Home Formula 4Euro 4 Sztuka, Lindblad and Wharton share poles in first ever Euro 4 qualifying

Sztuka, Lindblad and Wharton share poles in first ever Euro 4 qualifying

by Steve Whitfield

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

US Racing’s Kacper Sztuka and Prema’s Arvid Lindblad topped a session each in Euro 4’s inaugural qualifying at Mugello.

The qualifying format was the same as used in Italian Formula 4, with two 15-minute sessions determining the starting grids for races one and two, and drivers’ second-best laptimes across the two sessions setting the grid for race three.

McLaren junior Ugo Ugochukwu set the early Q1 pace for Prema with a 1m48.730s ahead of team-mate Rashid Al Dhaheri. US Racing’s duo Sztuka and Akshay Bohra then both lapped 0.2 seconds faster to take over the top two spots, while James Wharton edged team-mate Al Dhaheri into fourth.

Ugochukwu responded to go quickest once more with a 1m48.331s, but Sztuka reclaimed the advantage with a 1m48.123s and Bohra lapped within 0.037s to regain second.

Q1 was red-flagged with just over two minutes remaining and was not restarted, with US Racing locking out the front row for Saturday’s inaugural race.

Wharton made a further improvement before the stoppage to retain fourth behind Ugochukwo, with their team-mates Arvid Lindblad, Tuukka Taponen and Nicola Lacorte making it five Prema cars in the top seven.

Ivan Domingues led the way for Van Amersfoort Racing in Q2 with an early benchmark of 1m48.538s ahead of Ugochukwu.

Wharton then lapped over 0.6s faster to take over at the top, with Lindblad climbing to second. David moved into third ahead of team-mates Sztuka and Bohra.

Having slipped down to seventh, Ugochukwo improved to go quickest with a 1m47.850s, but he was soon pipped to race two pole by Lindblad, who posted a best lap of 1m47.740s.

Wharton completed an all-Prema top three, while Bohra and Sztuka made late improvements to move ahead of David into fourth and fifth.

Pole for race three went the way of Wharton, with Ugochukwo and Lindblad completing another Prema 1-2-3.

Qualifying round-up
Race 1 grid
1 Kacper Sztuka US Racing 1m48.123s
2 Akshay Bohra US Racing +0.037s
3 Ugo Ugochukwu Prema +0.208s
4 James Wharton Prema +0.235s
5 Arvid Lindblad Prema 0.443s
6 Tuukka Taponen Prema +0.455s
7 Nicola Lacorte Prema +0.481s
8 Zachary David US Racing +0.677s
9 Rashid Al Dhaheri Prema +0.684s
10 Brando Badoer Van Amersfoort Racing +0.760s

Race 2 grid
1 Lindblad 1m47.740s
2 Ugochukwu +0.110s
3 Wharton +0.141s
4 Bohra +0.220s
5 Sztuka +0.289s
6 David +0.297s
7 Lacorte +0.570s
8 Al Dhaheri +0.580s
9 Badoer +0.592s
10 Gianmarco Pradel US Racing +0.654s

Race 3 grid
1 Wharton 1m47.943s
2 Ugochukwu +0.075s
3 Lindblad +0.142s
4 David +0.201s
5 Sztuka +0.212s
6 Bohra +0.264s
7 Lacorte +0.384s
8 Al Dhaheri +0.569s
9 Ivan Domingues Van Amersfoort Racing +0.595s
10 Taponen +0.612s