The third round of the Brazilian Formula 4 season at Autodromo Velo Citta was defined by 0.5 millimetres.
Point leader Vinicius Tessaro claimed both pole positions in Friday’s qualifying session, setting a new track record, but was demoted to last on the grid after technical inspections, due to a front suspension height infringement. Bassani Racing’s rookie Matheus Comparatto therefore inherited pole for races one and three, and turned both those into lights-to-flag wins.
As a result, Comparatto has now risen to second in the standings and is just eight points behind Tessaro.
The championship leader responded to his exclusion from qualifying with a solid effort in damage control. He finished seventh in race one, with remarkable overtakes, which put him on the reversed-grid front row for race two.
Tessaro won that race after overtaking Mateus Callejas, then also showed his skills during race three on Sunday, climbing up the field on used tyres to finish sixth.
Comparatto was not bothered en route to his first win. The battle behind him was fierce, though. Lucca Zucchini started on the front row, spun after a diving attack from Luan Lopes and then recovered to finish third, his second podium result of the year. Lopes drove smoothly to second ahead of him, while Alvaro Cho and Nelson Neto completed the top five.
Callejas, who left the Caveleiro Sports team and is now driving for TMG Racing, started on pole for race two, and with a brand new set of tyres. So did Tessaro alongside him and Fefo Barrichello, who was third on the grid. Callejas managed to keep the lead on the early laps, but Tessaro’s pressure was relentless. He overtook his former team-mate on lap five and then pushed on to the checkered flag.
Barrichello had a clutch issue on the start, which made him lose out to Bassani drivers Neto and Lopes. Rubens Barrichello’s younger son then passed them both and reached Callejas. He made his move for second on the penultimate lap, relegating Callejas to third.
Comparatto’s second win in race three was another cruising drive after making a solid start. Cho tried to follow him during the early laps, and both opened a reasonable gap over Lopes. Tessaro once more managed to advance from last, and finished just 0.138s behind fifth-placed Zucchini.
Brazilian F4’s next round is at Goiania at the end of this month.
Race 1 (19 laps)
1 Matheus Comparatto Bassani Racing 27m37.175s
2 Luan Lopes TMG Racing +4.726s
3 Lucca Zucchini Cavaleiro Sports +5.051s
4 Alvaro Cho TMG Racing +6.742s
5 Nelson Neto Bassani Racing +9.451s
6 Fernando Barrichello Cavaleiro Sports +11.727s
7 Vinicius Tessaro Cavaleiro Sports +12.055s
8 Mateus Callejas TMG Racing +16.131s
9 Carl Bennett Bassani Racing +21.034s
10 Arthur Pavie Bassani Racing +21.535s
Pole: Comparatto, 1m26.059s
Fastest lap: Tessaro, 1m26.252s
Race 2 (14 laps)
1 Tessaro 20m21.136s
2 Barrichello +6.585s
3 Callejas +8.578s
4 Neto +9.255s
5 Alexandre Machado Bassani Racing +15.414s
6 Lopes +17.420s
7 Comparatto +20.650s
8 Cho +21.400s
9 Zucchini +21.789s
10 Bennett +22.654s
FL: Tessaro, 1m26.186s
Race 3 (19 laps)
1 Comparatto 27m21.192s
2 Cho +1.803s
3 Lopes +12.815s
4 Barrichello +14.321
5 Zucchini +16.971s
6 Tessaro +17.109s
7 Joao Tesser TMG Racing +18.256s
8 Bennett +29.426s
9 Neto +32.927s
10 Callejas +34.167s
P: Comparatto, 1m25.968s
FL: Comparatto, 1m25.724s
1 Tessaro 128 2 Comparatto 120 3 Lopes 114 4 Cho 96 5 Callejas 61 6 Zucchini 61 7 Neto 51 8 Tesser 44 9 Pavie 42 10 Barrichello 33