Home Formula 4Italian F4 Flawless Freddie Slater completes Misano hat-trick in Italian F4

Flawless Freddie Slater completes Misano hat-trick in Italian F4

by Roger Gascoigne

Photo: ACI Sport

Prema’s Freddie Slater completed a perfect start to the Italian Formula 4 season with a third win from three races at Misano.

Slater was imperious up front, unphased by safety car interruptions, with team-mates Alex Powell and Kean Nakamura Berta completing the podium.

“A mega weekend. It was quite tough with the amount of safety cars we had,” said a delighted Slater. “We’ve had nine [restarts] over the three races but it’s pretty hard to get a gap. It’s about being as fast as you can without damaging the tyre so that’s what we did.”

While admitting he had “definitely been pushing”, Slater noted “there’s no point overstretching the tyre; I realised that I didn’t need to overpush the braking zones to cause myself some damage later in the race”.

He praised Prema too: “Amazing job to put all six cars with amazing speed. We went to bed last night thinking we need another car on the podium to lock it out and we did exactly that. The team put the cars underneath us to deliver and we’ve done exactly that.”

Powell rounded off an excellent weekend with a third successive runner-up finish, but never challenged Slater. Nakamura put in his best drive of the event, taking third with a daring move on Hiyu Yamakoshi then closing in on his team-mate.

US Racing’s Akshay Bohra, the main rival to Prema’s dominance at Misano, exited podium contention in the race’s opening seconds as he stalled from third and once he finally got going was half a lap down.

Van Amersfoort Racing driver Yamakoshi made the best start, challenging Powell into turn one. An incident between Kamal Mrad and Kai Daryanani brought out the safety car on lap two but racing resumed after a lap and Slater dropped his pursuers instantly. He then gradually but remorselessly eked out his lead as in the previous races.

Yamakoshi had to defend vigorously from Nakamura, who was looking everywhere for a gap, after the first safety car period. The safety car returned at the end of lap eight after Enea Frey parked up on the edge of the track. It meant Yamakoshi was freed from Nakamura’s attacks, but the relief was temporary as when racing resumed Nakamura Berta pulled alongside down the back straight, held the inside through the fast turn 13 right-hander and got ahead. Gianmarco Pradel sought to follow him through.

Pradel had initially run in sixth under pressure from Reno Francot, but Francot then dropped into the clutches of Davide Larini and Gustav Jonsson. After the second safety car period, Pradel passed Rashid Al Dhaheri as Larini increased his attacks on Francot and drew alongside down the back straight but could not get past on the outside of turn 14.

In his efforts to catch Yamakoshi, Pradel then actually ended up falling back behind Al Dhaheri.

There was one more safety car period, caused by Emanuele Olivieri spinning Enzo Yeh. Green flags waved with just over a minute and a lap remaining, and Slater nailed the restart. Francot finished eighth, having been passed by Tomass Stolcermanis.

Race results (17 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Freddie Slater Prema 31m50.236s
2 Alex Powell Prema +1.137s
3 Kean Nakamura Berta Prema +1.598s
4 Hiyu Yamakoshi Van Amersfoort Racing +2.533s
5 Rashid Al Dhaheri Prema +3.215s
6 Gianmarco Pradel US Racing +4.537s
7 Tomass Stolcermanis Prema +4.740s
8 Reno Francot Jenzer Motorsport +5.562s
9 Davide Larini PHM Racing +5.722s
10 Dion Gowda Prema +8.033s
11 Gustav Jonsson Van Amersfoort Racing +8.309s
12 Matheus Ferreira US Racing +8.413s
13 Maxim Rehm US Racing +8.588s
14 Emanuele Olivieri AKM Motorsport +8.977s
15 Andrej Petrovic PHM Racing +9.619s
16 Maximilian Popov PHM Racing +9.687s
17 Shimo Zhang Jenzer Motorsport +10.010s
18 Akshay Bohra US Racing +10.314s
19 Jack Beeton US Racing +10.667s
20 Ethan Ischer Jenzer Motorsport +12.659s
21 Alvise Rodella Van Amersfoort Racing +13.782s
22 Edu Robinson AS Motorsport +14.085s
23 Alexander Savinkov AKM Motorsport +14.536s
24 Enzo Yeh R-ace GP +15.086s
25 Everett Stack PHM Racing +15.484s
26 Andrei Duna Real Racing Team +15.978s
27 Jan Koller BVM Racing +16.098s
28 Nathanel Berreby Maffi Racing +1 lap
Ret Gabriel Holguin Maffi Racing
Ret Luca Viisoreanu Real Racing Team
Ret Luka Sammalisto R-ace GP
Ret Kabir Anurag US Racing
Ret Andrija Kostic Van Amersfoort Racing
Ret Enea Frey Jenzer Motorsport
Ret Lin Hodenius Van Amersfoort Racing
Ret Kai Daryanani Cram Motorsport
Ret Kamal Mrad PHM Racing
Fastest lap: Slater, 1m35.534s

Championship standings
1 Slater 75   2 Powell 54   3 Bohra 27   4 Yamakoshi 32   5 Pradel 23   6 Al Dhaheri 21   7 Nakamura 19   8 Stolcermanis 12   9 Beeton 10   10 Ischer 8