Home News Nael and Rinicella win Spanish F4’s Sunday races at Navarra

Nael and Rinicella win Spanish F4’s Sunday races at Navarra

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: F4 Spain

Sainteloc Racing’s Theophile Nael and MP Motorsport’s Valerio Rinicella shared Sunday’s Spanish Formula 4 victories at Navarra.

Race one winner Nael claimed a comfortable win ahead of Campos Racing’s Enzo Deligny and Rinicella in the shorter race two, which ran under green flag conditions for its entire duration.

In race three it was Rinicella who drove under the chequered flag first to claim his maiden victory in the series, followed by Campos’ Noah Stromsted and Nael, who extended his championship lead over MP Motorsport’s Pedro Clerot.

Nael led away from first place in race two, followed by Deligny and Rinicella, who held on to their starting positions. Behind them, several drivers battled for position. MP Motorsport’s Keanu Al Azhari overtook Christian Ho, but the Campos driver regained fourth before the end of lap one.

An incident forced Campos’s Matteo De Palo, who started outside the top 10, to retire from the race as he lost his rear wing.

Clerot and Rodin Carlin’s Alex Ninovic were the biggest movers within the top 10 in the race’s early stages. Both drivers advanced three places to sixth and eighth position respectively. Ninovic would gain yet one more place as he got past Stromsted, who fell under pressure from Monlau Motorsport’s Ricardo Gracia.

Halfway through the race, Nael enjoyed a safe one-and-a-half second lead over Deligny, who also had a comfortable gap of 1.8 seconds to Rinicella in third.

The little action happening after the first laps meant the running order remained almost unchanged across the field in the race’s second half.

Rinicella started race three from pole having topped that morning’s qualifying with a 1m39.908s laptime, in a session where the top 10 was covered by less than half-a-second.

The Italian kept the lead after the lights went out, meanwhile Deligny and Stromstead, who started second and third respectively, dropped behing Nael, who rose from fourth to second in just two corners. Nael even attemped a pass for the lead but Rinicella defended well, which gave Deligny the chance to fight back. As a result, Stromsted overtook both and Rinicella built a lead of one-and-a-half seconds.

Further down the order, Campos’s Andres Cardenas struggled to keep his starting postition of fifth and dropped three places in the first laps, whereas Al Azhari moved up three from ninth to sixth after coming on top of his battle with De Palo. Again, a good start by Ninovic helped him to progress from 14th to ninth place.

Car issues forced Ho to enter the pitlane and retire while running in sixth, and more car issues brought the safety car out twice throughout the race. The first time was with over 20 minutes remaining on the clock as fourth-placed Deligny came to a halt on track and one lap after the restart the car of Tecnicar Motorsport’s Hiyu Yamakoshi needed to be recovered.

Al Azhari claimed fourth from Clerot at the second restart and went on to pressure Nael for the last podium spot, but he held on until the chequered flag. In front of them, Rinicella and Stromsted enjoyed a comfortable second half of the race in first and second respectively. De Palo, Cardenas, Ninovic, MP’s Alvise Rodella and Gracia completed the points-awarding top 10 places.

Race 2 (16 laps)
1 Theophile Nael Sainteloc Racing
2 Enzo Deligny Campos Racing +1.430s
3 Valerio Rinicella MP Motorsport +2.591s
4 Christian Ho Campos Racing +5.169s
5 Keanu Al Azhari MP Motorsport +8.381s
6 Pedro Clerot MP Motorspot +11.991s
7 Alex Ninovic Rodin Carlin +14.050s
8 Noah Stromsted Campos Racing +14.364s
9 Ricardo Gracia Monlau Motorsport +14.927s
10 Andres Cardenas Campos Racing MP Motorsport +15.329s
Fastest lap: Rinicella, 1m41.020s

Race 3  (18 laps)
1 Rinicella 33m10.881s
2 Stromsted +1.514s
3 Nael +2.814s
4 Al Azhari +3.608s
5 Clerot +6.151s
6 Matteo De Palo Campos Racing +6.926s
7 Cardenas +7.199s
8 Ninovic +9.715s
9 Alvise Rodella MP Motorsport +10.562s
10 Gracia +11.583s
FL: Rinicella, 1m41.214s

Championship standings
1 Nael 132   2 Clerot 108   3 Rinicella 101   4 Ho 95   5 Stromsted 86   6 Deligny 85   7 De Palo 71   8 Al-Azhari 67   9 Berrio 26   10 Ninovic 23