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Masson is French F4 champion after Capietto excluded for crash

by Peter Allen

Photo: FFSA Academy

Esteban Masson is the 2021 French Formula 4 champion after Maceo Capietto was excluded from the final round following the crash between the pair on the last lap of the season.

Masson was on course to claim the title as he led the deciding race at Magny-Cours with Capietto in third position, only for them to collide on the final tour and both fail to score points.

That result meant that Capietto provisionally ended the season on top of the standings, but stewards investigated the incident and decided to exclude him from the results of all three races at Magny-Cours, ensuring Masson becomes champion after all.

Capietto’s exclusion from the meeting – including his fourth place in race one and second in race two – means he is not allowed to drop the Magny-Cours weekend from his points total as his lowest-scoring round.

He therefore finishes up 33 points behind Masson in the overall standings, and also concedes second place to Hugh Barter – who inherited victory in the last race of the season.

Even before the incident, Capietto had at least been on course to win the championship’s FIA classification – counting only those drivers aged 15 and over the start of the season and not awarding bonus points for pole positions or fastest laps. However, his exclusion hands that title too to Masson.

The decision to exclude Capietto has been appealed.

Masson, 17, claimed six victories on his way to winning the title during his first full season of car racing after making single-round appearances in both 2019 and 2020.

Capietto took four wins after making his single-seater debut in the first race of the French F4 season at Nogaro, and the 15-year-old also made an Italian F4 outing with Prema at Imola in July.