Oscar Piastri has been crowned the winner of the 2019 Formula Renault Eurocup after a thrilling season finale at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.
Piastri had enjoyed a season-long battle with Frenchman Victor Martins and went into the final round with a 13.5 point lead - needing to finish ahead of Martins in at least one of the races.
Martins got off to the better start, claiming a pole position in the first race but it took just Piastri just one turn to start building his lead, only to have Martins chase back and deliver a lot of pressure in the final stages.
That’s as close as the Frenchman got to Piastri, as the Victorian crossed the line in first place to win his seventh race for the year and move one step closer to the title thanks to a 20 point lead going into the final race.
The victory also meant that the 18-year-old only needed to finish in the top seven to take out the title, which he did comfortably, crossing the finish line in fourth place and as 2019 champion – the first of his career.
The win also saw his team R-ace GP confirm the Drivers’, Teams’, and Rookies’ titles in the process.
Following his maiden international career title, Piastri was thrilled to come away as champion after what was a stressful weekend.
“Race one wasn’t too stressful until Victor got into second,” Piastri said.
“I didn’t know what our pace was going to be like but once he got past Lorenzo Colombo our lap times were pretty even so that reassured me that we stood a reasonable chance of holding on.
“But when he is chasing you down, you’re counting the minutes and laps and trying not to make any mistakes and we did enough.
“Coming into race day I was more relaxed. Qualifying was alright and the first couple of laps were pretty ordinary. I saw Nannini was coming and when it was three-wide down the straight I thought ‘I don’t need to get involved in this’, let them do what they needed to, and played it safe.
“It is awesome for R-ace GP to win all three titles. You can’t get much better than that, can you? Without them, none of us in the team would have had the success we did, so I cannot thank them enough for this year.”
Piastri is yet to announce his plans for 2020.