Kacper Sztuka has been declared the winner of the controversial second Euro 4 race at Monza last month after a review by the Italian federation’s stewarding panel.
The results had been “frozen” after the race when a marshal erroneously waved a yellow flag and displayed the safety car board at Curva Grande, even though the race had been green-flagged at the start-finish line as the drivers started their ninth lap after a safety car period.
While some drivers immediately backed off, others continued, having received no notification from their teams and seeing green flags being shown further around the corner. Furthermore, the flag and board were only shown to the leading 13 cars before they were withdrawn.
In the words of the panel’s judgement, this created “a chaotic situation that unfortunately cannot be reconstructed from the video evidence.”
The safety car was immediately sent out again, “to try and re-establish the correct positions, unfortunately without success,” leaving some of the erstwhile leaders back in the pack having slowed down.
The stewarding panel was convened at last weekend’s Italian Formula 4 round at Vallelunga and decided to take the race results from the end of the preceding lap and award half points, as less than 75% of the race distance had been completed.
The panel’s report makes clear they rejected the alternative of annulling the race entirely as being “disproportionate” where a result can be determined. It felt its decision is consistent with the procedure if “the chequered flag is erroneously waved in advance.”
The panel was, however, unable to “verify with due certainty any infringements by the drivers in this context, despite having recovered the SD cards and video images.”
The winner on the road, Freddie Slater is demoted to fourth in the final results behind Prema team-mate Arvid Lindblad and Van Amersfoort Racing’s Brando Badoer.
Sztuka’s victory, after he was initially classified ninth, moves him into fourth in the standings. However, he will not be competing in the series finale at Barcelona this weekend after wrapping up the Italian F4 title at Vallelunga,.
Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 junior Yuanpu Cui will make his car racing debut driving for British team Argenti Motorsport, for which he has done two F4 tests at Brands Hatch in recent weeks.
Cui raced for Kart Republic with Argenti branding through 2021 and 2022. On OK-Junior karts he was Andrea Margutti Trophy runner-up and 11th in the Italian championship.
Last year he stepped up to senior karting, and finished fourth at the Andrea Margutti Trophy in X30 Senior. In OK, he came eighth in the WSK Euro Series and Final Cup, 11th in the Open Cup and 16th in the Champions of the Future series. He started 2023 with 17th at the IAME Winter Cup in X30 Senior, before a move to Prema that brought little success.
Lin Hodenius will join Van Amersfoort Racing’s line-up after racing for its partner team Monlau Motorsport in Spanish F4, while Giacomo Pedrini will switch to VAR from PHM Racing.
Additional reporting by Ida Wood