Home Formula 3 Prema’s Montoya tops European F4 group test at Paul Ricard

Prema’s Montoya tops European F4 group test at Paul Ricard

by Ida Wood

Photo: ACI Sport

Prema’s Sebastian Montoya set the pace in the two-day group Formula 4 test at Paul Ricard this week.

The second-year driver didn’t set any laps in the first two Tuesday sessions, but he and team-mate Kirill Smal were on the pace by the end of the day.

Francesco Braschi topped the times first on Tuesday, and Jenzer Motorsport’s Santiago Ramos went fastest in the second morning session after not turning up for session one.

Ramos edged AS Motorsport’s Kacper Sztuka in that session, and repeated the feat first time out in the afternoon before being bettered by Smal and Montoya in the final session.

Throughout the day the track was shared with cars from the Regional Formula 3-spec Ultimate Cup Series Single-Seater Challenge and two Tatuus T-318s fielded by Global Racing Service.

Nerea Marti was in one of GRS’s cars, preparing for her W Series debut. The team kept the identity of its F4 driver secret.

Leonardo Fornaroli, who raced for Iron Lynx in F4 last year, started Wednesday with the fastest time but was up-and-down on pace.

AKM Motorsport ran three cars, and also kept the identity of one of its drivers under wraps. They ended up being the pacesetter of the second Wednesday session, with Ramos not far behind.

Ramos went faster in the afternoon with a 2m04.241s lap, and looked set to top the final session too until improvements arrived from Cram Motorsport’s Nicolas Baptiste and then Montoya, who both ventured into the 2m03s.

Van Amersfoort Racing’s line-up included Swiss karter Eron Rexhepi, who will debut in Italian F4 this year but is yet to decide which team to sign with.

Similarly, Polish junior karter Kacper Sztuka plans to race after spending 2020 testing with Iron Lynx. At Paul Ricard he drove for AS Motorsport alongside Toni Kayla Naude, who did February’s three group tests with the team. Both are linked to signing with the team.

DR Formula fielded its Portuguese signing Pedro Perino, who fronts its F4 return.

A French F4 test simultaneously took place at Le Mans, where British karter Aiden Neate – son of touring car racer Andy – was driving.

Test results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1 Sebastian Montoya Prema 2m03.754s
2 Nicolas Baptiste Cram Motorsport 2m03.779s +0.025s
3 Santiago Ramos Jenzer Motorsport 2m04.241s +0.487s
4 Driver unknown AKM Motorsport 2m04.826s +1.072s
5 Kirill Smal Prema 2m05.099s +1.345s
6 Francesco Braschi 2m05.159s +1.405s
7 Nikita Bedrin Van Amersfoort Racing 2m05.199s +1.445s
8 Leonardo Fornaroli Iron Lynx 2m05.355s +1.601s
9 Samir Ben Jenzer Motorsport 2m05.358s +1.604s
10 Kacper Sztuka AS Motorsport 2m05.407s +1.653s
11 Hamda Al Qubaisi Prema 2m05.601s +1.847s
12 Conrad Laursen Prema 2m05.604s +1.850s
13 Lorenzo Patrese AKM Motorsport 2m05.650s +1.896s
14 Driver unknown Iron Lynx 2m05.698s +1.944s
15 Levente Revesz AKM Motorsport 2m05.736s +1.982s
16 Marcel Kuc Jenzer Motorsport 2m05.738s +1.984s
17 Marcus Amand R-ace GP 2m05.794s +2.040s
18 Pedro Perino DR Formula 2m06.008s +2.254s
19 Pietro Armanni 2m06.131s +2.377s
20 Driver unknown Global Racing Service 2m06.166s +2.412s
21 Jorge Garciarce Jenzer Motorsport 2m06.776s +3.022s
22 Eron Rexhepi Van Amersfoort Racing 2m06.948s +3.194s
23 Toni Kayla Naude AS Motorsport 2m07.310s +3.556s
24 Hugh Barter 2m13.541s +9.787s