Campos Racing’s Andres Cardenas was fastest in Spanish Formula 4 practice at Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo circuit, as the field grew to 35 cars.
The most notable addition to the grid is Daniel Macia, a frontrunner in the championship back in 2021 who switched his focus to karting last year and then contested the first two rounds of this season with the Global Racing Service team and with a third outing always planned.
The team is also running Gabriel Stilp, who came ninth in British F4 this year with one win and two other podiums while driving for Hitech GP.
MP Motorsport has replaced Jeronimo Berrio with Reno Francot, who won three races and was championship runner-up in F4 Central European Zone this year, French F4 backmarker Joao Paulo Diaz Balesteiro has taken over the Drivex School-run car that was raced by Daniel Nogales in the first half of this season, and Cram Motorport has added Filippo Fiorentino to its line-up.
Brazilian racer Fiorentino has spent 2023 in karting but also racing single-seaters in Brazil’s Formula Delta series.
Spanish F4 practice was split into two 40-minute sessions, but track time did not seem to be a priority for many drivers as after 15 minutes of FP1 only six drivers had set laps. Hiyu Yamakoshi topped the times with a 1m33.950s, 0.035 seconds up on Griffin Peebles and with Eric Gene 0.182s behind in third.
The trio then improved their pace, with Yamakoshi setting a new 1m33.568s benchmark. In the session’s second half he got even faster, setting a 1m33.419s, and Enzo Deligny rose up to second place with a 1m33.624s.
Moments later Alex Ninovic demoted Deligny to third by getting within 0.026s of Yamakoshi’s pace, but then Deligny set a 1m33.280s to go fastest. His time at the top only lasted a minute, with Ninovic lowering the pace to 1m33.078s.
Christian Ho went second fastest, 0.022s behind, and Valerio Rinicella got within 0.121s of Ninovic while Deligny dropped to fourth just ahead of Noah Stromsted.
It was Stromsted who was next to the top, going fastest by 0.008s, then Ricardo Gracia went 0.007s faster than him. They then fell to fourth and fifth as Deligny and Rinicella broke into the 1m32s and Ho also improved.
With nine minutes to go there were five drivers lapping in the 1m32s, with Gracia, Pedro Clerot and Keanu Al Azhari in third, fourth and fifth on the timesheet.
The session ended with Clerot on top, a 1m32.797s putting him 0.023s ahead of Rinicella and 0.028s up on Ho in a top eight covered by a tiny 0.083s.
FP2 was also very light on action at first, and when red flags waved 10 minutes in Al Azhari was on top with a 1m33.336s. He lowered the pace to 1m33.085s, then Nael set a 1m32.727s to go fastest with seven-and-a-half minutes to go.
In the final minute he improved to 1m32.703s, but Cardenas bettered him by 0.015s to end practice on top. Rinicella was 0.085s back in third, and Clerot was classified fourth overall as the highest placed of the 13 drivers who didn’t improve on their FP1 times.
Seven drivers got stop-go penalties and one was black-flagged during FP2 over track limits abuse.
Free practice results
|1||Andres Cardenas||Campos Racing||1m32.688s||23|
|2||Theophile Nael||Sainteloc Racing||1m32.703s||+0.015s||28|
|3||Valerio Rinicella||MP Motorsport||1m32.773s||+0.085s||30|
|4||Pedro Clerot||MP Motorsport||1m32.797s||+0.109s||30|
|5||Enzo Deligny||Campos Racing||1m32.812s||+0.124s||22|
|6||Christian Ho||Campos Racing||1m32.813s||+0.125s||24|
|7||Matteo De Palo||Campos Racing||1m32.868s||+0.180s||26|
|8||Ricardo Gracia||Monlau Motorsport||1m32.878s||+0.190s||22|
|9||Keanu Al Azhari||MP Motorsport||1m32.880s||+0.192s||30|
|11||Juan Cota||Drivex School||1m32.990s||+0.302s||23|
|12||Noah Stromsted||Campos Racing||1m33.070s||+0.382s||26|
|13||Alexander Abkhazava||Drivex School||1m33.086s||+0.398s||25|
|14||Hiyu Yamakoshi||Tecnicar Motorsport||1m33.135s||+0.447s||32|
|16||Jesse Carrasquedo||Campos Racing||1m33.227s||+0.539s||26|
|17||Alvise Rodella||MP Motorsport||1m33.230s||+0.542s||27|
|18||Pablo Sarrazin||Monlau Motorsport||1m33.240s||+0.552s||23|
|19||Lin Hodenius||Monlau Motorsport||1m33.273s||+0.685s||23|
|20||Reno Francot||MP Motorsport||1m33.310s||+0.622s||30|
|21||Griffin Peebles||Tecnicar Motorsport||1m33.351s||+0.663s||32|
|22||Flavio Olivieri||Cram Motorsport||1m33.356s||+0.668s||29|
|23||Eric Gene||Tecnicar Motorsport||1m33.380s||+0.692s||29|
|24||Federico Al Rifai||Carlin||1m33.384s||+0.696s||26|
|25||Maxi Restrepo||Drivex School||1m33.521s||+0.833s||22|
|27||Fernando Barrichello||Monlau Motorsport||1m33.594s||+0.906s||24|
|28||Joao Diaz||Drivex School||1m33.692s||+1.004s||23|
|30||Theodor Jensen||Sainteloc Racing||1m33.808s||+1.120s||26|
|31||Kai Daryanani||Cram Motorsport||1m33.834s||+1.146s||34|
|32||Filippo Fiorentino||Cram Motorsport||1m33.853s||+1.165s||30|
|33||Luciano Morano||Sainteloc Racing||1m33.870s||+1.182s||30|
|34||Lorenzo Castillo||Tecnicar Motorsport||1m34.310s||+1.622s||28|