circuit will host Petr and 21 other championship hopefuls this weekend as they do battle in two point-scoring races.
The home of the Italian Grand Prix is a track where Petr came close to scoring a brace of podiums during his Italian F4 Rookie Cup-winning campaign in 2018 and he’s hoping he can replicate that strong form this weekend.
“Monza is an exciting track to drive and my speed there last season was really good. Unfortunately, I missed the podium by 0.4 seconds in one of my F4 races there last season and then I got taken out of P4 in another,” the Parmigiani Watches-supporter driver explained.
“But those performances give me confidence and I believe I can do well there this weekend. Getting onto the podium would be a nice way to start the Formula Renault season and I’d like to think the track will be a bit kinder this time!”
However, Petr is taking nothing for granted in 2019. Despite enjoying a positive pre-season testing programme, he’s fully aware how competitive the Formula Renault Eurocup field will be and he knows he’ll have to earn success in his stunning Rich Energy-liveried car.
“Formula Renault will be the strongest series below F3 this year and I’m expecting the top-ten to be covered by less than half a second,” the Czech driver said. “All of the drivers will be at a super high level and I’ll need to work hard for every single point.
“But I will do my best at every race and I think I can be competitive. I believe in myself and my BhaiTech team. We know how each other work and we’ve already proven we can be successful together.”
Petr will tackle and learn a host of new circuits this season – all but one of which feature on this year’s F1 calendar. One of the highlights of his 2019 programme will be racing on the famous streets of Monaco next month.
He said: “I’m only 16-years-old and I’ll be racing at Monaco in a few weeks. That’s pretty amazing! I’m hugely thankful to all the people that have given me the opportunity to do this. I’ll be pushing to score a good result for them in Monte Carlo and on all the other iconic circuits that I’ll race – starting at Monza.”