MP Motorsport’s Pedro Clerot won in mixed conditions at Spa-Francorchamps in a shortened opening race of the Spanish Formula 4 season.
Clerot started on pole but was beaten to the opening corner by team-mate Keanu Al Azhari. Fifth-placed qualifier Federico Al Rifai spun exiting La Source, and was thankfully avoided, and a three-wide for second took place behind Al Azhari down the Kemmel Straight.
A big lock-up approaching Les Combes for Noah Stromsted meant he stayed in fourth, behind Clerot and Christian Ho, while the wet track caught out Theodor Jensen who went off and got stuck in the gravel, meaning the safety car was required.
Racing resumed on lap four and Clerot regained the lead by slipstreaming past Al Azhari down the Kemmel Straight. There was more drama as Flavio Olivieri got stuck in the Les Combes gravel, meaning the wheel-to-wheel action was paused as the safety car came out again.
By the time it returned to the pits it was lap six, and the track was dry bar the final sector which a rain cloud floated above. That made for unpredictable scenes as drivers came across the change in grip, and Carl Bennett and Enzo Deligny flew off when they encountered the wet track surface for the first time.
Clerot was without threat up front, but Ho attacked Al Azhari hard for second and they went side-by-side up Eau Rouge. He got ahead by going off exiting the corner, avoiding the barriers despite driving on the wetter run-off, and was allowed to keep the position.
Rain started to appear in more places, catching out Valerio Rinicella who fell from fifth to eighth, then spun down to 19th, and race control decided to red flag the race on lap nine as three cars hit trouble.
The results were taken from the end of lap seven, before Al Azhari had also suffered a drop down the order, and it meant Clerot won ahead of Ho and Al Azhari. Stromsted finished fourth, ahead of Rodin Carlin duo Alex Ninovic and Noah Lisle on the team’s series debut. Jensen rejoined the race after being rescued but was black-flagged at the end.
Race result (7 laps)
|1||Pedro Clerot||MP Motorsport||21m40.854s|
|2||Christian Ho||Campos Racing||+0.843s|
|3||Keanu Al Azhari||MP Motorsport||+1.364s|
|4||Noah Stromsted||Campos Racing||+1.863s|
|7||Theophile Nael||Sainteloc Racing||+4.689s|
|8||Jeronimo Berrio||MP Motorsport||+5.696s|
|9||Matteo De Palo||Campos Racing||+6.564s|
|10||Daniel Nogales||Drivex School||+6.602s|
|12||Jesse Carrasquedo Jr||Campos Racing||+7.922s|
|13||Ricardo Gracia||Monlau Motorsport||+8.269s|
|15||Alexander Abkhazava||Drivex School||+9.924s|
|16||Luciano Morano||Sainteloc Racing||+10.160s|
|17||Griffin Peebles||Tecnicar Motorsport||+12.116s|
|18||Juan Cota||Drivex School||+12.205s|
|19||Valerio Rinicella||MP Motorsport||+13.019s|
|20||Alvise Rodella||MP Motorsport||+13.081s|
|21||Pablo Sarrazin||Monlau Motorsport||+13.124s|
|22||Enzo Deligny||Campos Racing||+13.688s|
|23||Federico Al Rifai||Carlin||+15.269s|
|24||Fernando Barrichello||Monlau Motorsport||+15.452s|
|25||Eric Gene||Tecnicar Motorsport||+16.217s|
|26||George Zhuravskiy||Drivex School||+20.913s|
|27||Maxi Restrepo||Drivex School||+24.360s|
|28||Theodor Jensen||Sainteloc Racing||+1 lap|
|Ret||Flavio Olivieri||Cram Motorsport|
|Ret||Alexander Bolduev||Drivex School|
|Fastest lap: Ho, 2m27.858s|