Home Formula 4Italian F4 Powell pips Prema team-mate Gowda to top spot in Italian F4 practice

Powell pips Prema team-mate Gowda to top spot in Italian F4 practice

by Ida Wood

Photo: ACI Sport

Prema’s Alex Powell went to the top at the very end of Italian Formula 4 free practice at Imola.

There was a morning and an afternoon session, and US Racing’s Matheus Ferreira continued his pre-event test-topping form by going fastest in FP1. He set a 1m45.339s to lead Van Amersfoort Racing’s Hiyu Yamakoshi by just 0.002 seconds and with Prema’s Freddie Slater 0.075s behind in third.

US’s Akshay Bohra had laid down the very first benchmark of the session, a 1m54.396s that was swiftly beaten by Ferreira who went 0.719s faster. Their team-mates Kabir Anurag and Maxim Rehm then lowered the pace further, with the latter setting a 1m51.800s to put himself 1.74s clear at the top.

But a minute later Prema’s Rashid Al Dhaheri beat that laptime by 0.223s, then Bohra went a massive three seconds faster. Others were capable of that pace, with Rehm going fastest by 0.063s then Slater improving twice to bring the pace down to 1m46.258s.

That kept him on top for two minutes before Powell set a 1m45.945s, then Yamakoshi lowered the pace four times in a row and the time to beat with 16 minutes to go was a 1m45.341s.

Many drivers were able to set rapid sector one splits, but then found traffic in the later sectors that prevented them from improving their laptimes and so Yamakoshi remained in top spot until Ferreira set a 1m45.339s with 10 minutes remaining to take first place by 0.002s.

Slater went third fastest with four minutes to go, putting him ahead of Powell and team-mate Tomass Stolcermanis. US’s Jack Beeton was sixth, and there were no improvements at the very end as red flags waved just as the chequered flag also appeared.

VAR’s Gustav Jonsson started FP2 on top with a 1m49.462s, and Slater was the first driver into the 1m48s. A minute later his team-mate Kean Nakamura Berta brought the pace down into the 1m47s, then Jonsson responded with a 1m46.874s.

Yamakoshi was tucked into his slipstream and the benefit of that was a 1m46.614s lap, but next time around Jonsson improved to 1m46.372s. Alvise Rodella then became the third VAR driver to hit the top, and did so by 0.005s. That was only for two seconds, as Jenzer Motorsport’s Ethan Ischer set a 1m46.210s.

Powell set the afternoon’s first sub-1m46s lap, but was soon shuffled down to 11th as Jenzer’s Reno Francot and Jonsson set new fastest laps. He was back on top 20 minutes later with a 1m45.391s, then Nakamura edged him by 0.018s.

As the session ended Nakamura was demoted to third, with team-mate Dion Gowda setting a 1m45.212s then Powell going 0.02s faster than that. The pair were among the 18 drivers in the 38-car field to improve on their FP1 bests, with Ferreira and Yamakoshi 21st and 14th respectively in FP2 but third and fourth overall. Ferreira only did four laps in the session.

Free practice results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Alex Powell Prema 1m45.192s 30
2 Dion Gowda Prema 1m45.212s +0.020s 30
3 Matheus Ferreira US Racing 1m45.339s +0.147s 16
4 Hiyu Yamakoshi Van Amersfoort Racing 1m45.341s +0.149s 21
5 Kean Nakamura Berta Prema 1m45.373s +0.181s 30
6 Freddie Slater Prema 1m45.414s +0.222s 30
7 Gustav Jonsson Van Amersfoort Racing 1m45.414s +0.222s 22
8 Tomass Stolcermanis Prema 1m45.532s +0.340s 30
9 Andrija Kostic Van Amersfoort Racing 1m45.548s +0.356s 20
10 Jack Beeton US Racing 1m45.560s +0.368s 17
11 Luka Sammalisto R-ace GP 1m45.605s +0.413s 32
12 Emanuele Olivieri AKM Motorsport 1m45.610s +0.418s 29
13 Maxim Rehm US Racing 1m45.627s +0.435s 18
14 Akshay Bohra US Racing 1m45.636s +0.444s 19
15 Rashid Al Dhaheri Prema 1m45.647s +0.455s 31
16 Reno Francot Jenzer Motorsport 1m45.671s +0.479s 24
17 Maximilian Popov PHM Racing 1m45.786s +0.594s 31
18 Andrej Petrovic PHM Racing 1m45.830s +0.638s 33
19 Ethan Ischer Jenzer Motorsport 1m45.876s +0.684s 24
20 Davide Larini PHM Racing 1m45.888s +0.696s 32
21 Kamal Mrad PHM Racing 1m46.104s +0.912s 29
22 Gianmarco Pradel US Racing 1m46.106s +0.914s 20
23 Alvise Rodella Van Amersfoort Racing 1m46.111s +0.919s 22
24 Lin Hodenius Van Amersfoort Racing 1m46.115s +0.923s 25
25 Enzo Yeh R-ace GP 1m46.170s +0.978s 30
26 Kabir Anurag US Racing 1m46.173s +0.981s 17
27 Matus Ryba Jenzer Motorsport 1m46.187s +0.995s 24
28 Enea Frey Jenzer Motorsport 1m46.319s +1.127s 22
29 Alexander Savinkov AKM Motorsport 1m46.411s +1.219s 29
30 Luca Viisoreanu Real Racing Team 1m46.470s +1.278s 28
31 Edu Robinson AS Motorsport 1m46.652s +1.460s 27
32 Shimo Zhang Jenzer Motorsport 1m46.666s +1.474s 34
33 Everett Stack PHM Racing 1m46.676s +1.484s 21
34 Jan Koller BVM Racing 1m46.781s +1.589s 25
35 Francisco Macedo Cram Motorsport 1m47.067s +1.875s 27
36 Wiktor Dobrzanski AKM Motorsport 1m47.299s +2.107s 29
37 Gabriel Holguin Maffi Racing 1m48.657s +3.465s 31
38 Nathanael Berreby Maffi Racing 1m48.942s +3.750s 31