Home News 17 drivers penalised and eight black flagged in Spanish F4 practice

17 drivers penalised and eight black flagged in Spanish F4 practice

by Ida Wood

Photo: Spanish F4 / Fotocar13

Nikola Tsolov was fastest in both Spanish Formula 4 practice sessions at Algarve, but the big talking point was track limits violations.

There were 18 laps deleted in the first of two sessions, and 24 drivers were shown the black-and-white flag for ignoring track limits. After that, eight offenders – Noah Lisle, Filip Jenic, Jesse Carrasquedo Jr, Ricardo Gracia, Jorge Campos, Georg Kelstrup, Max Arkhangelskiy and Valerio Rinicella – copped three-minute pitlane time penalties for repeated offences.

Global Racing’s Lucas Malek was the pacesetter as the first few laps were set, with Jef Machiels – driving for the alliance between Van Amersfoort Racing and Monlau Motorsport – then taking over as he went two seconds faster.

His team-mate Robert De Haan was a second up on that, then Campos Racing’s Tsolov took to the top with half an hour remaining.

MP Motorsport’s Tymoteusz Kucharczyk was next to the top, for eight seconds, before Tsolov improved to a 1m46.348s.

His team-mate Hugh Barter eventually usurped him by 0.119 seconds, but Tsolov immediately responded to regain first place and later improved into the 1m45s.

Entering the final seven minutes he had set several sub-1m46s laps while nobody else had breached that mark, but on the final runs many drivers improved.

Tsolov himself set a 1m45.755s to secure top spot, and MP’s Suleiman Zanfari set a 1m45.921s to go second fastest. Barter was third, and next in the order were MP’s Christian Ho and Valerio Rinicella.

The top 16 were within a second, and Bruno del Pino and Kirill Smal set no laps.

Tsolov was quicker to rise up to first in FP2, then Barter, Gael Julien, Arkhangelskiy, Lisle and Kucharczyk all spent time at the top and brought the pace down to 1m46.406s before the final 10 minutes of running.

Barter returned to first place with just under nine minutes to go, and a minute later Jenic set the session’s first sub-1m46s lap. It wasn’t until the final four minutes that Tsolov went top again, but Jenic knocked him down to second after 30 seconds and Tsolov had to improve to end practice on top by 0.044s.

During the session Alvaro Garcia, Lisle, Lola Lovinfosse, Carrasquedo, Miron Pingasov and Gracia (twice) got stop-gos, and Gracia, Campos, Vladislav Ryabov, Max Mayer, Malek, Kelstrup, Tsolov and Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak then got black flagged.

This time Smal set seven laps but stopped on track, while Teo Martin Motorsport’s Daniel Nogales failed to head out. There were 10 drivers who failed to improve on their FP1 pace, one of those being Zanfari who was fourth fastest overall during the day.

Free practice results

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Nikola Tsolov Campos Racing 1m45.599s 35
2 Filip Jenic Campos Racing 1m45.643s +0.044s 32
3 Hugh Barter Campos Racing 1m45.766s +0.167s 34
4 Suleiman Zanfari MP Motorsport 1m45.921s +0.322s 37
5 Georg Kelstrup Campos Racing 1m46.009s +0.410s 31
6 Tymoteusz Kucharczyk MP Motorsport 1m46.019s +0.420s 36
7 Gael Julien Drivex School 1m46.052s +0.453s 34
8 Christian Ho MP Motorsport 1m46.157s +0.558s 40
9 Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak MP Motorsport 1m46.174s +0.575s 40
10 Valerio Rinicella MP Motorsport 1m46.247s +0.648s 35
11 Max Arkhangelskiy Drivex School 1m46.248s +0.649s 31
12 Ricardo Escotto Cram Motorsport 1m46.258s +0.659s 34
13 Robert De Haan VAR/Monlau Motorsport 1m46.369s +0.770s 34
14 Jesse Carrasquedo Jr Campos Racing 1m46.392s +0.793s 30
15 Noah Lisle Drivex School 1m46.442s +0.843s 25
16 Sebastian Gravlund MP Motorsport 1m46.469s +0.870s 40
17 Miron Pingasov MP Motorsport 1m46.516s +0.917s 35
18 Jef Machiels VAR/Monlau Motorsport 1m46.584s +0.985s 28
19 Alvaro Garcia Formula de Campeones 1m46.603s +1.004s 33
20 Max Mayer Formula de Campeones 1m46.607s +1.008s 35
21 Lucas Malek GRS 1m46.640s +1.041s 32
22 Anshul Gandhi Cram Motorsport 1m46.823s +1.224s 32
23 Bruno del Pino Drivex School 1m46.836s +1.237s 16
24 Vladislav Ryabov GRS 1m46.964s +1.365s 29
25 Manuel Espirito Santo Teo Martin Motorsport 1m47.040s +1.441s 34
26 Daniel Nogales Teo Martin Motorsport 1m47.185s +1.586s 16
27 Ricardo Gracia GRS 1m47.302s +1.703s 34
28 Jorge Campos Formula de Campeones 1m47.443s +1.844s 34
29 Lola Lovinfosse Teo Martin Motorsport 1m47.443s +1.844s 27
30 Kirill Smal MP Motorsport 1m47.544s +1.945s 7