Home Formula 4Italian F4 Bearman wins safety car-filled Italian F4 opener at Vallelunga

Bearman wins safety car-filled Italian F4 opener at Vallelunga

by Elliot Wood

Photo: ACI Sport

Ollie Bearman passed Gabriele Mini at the start of the first Italian Formula 4 race of the weekend at Vallelunga to win a race mostly spent behind the safety car.

Prema’s Mini, already crowned the 2020 series champion, started from pole on the damp track but was outdone for traction by fellow front row man Bearman.

Van Amersfoort Racing’s Francesco Pizzi and Jonny Edgar also got by on the opening lap, and the race was then neutralised when Cram Motorsport’s Vittorio Catino spun off.

Pizzi, one of few drivers who had opted for grooved tyres rather than slicks, couldn’t challenge Bearman on the safety car restart and watched Edgar in his mirrors while Mini was overtaken by more cars over the next two laps.

The safety car was required again when Catino’s team-mate Nicolas Baptiste visited the gravel, and by this point Prema drivers Gabriel Bortoleto and Dino Beganovic were in fourth and fifth after demoting Iron Lynx’s Leonardo Fornaroli.

Bearman made the perfect getaway on the second restart, while Edgar’s team-mate Jak Crawford – who qualified 15th – made a great move on Fornaroli and started attacking the Prema pair ahead.

He got past Beganovic, another to choose grooved tyres, but his race then ended a few corners later with a spin and the safety car was needed for a third time. The lengthy recovery of Crawford’s car meant racing didn’t resume before the chequered flag, and Bearman led home Pizzi and Edgar as he took his first series win.

Fifth place for Ferrari junior Beganovic means it’s a straight fight between himself and Pizzi for the title runner-up spot over the last two races, as Cram’s Andrea Rosso dropped to seventh in the standings by finishing a pointless 11th.

Mini came home eighth, behind Bhaitech’s Jesse Salmenautio and BVM Technorace’s Francesco Simonazzi but ahead of Fornaroli and Mucke Motorsport’s Joshua Duerksen.

Race results (14 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Ollie Bearman US Racing 33m15.932s
2 Francesco Pizzi Van Amersfoort Racing +0.577s
3 Jonny Edgar Van Amersfoort Racing +1.142s
4 Gabriel Bortoleto Prema +1.418s
5 Dino Beganovic Prema +1.701s
6 Jesse Salmenautio Bhaitech +3.174s
7 Francesco Simonazzi BVM Technorace +3.494s
8 Gabriele Mini Prema +4.079s
9 Leonardo Fornaroli Iron Lynx +4.898s
10 Joshua Duerksen Mucke Motorsport +5.061s
11 Andrea Rosso Cram Motorsport +5.198s
12 Kirill Smal Prema +7.199s
13 Tim Tramnitz US Racing +7.973s
14 Filip Ugran Jenzer Motorsport +8.269s
15 Cenyu Han Van Amersfoort Racing +8.654s
16 Francesco Braschi Jenzer Motorsport +9.095s
17 Taylor Barnard AKM Motorsport +9.863s
18 Jasin Ferati Jenzer Motorsport +10.053s
19 Sebastian Montoya Prema +10.258s
20 Yaroslav Shevyrtalov Iron Lynx +10.443s
21 Sebastian Ogaard Bhaitech +10.866s
22 Axel Gnos G4 Racing +11.590s
23 Santiago Ramos Jenzer Motorsport +12.419s
24 Tikhon Kharitonov Bhaitech +14.914s
25 Hamda Al Qubaisi Abu Dhabi Racing +15.255s
26 Diego Contecha Mucke Motorsport +15.764s
27 Pietro Armanni BVM Technorace +16.723s
28 Pedro Perino DR Formula +20.316s
29 Bence Valint Van Amersfoort Racing +22.112s
Ret Jak Crawford Van Amersfoort Racing
Ret Dexter Patterson Bhaitech
Ret Nicolas Baptiste Cram Motorsport
Ret Vittori Catino Cram Motorsport
Fastest lap: Bearman, 1m43.018s

Championship standings
Mini 280   2 Pizzi 209   3 Beganovic 178   4 Bortoleto 145   5 Edgar 144   6 Crawford 140   7 Rosso 139   8 Ugran 127   9 Fornaroli 106   10 Montoya 81