Theophile Nael has clinched the Spanish Formula 4 championship with a third-place finish in race one at Barcelona, even as main rival Christian Ho took victory.
Sainteloc Racing driver Nael came into the race leading Ho by 63 points and needing a top-five finish to secure the title regardless of what Ho, Enzo Deligny or Valerio Rinicella could do.
While his rivals filled the top three places on the grid and maintained their places, Nael started sixth and immediately climbed into fifth past Noah Stromsted on the run to turn one. He then got up the inside of Ricardo Gracia for fourth place, sealing the place into turn four.
The safety car was deployed after Flavio Oliiveri came to a halt, and at the restart Rinicella went down the inside of Deligny for second place at turn five.
Nael then went to the inside of Deligny as the Red Bull junior ran wide in turn 11, and hung on around the outside of Turn 12 to take third place.
Out front, Ho remained around a second of Rinicella until the race was brought to an early end by a red flag with one minute left on the clock after Fillipo Fiorentino’s car was stranded in the gravel trap.
That confirmed Nael as champion at the end of his and Sainteloc’s first full season of single-seaters following their debut in the middle of 2022.
Deligny finished fourth in front of Stromsted, Matteo de Palo and Ricardo Gracia.
|1||Christian Ho||Campos Racing||14 laps|
|2||Valerio Rinicella||MP Motorsport||+1.086s|
|3||Theophile Nael||Sainteloc Racing||+3.464s|
|4||Enzo Deligny||Campos Racing||+4.728s|
|5||Noah Stromsted||Campos Racing||+5.444s|
|6||Matteo De Palo||Campos Racing||+9.179s|
|7||Ricardo Gracia||Monlau Motorsport||+11.558s|
|8||Hiyu Yamakoshi||Tecnicar Motorsport||+12.318s|
|10||Keanu Al Azhari||MP Motorsport||+15.511s|
|11||Pablo Sarrazin||Monlau Motorsport||+16.678s|
|12||Lin Hodenius||Monlau Motorsport||+18.506s|
|13||Pedro Clerot||MP Motorsport||+19.764s|
|14||Theodor Jensen||Sainteloc Racing||+20.296s|
|15||Andres Cardenas||Campos Racing||+22.640s|
|16||Alexander Abkhazava||Drivex School||+23.764s|
|17||Gabriel Gomez||Cram Motorsport||+24.778s|
|18||Eric Gene||Tecnicar Motorsport||+25.092s|
|19||Fernando Barrichello||Monlau Motorsport||+25.486s|
|20||Akshay Bohra||MP Motorsport||+28.108s|
|21||Alvise Rodella||MP Motorsport||+28.460s|
|22||Juan Cota||Drivex School||+28.728s|
|23||Griffin Peebles||Tecnicar Motorsport||+32.658s|
|24||Luciano Morano||Sainteloc Racing||+33.085s|
|25||Jesse Carrasquedo||Campos Racing||+33.380s|
|27||Lorenzo Castillo||Tecnicar Motorsport||+37.942s|
|28||Maxi Restrepo||Drivex School||+42.271s|
|29||Luis Carlos Perez||GRS||+45.514s|
|30||Federico Al Rifai||Carlin||+55.081s|
|Ret||Filippo Fiorentino||Cram Motorsport|
|Ret||Flavio Olivieri||Cram Motorsport|
|Fastest lap: Ho, 1m42.131s
1 Nael 296 2 Ho 245 3 Rinicella 229 4 Deligny 225 5 De Palo 153 6 Clerot 141 7 Stromsted 123 8 Cardenas 105 9 Al Azhari 92 10 Ninovic 50