The Euroformula season ended with an 11th win of the year for the series’ new champion Yifei Ye, and one of his most dominant yet as he made it four victories out of four at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
The Chinese driver started from pole, having also taken four poles out of four in qualifying, and had Motopark’s Manuel Maldonado alongside him on the front row. While those two made strong starts, there was drama behind as the field went through Turn 1 for the first time and impact with the kerbs sent Alexandre Bardinon (Van Amersfoort Racing) into the path of Glenn van Berlo (Drivex School) and also compromising Rui Andrade (CryptoTower).
As a result the safety car came out, and on the restart it was Ye and Maldonado who got away cleanest again. This time an incident occurred between Louis Foster (Double R Racing) and Rafael Villagomez (Drivex) at Turn 10 that required yellow flag attention, while dirt at the first corner led to Motopark’s Cameron Das dropping a spot while going for an overtake.
This eased the pressure on Andreas Estner (VAR) in third, with his team-mate and younger brother Sebastian ending up following him home in fourth. Carlin’s Zane Maloney finished in fifth, while Das dropped to sixth.
They were all some way behind Ye and Maldonado, who pushed each other hard even though the gap between the pair grew throughout the race. Such was Ye’s pace advantage at the end that he set fastest lap on the final lap of the season.
“Probably the best race of the season actually,” said Ye. “I had a very, very good start and I just had an easy run to Turn 1 - then there was a safety car in the beginning. I know I can do a good safety car restart, which I managed to do, and from then onwards I was just using my tyre-saving strategy. So I was keeping it under control for the first two laps, then at the end I just gave everything. Also I just wanted to enjoy myself in the car. Managed to do the fastest lap at the end, so that was a mega race. Very happy about that.”
Ido Cohen beat his team-mate Maloney to seventh in the points by finishing the race in eighth, a position he gained at the expense of Motopark’s Niklas Krütten after he was penalised for not rejoining Turn 2 on the correct side of a bollard after an off-track moment.
Andrade recovered from being held back on the opening lap to score a point in 10th, ahead of Double R debutant Matthias Lüthen.