Home Formula 4Italian F4 Lindblad holds off Sztuka for second straight Italian F4 win at Monza

Lindblad holds off Sztuka for second straight Italian F4 win at Monza

by Roger Gascoigne

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull junior Arvid Lindblad took his second Italian Formula 4 win of the weekend at Monza to extend his championship lead.

Having inherited victory in race one in the stewards’ room after team-mate Ugo Ugochukwu had been penalised, this time Lindblad led from start to finish to win on the road. His win was, however, far from comfortable as he had to hold off a race-long challenge from US Racing’s Kacper Sztuka.

Lindblad was unable to break clear of his pursuers, and was forced to defend from Sztuka into the Rettifilio chicane on multiple occasions. Although Sztuka was able to draw alongside he never had quite enough momentum to get ahead.

Lindblad made a great start, as did Sztuka who jumped up to second, as Van Amersfoort Racing’s front-row starter Brando Badoer dropped down to fifth.

Ugochukwu tried to get around the outside of Sztuka into the first chicane, but Sztuka was able to hold him off through della Roggia to maintain the position.

The leading pack of eight cars ran line astern as Lindblad tried to eke out a small advantage out front.

Lindblad made a perfect restart after a brief safety car period necessitated after a spin for Prema’s Aurelia Nobels at Parabolica.

Behind Lindblad, his challenges ran four-wide into turn one with Sztuka staying ahead while US Racing’s Akshay Bohra tried to get past Badoer for third, as Ugochukwu went straight on, rejoining in fifth.

On lap seven, Sztuka was close enough to have a look into the Rettifilio chicane, but lost momentum on the exit, forcing him to defend from Badoer into the second chicane. Behind them, Ugochukwu, Tuuka Taponen and Niko Lacorte were engaged in a heated intra-team battle for position.

Having asserted his position ahead of his Prema colleagues, Ugochukwu was soon onto the tail of Bohra, challenging into della Roggia before getting a tow down the straight to pass into the first chicane. Bohra looked to repass through Curva Grande but had to cede the position.

Behind them, Alfio Spina had made a lunge on Lacorte into the second Lesmo, pushing him into the gravel on the exit and incurring a warning from the stewards.

The battle for fourth had allowed the leading trio of Lindblad, Sztuka and Badoer to pull out a gap of over one-and-a-half seconds over the pack. On lap 10, Lindblad had to defend from Sztuka into both the first and second chicanes, the Pole cutting the inside of the latter and dropping back behind Lindblad.

As they battled, Ugochukwu in fourth was able to close the gap to latch onto their tail.

Outside the top 10, Gianmarco Pradel, Ariel Elkin, Matheus Ferreira and Jack Beeton were enjoying a fierce battle for 12th, with Pradel emerging on top at the finish.

Sztuka continued to desperately look for a way past as he repeatedly used his superior exit speed through Parabolica to draw alongside under braking for the first chicane, while behind them Ugochukwu was also putting Badoer under pressure for third, finally finding a way through on lap 15.

Further back, Taponen challenged Spina into Rettifilio but as they went through the chicane Bohra ahead of them seemed to slow, causing Taponen to run into the back of Spina as he backed off to avoid Bohra. The incident left Taponen in the gravel and out of the race, while Bohra pulled off on the exit of the corner.

Though Sztuka tried a final attempt on the last lap, there was no way through, allowing Lindblad to hold on for victory by 0.442s.

Sztuka took an excellent second from Ugochukwu, gaining some compensation for his post-race penalty in race one, and Badoer. Prema’s James Wharton climbed back to fifth having at one point dropped out of the top 10.

Fellow Prema runner Rashid Al Dhaheri took sixth from Zachary David and Spina, with Valentin Kluss and Lacorte completing the top 10.

Race result (16 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Arvid Lindblad Prema 32m51.330s
2 Kacper Sztuka US Racing +0.442s
3 Ugo Ugochukwu Prema +0.819s
4 Brando Badoer Van Amersfoort Racing +1.591s
5 James Wharton Prema +6.821s
6 Rashid Al Dhaheri Prema +8.035s
7 Zachary David US Racing +8.063s
8 Alfio Spina BVM Racing +8.169s
9 Valentin Kluss PHM Racing +8.215s
10 Niko Lacorte Prema +8.353s
11 Gianmarco Pradel US Racing +11.596s
12 Ariel Elkin Jenzer Motorsport +12.080s
13 Matheus Ferreira Van Amersfoort Racing +13.629s
14 Ethan Ischer Jenzer Motorsport +14.157s
15 Frederik Lund AKM Motorsport +14.412s
16 Ruiqi Liu US Racing +14.955s
17 Nandhavud Bhirombhakdi PHM Racing +15.127s
18 Jack Beeton Van Amersfoort Racing +15.421s
19 Finn Wiebelhaus Jenzer Motorsport +20.661s
20 Viktoria Blokhina PHM Racing +21.307s
21 Tina Hausmann AKM Motorsport +21.466s
22 Diego de la Torre AKM Motorsport +24.116s
23 Matteo Quintarelli R-ace GP +26.703s
24 Guido Luchetti Airflow Racing +29.351s
25 Ismail Akhmed Van Amersfoort Racing +29.945s
26 Akshay Bohra US Racing +1 lap
27 Tuukka Taponen Prema +1 lap
28 Andrea Frassineti BVM Racing +1 lap
Ret James Egozi PHM Racing
Ret Raphael Narac R-ace GP
Ret Ivan Domingues Van Amersfoort Racing
Ret Aurelia Nobels Prema
Fastest lap: Ugochukwu, 1m52.949s

Championship standings
Lindblad 196.5   2 Ugochukwu 136   3 Wharton 113.5   4 David 102   5 Badoer 101   6 Sztuka 96   7 Taponen 78  8 Lacorte 65   9 Spina 56   10 Bohra 49