Prema’s Kirill Smal won the first race of the Italian Formula 4 season from pole at a damp Paul Ricard, although a late safety car almost denied him.
Pre-race rain meant the race began with two laps behind the safety car, but no drivers opted for grooved tyres and there was a clean start when racing got underway on lap three.
Smal simply pulled away with every lap, building up a lead of over five second before the safety car came back out with two laps to go as DR Formula’s Pedro Perino spun and stalled at the chicane.
The battle for second had been heating up before that intervention, with US Racing’ Tim Tramnitz holding off continued pressure from Van Amersfoort Racing’s Ollie Bearman. The safety car then returned to the pits for one lap of green flag running, although the result was confusingly then declared several corners into that final lap while Tramnitz was on Smal’s tail.
Prema’s Conrad Laursen was initially fourth, but lost out to team-mate Sebastian Montoya and US’s Vlad Lomko early on. Montoya and Lomko battled until the former made an error that brought R-ace GP’s Victor Bernier close, and after passing Lomko too the Russian went back into Montoya’s clutches. That got messy and resulted in Montoya pitting, and Lomko finishing fifth ahead of Laursen, Iron Lynx’s Leonardo Fornaroli and US’s Luke Browning.
Joshua Duerksen held off a long train of cars to finish ninth for Mucke Motorsport, with Joshua Dufek taking the final point for VAR. AKM Motorsport’s Lorenzo Patrese exited that battle early after a pitstop and then retirement.
Outside of the points there was frantic battles between several of VAR’s drivers, and BVM Racing’s Leonardo Bizzotto was the top single-seater debutant in 16th.
Race results (14 laps)
|2||Tim Tramnitz||US Racing||+0.506s|
|3||Ollie Bearman||Van Amersfoort Racing||+0.770s|
|4||Victor Bernier||R-ace GP||+1.285s|
|5||Vlad Lomko||US Racing||+1.698s|
|7||Leonardo Fornaroli||Iron Lynx||+2.582s|
|8||Luke Browning||US Racing||+2.821s|
|9||Joshua Duerksen||Mucke Motorsport||+3.164s|
|10||Joshua Dufek||Van Amersfoort Racing||+3.688s|
|11||Sami Meguetounif||R-ace GP||+4.052s|
|12||Santiago Ramos||Jenzer Motorsport||+4.440s|
|13||Nikita Bedrin||Van Amersfoort Racing||+4.850s|
|14||Francesco Simonazzi||BVM Racing||+5.439s|
|15||Cenyu Han||Van Amersfoort Racing||+6.222s|
|16||Leonardo Bizzotto||BVM Racing||+6.559s|
|17||Erick Zuniga||Mucke Motorsport||+6.908s|
|18||Jonas Ried||Mucke Motorsport||+7.378s|
|19||Maya Weug||Iron Lynx||+8.182s|
|20||Francesco Braschi||Jenzer Motorsport||+9.446s|
|21||Bence Valint||Van Amersfoort Racing||+10.891s|
|22||Marcus Amand||R-ace GP||+11.186s|
|23||Kacper Sztuka||AS Motorsport||+11.390s|
|24||Georgios Markogiannis||Cram Motorsport||+11.824s|
|25||Eron Rexhepi||BVM Racing||+12.267s|
|26||Suleiman Zanfari||Cram Motorsport||+12.636s|
|27||Piotr Wisnicki||Jenzer Motorsport||+12.896s|
|28||Levente Revesz||AKM Motorsport||+13.895s|
|29||Nicolas Baptiste||Cram Motorsport||+14.152s|
|30||Hamda Al Qubaisi||Prema||+14.746s|
|31||Vittorio Catino||Cram Motorsport||+15.366s|
|32||Jorge Garciarce||Jenzer Motorsport||+16.089s|
|33||Samir Ben||Jenzer Motorsport||+16.505s|
|34||Pietro Armanni||Iron Lynx||+56.949s|
|35||Sebastian Montoya||Prema||+2 laps|
|Ret||Samir Ben||Jenzer Motorsport|
|Ret||Lorenzo Patrese||AKM Motorsport|
|Fastest lap: Smal, 2m04.878s|