Home News Cardenas fastest in practice as four new drivers join Spanish F4 grid

Cardenas fastest in practice as four new drivers join Spanish F4 grid

by Ida Wood

Photo: Campos Racing

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
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
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
10 Alex Ninovic Carlin 1m32.904s +0.216s 29
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
15 Noah Lisle Carlin 1m33.162s +0.474s 28
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
26 Daniel Macia GRS 1m33.534s +0.846s 30
27 Fernando Barrichello Monlau Motorsport 1m33.594s +0.906s 24
28 Joao Diaz Drivex School 1m33.692s +1.004s 23
29 Gabriel Stilp GRS 1m33.736s +1.048s 33
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
35 Isaac Barashi GRS 1m34.369s +1.681s 24