Home Featured Antonelli becomes Italian F4 champion with Mugello win

Antonelli becomes Italian F4 champion with Mugello win

by Roger Gascoigne

Photo: ACI Sport

Andrea Kimi Antonelli took a commanding lights-to-flag victory for Prema in the opening race of the Italian Formula 4 Championship finale at Mugello to clinch the title with two races remaining.

The Mercedes-AMG F1 junior adds the Italian title to the ADAC German title he won a week ago at the Nurburgring as well as this year’s Italian rookie honours.

With heavy clouds overhead and a few drops of rain in the air, Antonelli made a perfect start from pole position as title rival Alex Dunne lost ground to Ugo Ugochukwu who edged past the Irishman into San Donato.

Dunne was soon back into second place and although he was able to narrow Antonelli’s lead to 0.551s the Prema driver was able to stabilise the gap before a four-car incident at Arrabiata brought out the safety car.

Niels Koolen, Giovanni Maschio, Nandhavud Bhirombhakdi to end up in the gravel to avoid a slowing Pedro Perino.

As the safety car pulled in at the end of lap 10, Antonelli controlled the restart to perfection, bunching up the filed before picking up speed three corners before the line.

Dunne held on to second as Van Amersfoort Racing’s Martinius Stenshorne closed on him in the final laps, once he had found a way past Ugochukwu.

The American lost out to team-mate Charlie Wurz as the two veered across the start-finish straight, Ugochukwu earning a black-and-white warning flag in the process. The battle allowed Camara onto their tail, the Ferrari junior further demoting Ugochukwu to take fifth at the flag.

Maya Weug had made an excellent getaway to move up to tenth at the start from 15th on the grid, but lost ground at the restart, dropping back to 14th at the finish.

Taylor Barnard was another driver to make strong progress in the race, finishing a creditable ninth from 20th on the grid for PHM Racing.

Prema’s James Wharton and Conrad Laursen both retired early having started from the tail end of the grid after failing to set a competitive time in qualifying.

VAR’s Red Bull junior Arvid Lindblad bogged down at the start, having qualified an excellent sixth, before recovering to 21st at the finish.

Race result (15 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Andrea Kimi Antonelli Prema 32m38.645s
2 Alex Dunne US Racing +1.319s
3 Martinius Stenshorne VAR +2.348s
4 Charlie Wurz Prema +3.269s
5 Rafael Camara Prema +4.307s
6 Ugo Ugochukwu Prema +7.257s
7 Nikhil Bohra US Racing +7.690s
8 Marcus Amand US Racing +8.746s
9 Taylor Barnard PHM Racing +9.140s
10 Brando Badoer VAR +10.195s
11 Emmo Fittipaldi VAR +10.923s
12 Nikita Bedrin PHM Racing +11.419s
13 Ashkay Bohra US Racing +11.917s
14 Maya Weug Iron Lynx +12.445s
15 Valerio Rinicella AKM Motorsport +12.835s
16 Valentin Kluss Jenzer Motorsport +13.331s
17 Alex Partyshev Jenzer Motorsport +13.505s
18 Ivan Domingues Iron Lynx +14.484s
19 Niko Lacorte Iron Lynx +14.716s
20 Jules Castro VAR +16.505s
21 Arvid Lindblad VAR +16.809s
22 William Karlsson BVM Racing +18.113s
23 Jesse Carrasquedo Jr Monlau Motorsport +18.799s
24 Elia Sperandio Maffi Racing +23.365s
25 Ethan Ischer Jenzer Motorsport +23.599s
26 Georgios Markogiannis Cram Motorsport +24.818s
27 Andrea Frassineti Cars Racing +28.034s
28 Ruiqu Liu AKM Motorsport +28.079s
29 Ismail Akhmed AKM Motorsport +37.157s
30 Viktoria Blokhina PHM Racing +2 laps
31 Frederik Lund R-ace GP +3 laps
Ret Pedro Perino US Racing
Ret Niels Koolen Monlau Motorsport
Ret Jef Machiels Monlau Motorsport
Ret Giovanni Maschio AS Motorsport
Ret Nadhavud Bhirombhakdi Jenzer Motorsport
Ret Jonas Ried PHM Racing
Ret Kacper Sztuka US Racing
Ret Conrad Laursen Prema
Ret James Wharton Prema
Ret Alfio Spina BVM Racing
Fastest lap: Antonelli, 1m49.312s

Championship standings
1 Antonelli 312   2 Dunne 241   3 Camara 224   4 Wurz 177   5 Sztuka 150   6 Wharton 150   7 Stenshorne 106   8 Barnard 95   9 Amand 94   10 Laursen 81