Pedro Clerot won two of the three races as the first ever Brazilian Formula 4 round took place at the Autodromo Velo Citta with a 15-car field.
Clerot, who has already been racing the Tatuus T-421 in the Italian championship this year, wrote his name in the record books as the first winner in a national single-seater championship in Brazil for five years.
The Full Time Sports driver claimed the first available pole position and won race one from lights-to-flag, scoring the fastest lap in the process. He repeated the feat in race three thanks to an early move on pole-sitter Lucas Staico. The win in the reversed-grid race two was taken by Ricardo Gracia.
Due to safety concerns with the late arrival of the new cars and the fact most of the drivers were new to single-seaters, organisers ruled that all three races should start under safety car.
Once the lights went green, there were close fights for position all through the field. Behind the dominant Clerot, Nicholas Monteiro set the pace to finish race one in second, ahead of Nicolas Giaffone, who had passed his cousin Fernando ‘Fefo’ Barrichello early in the race.
Barrichello, the younger son of Formula 1 winner Rubens, crossed the line fourth with Victor Backes completing the top five after a late-race move on his KTF teammate Richard Annunziata. Gracia recovered from an early race pit-stop to repair his front wing and climbed back from last to seventh.
The reversed grid for race put Felipe Barrichello Bartz – nephew of Rubens – on pole position with Gracia alongside him. A first-lap pass moved Gracia up front, a position the Full Time Sports driver held until the chequered flag. He won with over 11s margin to Barrichello Bartz, who was joined on the podium by cousin Fernando who claimed third with a last-lap pass. Clerot managed to climb from eighth to fourth, adding to his championship lead with Staico rounding out the top five.
Sunday’s race three win for Clerot was decided by an early move on Staico, who finished second ahead of Gracia. Monteiro and Lucca Zucchini completed the top five.
The inaugural event drew a lot of attention, demonstrated by the presence of FIA South American Vice-President Fabiana Ecclestone and her husband, Bernie Ecclestone.
Race 1 (16 laps)
1 Pedro Clerot Full Time Sports 27m36.086s
2 Nicholas Monteiro TMG Racing +7.904s
3 Nicolas Giaffone Cavaleiro Sports +11.961s
4 Fernando Barrichello Full Time Sports +13.458s
5 Victor Backes KTF Sports +26.207s
6 Richard Annunziata KTF Sports +28.034s
7 Ricardo Gracia Full Time Sports +28.690s
8 Felipe Barrichello Bartz Cavaleiro Sports +28.992s
9 Joao Tesser Cavaleiro Sports +29.718s
10 Luan Lopes KTF Sports +29.963s
Pole: Clerot, 1m27.069s
Fastest lap: Clerot, 1m28.168s
Race 2 (12 laps)
1 Gracia 20m36.256s
2 Felipe Barrichello Bartz +11.886s
3 Fernando Barrichello +12.290s
4 Clerot +13.848s
5 Lucas Staico TMG Racing +14.217s
6 Lopes +15.138s
7 Giaffone +17.473s
8 Backes +18.911s
9 Monteiro +19.139s
10 Tesser +19.226s
FL: Gracia, 1m28.449s
Race 3 (14 laps)
1 Clerot 25m52.665s
2 Staico +0.604s
3 Gracia +1.739s
4 Monteiro +3.974s
5 Lucca Zucchini TMG Racing +5.935s
6 Nelson Neto Full Time Sports +7.983s
7 Felipe Barrichello Bartz +8.102s
8 Tesser +8.766s
9 Backes +8.967s
10 Giaffone +9.215s
P: Staico, 1m27.193s
FL: Clerot, 1m28.444s
1 Clerot 60 2 Gracia 37 3 Monteiro 30 4 Staico 26 5 Felipe Barrichello Bartz 22 6 Fernando Barrichello 22 7 Giaffone 18 8 Backes 13 9 Zucchini 10 10 Annunziata 8