Home Formula 4Motorsport Games F4 Cup Antonelli fastest but has late clash in Motorsport Games F4 qualifying

Antonelli fastest but has late clash in Motorsport Games F4 qualifying

by Ida Wood

Photo: SRO

Andrea Kimi Antonelli was fastest in qualifying for the Motorsport Games Formula 4 Cup at Paul Ricard, but the Italian ended his session with a collision.

Although the Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 junior had topped both practice sessions on Friday, it did not look like he would be continuing that form at first in the 25-minute qualifying session on Saturday morning.

Portugal’s Manuel Espirito Santo was the first to set a flying lap, then Danish F4 champion Julius Dinesen brought the pace down into the 2m12s. The pair then pushed eached other to lower the pace over several laps before Georgia’s former Asian Formula Renault competitor Sandro Tavartkiladze set a 2m09.963s lap to go to the top.

Many drivers were having laps deleted due to track limits violations, and avoiding that fate was Germany’s Valentin Kluss as he left it late to set his first lap and immediately went quickest with a 2m09.145s.

Espirito Santo returned to second place, before Australia’s Costa Toparis bettered him, and at the 10-minute mark only the top top 12 drivers had lapped fast enough to qualify for the weekend’s races.

Next to top the times was Brazil’s Pedro Clerot, the first driver to lap sub-2m09s, and he headed Serbia’s Filip Jenic before both were jumped by Kluss who set a 2m08.383s.

Antonelli was down in 20th place at what was the halfway point of qualifying, when all 24 cars finally took to track. He improved to 13th place, then shortly after Clerot reclaimed pole position by 0.066 seconds.

With just over 10 minutes remaining, Antonelli finally showed his true pace and a 2m07.460s lap put him 0.857s clear of everyone else. His Italian F4 rival Charlie Wurz (Austria) rose to fifth place in his wake, then went second fastest next time by to reduce Antonelli’s advantage to 0.681s.

Wurz failed to improve further after he caught a kerb and spun, while Antonelli ended the session with another rapid lap that fell apart at the final corner as he went to pass Maria Jose Perez de Arce down the inside. The Chilean closed the door as Antonelli locked up and they made contact, with Perez de Arce spinning and stalling. Yellow flags were waved, then reds, meaning nobody could improve their pace. The collision is being investigated post-session.

Kluss went third fastest just before the incident, shuffling Clerot back to fourth. Espirito Santo qualified fifth but along with India’s Ruhaan Alva got shown the black-and-white flag for repeated track limits abuse.

Unable to set a flying lap that stood was Malaysia’s Alister Yoong, who also spun and stalled late in qualifying.

Qualifying results
Pos Driver Country Time Gaps Laps
1 Andrea Kimi Antonelli Italy 2m07.460s 9
2 Charlie Wurz Austria 2m08.141s +0.681s 8
3 Valentin Kluss Germany 2m08.208s +0.748s 9
4 Pedro Clerot Brazil 2m08.317s +0.857s 8
5 Manuel Espirito Santo Portugal 2m08.408s +0.948s 8
6 Filip Jenic Serbia 2m08.621s +1.161s 5
7 Dario Cabanelas Switzerland 2m08.724s +1.264s 7
8 Lorens Lecertua Belgium 2m08.901s +1.441s 8
9 Sandro Tavartkiladze Georgia 2m08.949s +1.489s 9
10 Costa Toparis Australia 2m08.966s +1.506s 10
11 Bruno del Pino Spain 2m09.083s +1.623s 8
12 Pablo Sarrazin France 2m09.146s +1.686s 8
13 Michael Shin South Korea 2m09.418s +1.958s 9
14 Alex Partuyshe France 2m09.603s +2.143s 7
15 Julius Dinesen Denmark 2m09.720s +2.260s 11
16 Ethan Ho Taiwan 2m08.802s +2.342s 8
17 Ruhaan Alva India 2m09.980s +2.520s 7
18 Zeno Kovacs Hungary 2m10.155s +2.695s 6
19 Guilherme Rocha Mozambique 2m10.868s +3.408s 10
20 Ismail Akhmed Uzbekistan 2m11.218s +3.758s 11
21 Jasper Thong Hong Kong 2m11.344s +3.884s 7
22 Valentino Mini Panama 2m11.810s +4.350s 4
23 Maria Jose Perez de Arce Chile 2m12.857s +5.3971s 7
24 Alister Yoong Malaysia 2m21.596s +14.136s 5