Home Formula 4Italian F4 Slater takes hat-trick of Italian F4 poles at Misano

Slater takes hat-trick of Italian F4 poles at Misano

by Roger Gascoigne

Photo: ACI Sport

Freddie Slater will start all three races in Italian Formula 4’s opening round at Misano from pole position.

The Prema driver topped both qualifying sessions to take pole for races one and two, then his second-best laptime from Q2 earned him race three pole.

In fact, Slater posted the fastest two laps in each session. In Q1, he only moved to the front with just over three minutes remaining, but improved on each of his last two tours to be the only driver to lap sub-1m35s.

He was fastest in three of the four sectors, with US Racing’s Jack Beeton bettering him in sector three by just 0.007 seconds.

Having seen the late improvements in Q1, most of the field sat out the opening minutes of Q2. Slater jumped to the top with what turned out to be the fastest time on his fourth lap, and his second-best effort came on his final lap after encountering traffic – due to 37 cars fighting for track space – in the interim.

This time Slater was only bettered in sector four, by 0.024s, and topped the speed trap.

Speaking to Formula Scout immediately after stepping out of the car, a delighted Slater commented: “Super mega qualifying. Run one was executed perfectly I’d say. We had a great track position and we managed to nail the lap at the right time.

“Q2 was a little bit more scrappy. It was a little bit more chaotic out there. Everybody kind of realised what the strategy was, so it was a little bit tougher to do a lap. It took me a few goes because I had to keep backing off.

“Quite a lot [of traffic]. It was super hard to judge how much gap you needed so that’s why the second run was a little bit weaker from my side. I only did two laps. It was an interesting session but all good in the end.”

Despite his results, Slater admitted that he believed that the lap could still have been better. “There’s always a little bit more time to find so we’ll do some digging tonight and see if we can find some more for tomorrow.”

As in free practice, Slater’s closest challengers were team-mate Alex Powell and US Racing’s Akshay Bohra. Powell will be on the front row for all three races.

Bohra was pipped for third in Q1 by team-mate Gianmarco Pradel, but the Australian was unable to maintain his pace in Q2 and was only 14th fastest.

Van Amersfoort Racing’s Hiyu Yamakoshi had been looking to challenge the frontrunners after showing strongly in testing, and was fifth in both qualifying sessions. Fellow Japanese racer Kean Nakamura Berta pipped him to fourth in Q2 by 0.004s, but Yamakoshi will start one place ahead of the Alpine junior in race three.

Enzo Yeh put in a strong performance for R-ace GP by qualifying in the top 10 for all three races, while Jenzer Motorsport’s Reno Francot impressed with sixth in Q2.

Qualifying round-up
Race 1 grid
1 Freddie Slater Prema 1m34.778s
2 Alex Powell Prema +0.269s
3 Gianmarco Pradel US Racing +0.460s
4 Akshay Bohra US Racing +0.490s
5 Hiyu Yamakoshi Van Amersfoort Racing +0.498s
6 Enzo Yeh R-ace GP +0.501s
7 Jack Beeton US Racing +0.514s
8 Davide Larini PHM Racing +0.564s
9 Kean Nakamura Berta Prema +0.610s
10 Tomass Stolcermanis Prema +0.722s

Race 2 grid
1 Slater 1m34.615s
2 Powell +0.019s
3 Bohra +0.164s
4 Nakamura Berta +0.315s
5 Yamakoshi +0.319s
6 Reno Francot Jenzer Motorsport +0.353s
7 Rashid Al Dhaheri Prema +0.373s
8 Beeton +0.374s
9 Larini +0.381s
10 Yeh +0.477s

Race 3 grid
1 Slater 1m34.647s
2 Powell +0.037s
3 Bohra +0.225s
4 Yamakoshi +0.316s
5 Nakamura Berta +0.317s
6 Al Dhaheri +0.383s
7 Francot +0.441s
8 Beeton +0.470s
9 Pradel +0.552s
10 Yeh +0.559s