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Bearman takes thrilling win from Antonelli at Monza in Italian F4

by Roger Gascoigne

Photo: ACI Sport

Ollie Bearman emerged victorious from a thrilling race-long battle at Monza in the first Italian Formula 4 race of the final weekend.

The Van Amersfoort driver, who had wrapped up the championship at the previous event in Mugello, took the lead with an audacious move into the first chicane on the last lap as four cars battled for the lead.

Andrea Kimi Antonelli took his maiden car racing podium, in his third weekend in F4, with second place for Prema Powerteam.

Antonelli had tried an even wilder move into the chicane on the last lap, but locked up and was forced to cut the chicane, ceding position to Bearman through Curva Grande. Nevertheless, Antonelli was clearly delighted with the result punching the air as he crossed the line.

The turning point of the race came on lap 13 as Bearman – who missed Thursday’s pre-event test – made a move for the lead on long-time race leader, Lorenzo Patrese.

Bearman pulled alongside on the straight, briefly putting two wheels onto the grass before taking the inside line at the chicane.

In defending Patrese briefly locked up and ran wide but as he rejoined there was contact between him and Bearman, with Patrese running off into the gravel on the outside of the Curva Grande.

The incident between Bearman and Patrese is under investigation by the stewards.

The leader going into the last lap had actually been Mucke Motorsports, Joshua Duerksen, double winner at Mugello, who took advantage of the coming-together between Patrese and Bearman to slip through into the lead.

With Bearman and Antonelli squeezing past on the last lap, Duerksen had to settle for third place on the podium.

Patrese, who had started from pole position, lost out to Bearman at the start but was clearly quicker in the early stages and took the lead into the Roggia chicane on lap 2.

With his father, six-time GP winner Riccardo Patrese watching on impassively in the pits, he quickly pulled out a comfortable gap ahead of the following pack, despite being twice pegged back as the safety car was deployed for incidents on track.

For most of the race, a group comprising Bearman, Tim Tramnitz, Duerksen and Antonelli had exchanged positions regularly in a typical Monza slipstreamer. Tramnitz made a number of attempts on Bearman, the two passing and repassing, before being joined after the final safety car by Antonelli and Duerksen.

Tramnitz eventually came home fourth, ahead of Prema Powerteam’s Sebastian Montoya. Starting 16th after a 12-place grid penalty, Montoya ran at the head of a second group just behind the leaders but as the leaders exchanged positions he was able to close up onto their tails, together with his team-mate Kirill Smal – who started 22nd and finished sixth.

Feed Racing shootout winner Robert de Haan finished his debut race in F4 in the gravel at the first chicane after a collision on lap 8.

Race results (15 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
1 Ollie Bearman Van Amersfoort Racing 32m26.309s
2 Andrea Kimi Antonelli Prema Powerteam +0.320s
3 Joshua Duerksen Mucke Motorsport +0.592s
4 Tim Tramnitz US Racing +0.714s
5 Sebastian Montoya Prema Powerteam +1.100s
6 Kirill Smal Prema Powerteam +1.366s
7 Conrad Laursen Prema Powerteam +2.642s
8 Piotr Wisnicki Jenzer Motorsport +3.843s
9 Leonardo Fornaroli Iron Lynx +4.048s
10 Hamda Al Qubaisi Prema Powerteam +4.200s
11 Pietro Armanni Iron Lynx +4.939s
12 Oliver Gray BVM Racing +5.270s
13 Jorge Garciarce Jenzer Motorsport +5.832s
14 Santiago Ramos Jenzer Motorsport +6.575s
15 Pedro Perino US Racing +6.709s
16 Nikita Bedrin Van Amersfoort Racing +7.318s
17 Kacper Sztuka Iron Lynx +7.802s
18 Erick Zuniga Mucke Motorsport +8.414s
19 Samir Ben Jenzer Motorsport +9.751s
20 Leonardo Bizzotto BVM Racing +9.781s
21 Maya Weug Iron Lynx +10.019s
22 Francesco Braschi Jenzer Motorsport +14.146s
23 Josh Dufek Van Amersfoort Racing +15.377s
24 Georgis Markogiannis Cram Motorsport +15.583s
25 Rocco Mazzola Cram Motorsport +16.376s
26 Francesco Simonazzi BVM Racing +1 lap
27 Lorenzo Patrese AKM Motorsport +1 lap
28 Marcos Flack Cram Motorsport +1 lap
29 Levente Revesz AKM Motorsport +1 lap
Ret Maceo Capietto Prema Powerteam
Ret Nicolas Baptiste Cram Motorsport
Ret Bence Valint Van Amersfoort Racing
Ret Robert de Haan Van Amersfoort Racing
Ret Vlad Lomko US Racing
Ret Jonas Ried Mucke Motorsport
Fastest lap: Montoya, 1m53.635s

Championship standings (best 16 scores)
 Bearman 305   2 Tramnitz 214   3 Fornaroli 180   4 Montoya 176   5 Smal 172   6 Duerksen 151   7 Dufek 148   8 Bedrin 102   9 Laursen 50   10  Lomko 37