Home Formula 4F1 Academy Taponen tops test for Italian F4 and F1 Academy teams at Monza

Taponen tops test for Italian F4 and F1 Academy teams at Monza

by Ida Wood

Photo: F4 UAE

Prema’s Tuukka Taponen was fastest in a joint test for teams from Italian Formula 4 and F1 Academy at Monza this week.

There were four sessions on Tuesday and four on Wednesday, and BVM Racing’s Alfio Spina started out on top by setting a 1m54.369s lap in the opening sesion.

The top eight drivers in the 24-car entry list were covered by a second on pace, with Prema duo James Wharton and Niko Lacorte 0.075s and 0.177s off Spina respectively in second and third.

Wharton lowered the pace significantly in session two, and was the only driver to lap in the 1m52s. He was 0.283s faster than Lacorte and 0.418s faster than Van Amersfoort Racing’s Brando Badoer. Arvid Lindlad, in another of Prema’s cars, and Rodin Carlin’s Abbi Pulling were the only drivers not to better their session one pace.

Wharton was fastest again in session three, but slower than before, and this time led a Prema lockout of the top five positions on the timesheet. Ugo Ugochukwu was closest, 0.123s behind. Nine drivers improved on their morning pace, while VAR’s Ismail Akhmed failed to record a laptime and Prema’s Aurelia Nobels caused red flags when she hit trouble.

Lacorte ended the day fastest, posting a 1m52.764s lap to top session four by 0.124s over Wharton and 0.357s over Lindblad. Spina and Taponen were the only other drivers within a second of Lacorte, and of that top five Wharton was the only one not to set his fastest lap of the day in the fourth session. In total, 12 drivers improved their pace.

Prema was on top again at the start of Wednesday’s track action, as Ugochukwu led the way with a 1m52.897s lap. He was one of 10 drivers who immediately went faster than they had on Tuesday, and topped session five by 0.206s over Wharton.

VAR’s Ivan Domingues broke Prema’s stronghold at the top in session six, setting a 1m52.906s to go quickest by 0.18s ahead of Lacorte. Taponen was third fastest, 0.308s behind, and along with Domingues was one of only four drivers to set personal bests. For a second time in the test, Pulling failed to post any laptimes.

Wharton edged Ugochukwu by 0.055s in session seven in another Prema lockout of the top five, and this time Spina was the unlucky driver not to appear on the timesheet. At the bottom of the order, Luca Viisoreanu (Real Racing Team), Giacome Pedrini (Newman Motorsport) and Jessica Edgar (Carlin) all improved their pace.

The fastest lap of the test, a 1m52.678s, was delivered by Taponen in the final session, which was ended early by Spina stopping on track.

Lacorte was 0.271s back in second place, but his day one benchmark put him just 0.086s behind in the combined timesheet.

Test results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Tuukka Taponen Prema 1m52.678s 139
2 Niko Lacorte Prema 1m52.764s +0.086s 141
3 James Wharton Prema 1m52.863s +0.185s 138
4 Ugo Ugochukwu Prema 1m52.897s +0.219s 139
5 Ivan Domingues Van Amersfoort Racing 1m52.906s +0.228s 158
6 Arvid Lindblad Prema 1m53.085s +0.407s 124
7 Alfio Spina BVM Racing 1m53.233s +0.555s 132
8 Brando Badoer Van Amersfoort Racing 1m53.281s +0.603s 162
9 Matheus Ferreira Van Amersfoort Racing 1m53.632s +0.954s 159
10 Bianca Bustamante Prema 1m53.670s +0.992s 124
11 Frederik Lund AKM Motorsport 1m53.682s +1.004s 124
12 Rashid Al Dhaheri Prema 1m53.748s +1.070s 145
13 Jack Beeton Van Amersfoort Racing 1m54.172s +1.494s 146
14 Luca Viisoreanu Real Racing Team 1m54.262s +1.584s 165
15 Davide Larini AKM Motorsport 1m54.368s +1.690s 145
16 Aurelia Nobels Prema 1m54.481s +1.803s 133
17 Tina Hausmann AKM Motorsport 1m54.529s +1.851s 163
18 Abbi Pulling Carlin 1m54.756s +2.078s 142
19 Giacomo Pedrini Newman Motorsport 1m54.998s +2.320s 175
20 Jessica Edgar Carlin 1m55.110s +2.432s 160
21 Megan Gilkes Carlin 1m55.211s +2.533s 161
22 Chloe Chong Prema 1m55.217s +2.539s 131
23 Ismail Akhmed Van Amersfoort Racing 1m55.373s +2.695s 140
24 Carrie Schreiner BWR Motorsports 1m55.426s +2.748s 140