Home Formula 4French F4 Korneev storms to first French F4 win at Le Mans

Korneev storms to first French F4 win at Le Mans

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
Photo: SMP F4

Photo: SMP F4

Russian driver Alexey Korneev defeated his more experienced opponents to take his maiden win in French F4 in a wet Le Mans race.

Starting from the front row, Korneev dropped a spot off the line but pulled off two overtakes to claim victory.

Neither him, nor poleman Valentin Moineault had a particularly bad getaway, but both had to surrender to a fast-starting Axel Matus into turn one.

And early in the race, it seemed Matus’ first win in the category was a foregone conclusion, the Mexican gaining rapidly on the field.

With Moineault appearing to struggle for wet weather pace, Korneev dived past him for second, with race winner Sacha Fenestraz following through a few corners later.

Out of nowhere, the duo then began quickly making up ground to Matus, whose lead was only protected by a sudden safety car appearance, which came out for Reuben Kressner‘s off from P5.

Matus was solid on the subsequent restart but both Korneev and Fenstraz kept up and the former soon took the lead. Fenestraz followed almost immediately, completing a bold move on the Mexican.

The Frenchman then put a lot of pressure on Korneev, but the Russian held on and took the checkered flag despite briefly running wide on the final lap.

Matus claimed third, ahead of fellow returnees Moineault and Simo Laaksonen, who had started the race in 12th.

Nikita Troitskiy passed Giuliano Alesi for sixth, while Kami Laliberte, Nerses Isaakyan and Louis Gachot completed the top ten.

Update: Nerses Isaakyan was demoted to P15 with a 30-second penalty for “unsportsmanlike behaviour”.

Pos. Driver Time/Gap
1 Alexey Korneev 12 laps in 26:23.666
2 Sacha Fenestraz +1.152
3 Axel Matus +4.735
4 Valentin Moineault +7.922
5 Simo Laaksonen +10.629
6 Nikita Troitskiy +11.546
7 Giuliano Alesi +14.233
8 Kami Laliberte +16.742
9 Louis Gachot +29.885
10 Julien Darras +31.056
11 Julien Andlauer +32.836
12 Theophile Senegas +34.427
13 Ye Yifei +35.193
14 Michael Benyahia +42.814
15 Nerses Isaakyan +57.845*
16 Gabriel Aubry +1:00.280
17 Hugo Sugnot-Darniche +1:13.796
18 Reuben Kressner +1:50.229
19 Jose Sierra +2 laps

* – 30-second penalty