Home Formula 4Italian F4 Slater back in front in Italian F4 as late drama denies Yamakoshi victory

Slater back in front in Italian F4 as late drama denies Yamakoshi victory

by Ida Wood

Photo: ACI Sport

Prema’s Freddie Slater reclaimed the Italian Formula 4 points lead with victory in race three at Imola.

Van Amersfoort Racing’s Hiyu Yamakoshi looked on course for a weekend sweep of victories from pole until he picked up car damage with two laps to go.

Slater started third behind US Racing’s Jack Beeton, but was ahead of him before turn one on the opening lap. The top two traded fastest laps through the first half of the race, with Yamakoshi only growing his lead to a second after seven laps.

Beeton was gapped far more quickly, and he came under pressure from Maxim Rehm on lap six and then on lap 10. He was able to soak up the pressure from his team-mate, with Prema duo Kean Nakamura Berta and Alex Powell behind them.

US’s Akshay Bohra and Prema’s Tomass Stolcermanis ran in seventh and eighth, and Prema’s Rashid Al Dhaheri was in ninth until he was hit around at Tamburello by Jenzer Motorsport’s Reno Francot on lap nine. Al Dhaheri managed to make it back to the pits and retire, while Francot  moved into ninth ahead of Dion Gowda (Prema), Luka Sammalisto (R-ace GP) and Gustav Jonsson (VAR).

Yamakoshi continued to lower the pace but was still only 1.2s clear when on lap 11 the safety car was summoned due to PHM Racing team-mates Maximilian Popov and Davide Larini colliding and the latter getting stuck in the gravel. Cram Motorsport’s Francesco Macedo had also stopped on track, but marshals quickly moved his car out of the way.

Racing resumed on lap 14, and Nakamura immediately passed Rehm, with Powell also getting past entering Tamburello. Nakamura then went off and dropped to ninth, and Rehm got back ahead of Powell.

Nakamura recovered to seventh by the end of the lap, as Stolcermanis dropped to 10th and Gowda fell to 12th.

There was then drama on lap 15 as Yamakoshi lost his front wing at the Variante Alta chicane then had a huge lock-up into Rivazza and was passed by Slater.

Beeton got past on lap 16, and the black-and-orange flag was shown which meant all the other lost positions mattered little.

Slater went into the final lap 4.139s ahead of Beeton, with Rehm a further 3.4s behind and trying to hold off Powell and Bohra.

Victory went to Slater by 5.036s, with Rehm successfully holding on to third place. Stolcermanis passed Francot for eighth, with Jonsson rounding out the points in 10th. Yamakoshi finished 27th, and is now 18 points behind Slater in the title fight.

VAR’s Alvise Rodella and Lin Hodenius both retired after stopping on track with car issues, and Maffi Racing duo Nathanael Berreby and Gabriel Holguin crashed out late on.

Race results (17 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Freddie Slater Prema 32m59.204s
2 Jack Beeton US Racing +5.036s
3 Maxim Rehm US Racing +8.871s
4 Alex Powell Prema +9.234s
5 Akshay Bohra US Racing +9.757s
6 Kean Nakamura Berta Prema +10.367s
7 Luka Sammalisto R-ace GP +10.558s
8 Tomass Stolcermanis Prema +11.433s
9 Reno Francot Jenzer Motorsport +11.772s
10 Gustav Jonsson Van Amersfoort Racing +12.247s
11 Dion Gowda Prema +12.361s
12 Emanuele Olivieri AKM Motorsport +13.551s
13 Andrej Petrovic PHM Racing +14.014s
14 Enzo Yeh R-ace GP +14.870s
15 Enea Frey Jenzer Motorsport +15.411s
16 Shimo Zhang Jenzer Motorsport +15.988s
17 Kabir Anurag US Racing +16.210s
18 Edu Robinson AS Motorsport +16.888s
19 Everett Stack PHM Racing +17.295s
20 Jan Koller BVM Racing +17.734s
21 Gianmarco Pradel US Racing +17.829s
22 Matus Ryba Jenzer Motorsport +18.248s
23 Luca Viisoreanu Real Racing Team +19.408s
24 Maximilian Popov PHM Racing +19.882s
25 Andrija Kostic Van Amesfoort Racing +21.836s
26 Wiktor Dobrzanski AKM Motorsport +23.175s
27 Hiyu Yamakoshi Van Amesfoort Racing +
Ret Kamal Mrad PHM Racing
Ret Gabriel Holgiuin Maffi Racing
Ret Lin Hodenius Van Amersfoort Racing
Ret Ethan Ischer Jenzer Motorsport
Ret Nathanael Berreby Maffi Racing
Ret Davide Larini PHM Racing
Ret Francisco Macedo Cram Motorsport
Ret Rashid Al Dhaheri Prema
Ret Alexander Savinkov AKM Motorsport
Ret Alvise Rodella Van Amersfoort Racing
DNS Matheus Ferreira US Racing
Fastest lap: Yamakoshi, 1m45.518s

Championship standings
1 Slater 100   2 Yamakoshi 82   3 Bohra 73   4 Powell 66   5 Beeton 40   6 Gowda 38   7 Nakamura 37   8 Al Dhaheri 33   9 Stolcermanis 32   10 Pradel 25