Following a strong debut Toyota Racing Series campaign, Caio Collet says he has full confidence he can challenge for maiden Formula Renault Eurocup title once racing commences in July.
The aspiring Renault Sport Academy driver starred in his rookie season with French outfit R-ace GP, scoring a string of top-five results and six podium finishes on his route to fifth in the standings.
Collett then made an immediate impact on the New Zealand stage, crossing the line first in his inaugural TRS start at Highlands Park only to be handed a post-race penalty for performing a practice start on the formation lap.
He wouldn’t have to wait too long for a maiden victory however, snaring a win at Teretonga one round later. But from there after the 18-year-old was often mired amongst the midfield and failed to make it back onto the podium.
2020 will see Collet reunite with his R-ace GP team for his sophomore Eurocup campaign, one he believes he has prepared well enough to launch a title assault.
“My ambitions are to fight for the championship,” Collet told The Checkered Flag. “We are in a great position regarding the team and myself and I have full confidence that we can fight.
“The main thing was our relationship; we have a great environment in the team, and I think that’s really important and to start the season already knowing the team and how they work is an advantage. And obviously they are very good on what they do.”
Collet topped the final day of a curtailed pre-season test in Valencia earlier in the year. But despite not having turned a wheel on the track since March, the young Brazilian does not believe any momentum has been lost heading into the opening round at Monza in two-months’ time.
“It went pretty well, we could follow the plan and did what we wanted to do,” he said. “The team and I are in a good phase so I’m looking forward for the start of the season.
“When we go back racing we will work hard to make sure everything is how we left [it].
“I’m Looking Forward for the Start of the Season”
This season will also mark Collet’s second as Renault Sport Academy driver and is aware that a strong title campaign could pave the way for future Formula 1 seat at the illustrious French marque.
“Since I started, F1 was the main goal,” he concluded. “It’s a great opportunity in my career, they [Renault] give us some precious moments that I think money can’t buy and they always try to help us develop ourselves to achieve the best results as possible in the track.
“I don’t take it as a pressure but as a motivation, obviously there’s a pressure on achieving results but representing Renault is a big opportunity in my career.”
A revised Formula Renault Eurocup sees the championship begin with a pair of races at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza on July 11 before embarking on a ten-round season which concludes in Abu Dhabi on November 28.
Main Image: Frederic Le Floc’h / DPPI