Home Formula 4French F4 Moineault holds on to take first win in final race

Moineault holds on to take first win in final race

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
Photo: Auto Sport Academy

Photo: Auto Sport Academy

Having secured his first pole of the season in qualifying, Valentin Moineault followed that up with a maiden race win in the final outing of the French F4 season at Paul Ricard.

The Frenchman withstood heavy pressure throughout the 15-lap race, but managed to remain out front at all times to become the year’s ninth different winner.

Paired up on the front row with series champion Lasse Sorensen, Moineault managed a decent start and moved over on the Dane just before Verriere.

Behind them, row two starters Felix Hirsiger and Dorian Boccolacci, who were embroiled in a battle for P2 in the standings, both slipped behind Patricio O’Ward off the line. Hirsiger then got caught up in the usual lap one mayhem and had to take to the pits, effectively forfeiting the runner-up spot.

While Moineault managed to establish a slim 0.7s gap to Sorensen over the opening laps, it didn’t last and the Dane was shortly all over the race lead. He tried a move into the key overtaking spot of the weekend – around the outside into Signes – but Moineault successfully blocked.

As Sorensen continued to closely shadow Moineault, the pair were joined by Boccolacci, who had overtaken O’Ward earlier and then rapidly caught up to the leaders.

The Lotus junior managed to put pressure on Sorensen, giving Moineault some breathing room in the latter half of the race, but the series champion was soon back on the leader’s rear wing. His best shot yet came at the penultimate lap with another outside move into Signes, but Moineault held his line and retained first.

On the final lap, Moineault manages to shake off the opposition and stormed to the checkered flag, celebrating his first win in cars. Boccolacci was side by side with Sorensen through several corners, but the Dane managed to narrowly keep second, albeit by running wide in the final turn.

Paul Hokfelt found his way past O’Ward to claim fourth, while Denis Bulatov took sixth from Reuben Kressner.

Gjergj Haxhiu picked up eighth, leading series newcomer Harrison Newey and Vladimir Atoev.

Race results
Pos. Name Time/Gap
1 Valentin Moineault 15 laps in 22:05.272
2 Lasse Sorensen +0.999
3 Dorian Boccolacci +1.238
4 Paul Hokfelt +4.564
5 Patricio O’Ward +6.404
6 Denis Bulatov +8.955
7 Reuben Kressner +9.335
8 Gjergj Haxhiu +10.454
9 Harrison Newey +16.517
10 Vladimir Atoev +17.005
11 Erwan Jule +17.322
12 Max Defourny +19.670
13 Simo Laaksonen +19.880
14 Tom Soubiron +20.110
15 Axel Matus +24.641
16 Joao Carvalho +30.318
17 Hugo Sugnot-Darniche +39.340
18 Amaury Richard +49.665*
19 Anouck Abadie +1:18.683
20 Felix Hirsiger +1 lap
Not classified
Valentin Hasse-Clot +11 laps

* – 30-second penalty