Home News Mattia Colnaghi claims dominant first Spanish F4 win at Paul Ricard

Mattia Colnaghi claims dominant first Spanish F4 win at Paul Ricard

by Steve Whitfield

Photo: F4 Spain

MP Motorsport’s Mattia Colnaghi took his first single-seater victory in the opening Spanish Formula 4 race at Paul Ricard.

It was super close at the top in the first practice session, with Rodin Motorsport’s Thomas Strauven setting a 2m05.751s to pip MP’s Maciej Gladyz and Keanu Al Azhari by 0.02 seconds. Colnaghi was 0.067s behind in fourth, and Campos Racing’s Ernesto Rivera was 0.216s slower than Strauven in fifth. The top 20 were spread by 0.963s.

Drivex School was supposed to have Pacome Weisenburger, who contested this year’s French F4 season opener, in its line-up but the 15-year-old was absent.

FP2 was slightly slower, topped by Gladysz with a 2m05.849s lap. He was fastest by 0.065s over Strauven and 0.106s over Colnaghi. Sainteloc Racing’s Matteo Quintarelli was fourth.

Rivera was quickest early in the first qualifying session, then Global Racing Service’s Douwe Dedecker set a 2m07.294s benchmark. Gladyz smashed that with a 2m06.495s, before Strauven set a 2m06.361s with 11 minutes to go.

A minute later Gladysz reclaimed top spot with a 2m05.836s and team-mate Lucas Fluxa jumped to second, only to promptly drop to sixth as Colnaghi lowered the pace to 2m05.625s, his team-mate Griffin Peebles went second fastest and Campos duo Rivera and Jan Przyrowski improved to fourth and fifth.

Gladysz got within 0.093s of Colnaghi with eight-and-a-half minutes left of Q1, and both improved with four minutes to go. Colnaghi set a 2m05.449s, and Gladysz was 0.013s slower than him.

Al Azhari entered the top five, and on his next lap took provisional pole by 0.021s. Another improvement from third-placed Gladysz brought him to within 0.007s of Colnaghi.

Colnaghi returned to the top five seconds before the chequered flag waved to snatch pole by 0.009s. Drivex’s Juan Cota was one of the first to meet the chequered flag after and he went fourth fastest.

Fluxa’s title hopes were dealt a blow when he stalled at the start of race one and retired with car damage, causing an early safety car period. Colanaghi made good use of pole to lead away from the inside of the front row, while Al Azhari lost second to Cota into turn one.

Colnaghi quickly pulled clear at the restart and dominated the remainder of the 30-minute contest to win by 6.5s. Al Azhari was demoted to fourth by Campos’s James Egozi and then was forced to pit approaching the halfway stage after running wide and losing his front wing on a kerb.

The battle for second intensified in the race’s second half, with Egozi trying a move up the inside of Cota only to then lose out to team-mate Rivera. In the closing stages Rivera dived up the inside of Cota at the final corner, but the latter held on after a drag race to turn one.

Cota maintained second until the finish ahead of Egozi and Gladysz, while Rivera outbraked himself into the chicane and slipped back to fifth.

Tye was a further second adrift in sixth, while Peebles lost four places at the start before recovering one spot to seventh. Strauven made up ground on Al Alzhari and Fluxa in the championship by finishing eighth ahead of Quintarelli and Monlau Motorsport’s Tim Gerhards.

Race results (14 laps)

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Mattia Colnaghi MP Motorsport 32m24.676s
2 Juan Cota Drivex School +6.516s
3 James Egozi Campos Racing +7.133s
4 Maciej Gladysz MP Motorsport +8.417s
5 Ernesto Rivera Campos Racing +8.575s
6 Nathan Tye Campos Racing +9.552s
7 Griffin Peebles MP Motorsport +10.263s
8 Thomas Strauven Rodin Motorsport +11.328s
9 Matteo Quintarelli Sainteloc Racing +12.526s
10 Tim Gerhards Monlau Motorsport +13.007s
11 Rene Lammers MP Motorsport +17.134s
12 Lenny Ried Monlau Motorsport +24.123s
13 Mikkel Pedersen Drivex School +24.285s
14 Cristian Cantu TC Racing +24.915s
15 Adam Al Azhari Tecnicar Motorsport +25.323s
16 Francisco Macedo Drivex School +27.056s
17 Preston Lambert Rodin Motorsport +28.338s
18 Lia Block Global Racing Service +30.602s
19 Enzo Tarnvanichkul Campos Racing +31.740s
20 Peter Bouzinelos Rodin Motorsport +31.910s
21 Douwe Dedecker Global Racing Service +32.173s
22 Wiktor Dobrzanski Tecnicar Motorsport +33.062s
23 Filippo Fiorentino Cram Motorsport +33.809s
24 Gabriel Gomez TC Racing +34.519s
25 Rehan Hakim Monlau Motorsport +38.876s
26 Keanu Al Azhari MP Motorsport +41.789s
27 Lorenzo Castillo Tecnicar Motorsport +43.249s
28 Adam Hideg Cram Motorsport +45.315s
29 Yevan David Sainteloc Racing +52.487s
30 Alexander Jacoby Global Racing Service +58.416s
31 Maxi Restrepo Sainteloc Racing +5 laps
Ret Andres Cardenas Campos Racing
Ret Lucas Fluxa MP Motorsport
Ret Jan Przyrowski Campos Racing
Ret Matus Ryba Drivex School
Pole: Colnaghi, 2m05.419s   Fastest lap: Colnaghi, 2m06.585s

Championship standings
1 Al Azhari 102   2 Fluxa 74   3 Strauven 71   4 Colnaghi 64   5 Rivera 54   6 Egozi 48   7 Gladysz 43   8 Tye 42   9 Przyrowski 33   10 Peebles 25