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Bearman bounces back from Imola DSQ with another Italian F4 win

by Ida Wood

Photo: ACI Sport

Ollie Bearman continues to dominate the Italian Formula 4 championship as he won the opening race of the weekend at the Red Bull Ring.

The Van Amersfoort Racing driver had eight consecutive wins prior to an engine irregularity taking away his most recent success at Imola, but he bounced back in style in Austria.

Bearman started second on the grid alongside Prema’s Sebastian Montoya, with US Racing’s Tim Tramnitz and Bearman’s Van Amersfoort Racing team-mate Nikita Bedrin lining up on row two.

Those positions went unchanged through the opening lap, but it all changed on lap two as Montoya lost out to Bearman and Tramnitz at turn three and didn’t have time to respond to the passes as the safety car was summoned following an incident involving new US Racing signing Pedro Perino and BVM Racing’s Leonardo Bizzotto.

Bearman handled the restart well and from then on held just enough of a margin that he didn’t have to worry about defending.

Tramnitz soon did come under pressure from Montoya though, with the pair going side-by-side at times. Late in the race Montoya reduced his attacks though, with a gap appearing between the two as track limits warnings were handed out to Montoya and then an investigation began regarding the Colombian’s driving on the formation lap before the race.

Bedrin lost his front wing just after the safety car and plummeted down the order before pitting, which promoted Prema’s Kirill Smal to fourth. Smal was able to get onto Montoya’s gearbox for a brief period, before he lost pace in the final few laps and came under pressure from Joshua Dufek (VAR) and Leonardo Fornaroli (Iron Lynx) behind.

A huge gap opened up in the race between them and BVM’s Francesco Simonazzi in seventh, who had a train of cars behind him throughout. He managed to hold onto his position, ahead of Mucke Motorsport’s Erick Zuniga and the debuting Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 junior Andrea Kimi Antonelli.

Beyond a small lock-up on lap one, Prema driver Antonelli had a clean run to score points in his first ever car race.

Race results (19 laps)

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Ollie Bearman Van Amersfoort Racing 32m32.683s
2 Tim Tramnitz US Racing +0.639s
3 Sebastian Montoya Prema +1.430s
4 Kirill Smal Prema +3.223s
5 Joshua Dufek Van Amersfoort Racing +3.435s
6 Leonardo Fornaroli Iron Lynx +4.074s
7 Francesco Simonazzi BVM Racing +11.141s
8 Erick Zuniga Mucke Motorsport +11.731s
9 Andrea Kimi Antonelli Prema +12.060s
10 Francesco Braschi Jenzer Motorsport +13.834s
11 Lorenzo Patrese AKM Motorsport +19.481s
12 Piotr Wisnicki Jenzer Motorsport +20.688s
13 Conrad Laursen Prema +21.260s
14 Samir Ben Jenzer Motorsport +22.648s
15 Bence Valint Van Amersfoort Racing +23.068s
16 Santiago Ramos Jenzer Motorsport +23.595s
17 Maya Weug Iron Lynx +23.847s
18 Kacper Sztuka AS Motorsport +24.391s
19 Hamda Al Qubaisi Prema +24.947s
20 Cenyu Han Van Amersfoort Racing +25.388s
21 Charlie Wurz Prema +26.915s
22 Eron Rexhepi BVM Racing +26.974s
23 Levente Revesz AKM Motorsport +33.225s
24 Georgios Markogiannis Cram Motorsport +34.983s
25 Pietro Armanni Iron Lynx +35.363s
26 Jonas Ried Mucke Motorsport +37.785s
27 Jorge Garciarce Jenzer Motorsport +39.073s
Ret Nikita Bedrin Van Amersfoort Racing
Ret Joshua Duerksen Mucke Motorsport
Ret Pedro Perino US Racing
Ret Leonardo Bizzotto BVM Racing
Ret Nicolas Baptiste Cram Motorsport
Fastest lap: Montoya, 1m31.063s

Championship standings
1 Bearman 247   2 Tramnitz 134   3 Fornaroli 133   4 Montoya 133   5 Smal 102   6 Dufek 87   7 Bedrin 69   8 Duerksen 64   9 Laursen 48   10 Vlad Lomko 37