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Badoer leads Powell in practice for Italian F4 finale

by Ida Wood

Photo: ACI Sport

Brando Badoer topped both free practice sessions ahead of the Italian Formula 4 finale at Vallelunga, followed in the times by rookie Alex Powell.

Badoer was the 10th and final driver to top the times in FP1, with AKM Motorsport’s Tina Hausmann setting the pace at first with a 1m45.881s laptime.

PHM Racing duo Viktoria Blokhina and Tom Kalender lowered the pace, then then Jenzer Motorsport’s Ariel Elkin went two seconds faster than anyone else.

Prema’s James Wharton then built an even bigger gap at the top of the timesheet, going 3.485s faster than Elkin. But Elkin’s next lap then returned him to first place, as he went 0.384s faster than Wharton.

Just a few seconds later R-ace GP’s Raphael Narac became the first driver to lap in the 1m37s, and Wharton’s next lap was a 1m36.963s.

Elkin was able to go a second faster than that, then he and Narac started trading fastest laps until Wharton set a 1m35.065s to put himself back on top.

For the next 15 minutes it was a battle between Prema drivers to be fastest, with Ugo Ugochukwu, Wharton and Tuukka Taponen bringing the pace down into the 1m34s.

Taponen’s 1m34.174s proved difficult to beat, although US Racing’s Kacper Sztuka was eventually able to do so by 0.003s. Later on Ugochuckwu shaved another 0.157s off the benchmark pace, before Van Amersfoort Racing’s Badoer eventually came around with a 1m33.923s that made him the fastest driver by 0.091s over Ugochukwu.

Hausmann was again first to the top in FP2, with Ruiqi Liu (US Racing), Giacomo Pedrini (PHM Racing), Guido Luchetti (Airflow Racing) and Alfio Spina (BVM Racing) all lowering the pace before the bigger names came to the fore.

Ugochukwu traded fastest laps with Badoer and then Sztuka, then 10 minutes from the end PHM’s James Egozi surprised by usurping both with a 1m34.215s.

Four successive improvement from Badoer following that meant he ended the day on top, with a faster pace than was set in FP1, with Egozi shuffled all the way down to 15th but only 0.444s off the pace.

Prema’s Powell and Arvid Lindblad were second and third fastest, ahead of Sztuka, Ugochukwu, Taponen and Wharton.

Free practice results

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Brando Badoer Van Amersfoort Racing 1m33.771s 24
2 Alex Powell Prema Racing 1m33.863s +0.092s 34
3 Arvid Lindblad Prema Racing 1m33.903s +0.132s 35
4 Kacper Sztuka US Racing 1m33.919s +0.148s 27
5 Ugo Ugochukwu Prema Racing 1m33.922s +0.151s 33
6 Tuukka Taponen Prema Racing 1m33.954s +0.183s 32
7 James Wharton Prema Racing 1m34.001s +0.230s 34
8 Akshay Bohra US Racing 1m34.047s +0.276s 30
9 Raphael Narac R-ace GP 1m34.074s +0.303s 34
10 Freddie Slater Van Amersfoort Racing 1m34.075s +0.304s 23
11 Niko Lacorte Prema Racing 1m34.076s +0.305s 36
12 Ariel Elkin Jenzer Motorsport 1m34.146s +0.375s 32
13 Zachary David US Racing 1m34.195s +0.424s 33
14 Matheus Ferreira Van Amersfoort Racing 1m34.197s +0.426s 23
15 James Egozi PHM Racing 1m34.215s +0.444s 36
16 Matteo Quintarelli R-ace GP 1m34.308s +0.537s 28
17 Gianmarco Pradel US Racing 1m34.374s +0.603s 30
18 Alfio Spina BVM Racing 1m34.430s +0.659s 36
19 Giacomo Pedrini PHM Racing 1m34.454s +0.683s 40
20 Rashid Al Dhaheri Prema Racing 1m34.459s +0.688s 36
21 Aurelia Nobels Prema Racing 1m34.486s +0.715s 29
22 Jack Beeton Van Amersfoort Racing 1m34.498s +0.727s 27
23 Davide Larini PHM Racing 1m34.506s +0.736s 36
24 Tina Hausmann AKM Motorsport 1m34.542s +0.771s 38
25 Finn Wiebelhaus Jenzer Motorsport 1m34.554s +0.783s 36
26 Ruiqi Liu US Racing 1m34.625s +0.854s 31
27 Viktoria Blokhina PHM Racing 1m34.673s +0.902s 35
28 Tom Kalender PHM Racing 1m34.704s +0.933s 38
29 Shimo Zhang Jenzer Motorsport 1m34.788s +1.017s 32
30 Ethan Ischer Jenzer Motorsport 1m34.868s +1.097s 35
31 Kabir Anurag US Racing 1m34.931s +1.160s 29
32 Mrad Kamal AKM Motorsport 1m34.938s +1.167s 36
33 Guido Luchetti Airflow Racing 1m35.460s +1.689s 33
34 Diego de la Torre AKM Motorsport 1m35.480s +1.709s 36