Home News Theophile Nael moves to the top in Spanish F4 with Navarra win

Theophile Nael moves to the top in Spanish F4 with Navarra win

by Ida Wood

Photo: F4 Spain

Sainteloc Racing’s Theophile Nael moved into the Spanish Formula 4 points lead with victory in the opening race at Navarra.

MP Motorsport’s Valerio Rinicella started from pole, but a slow second part of the getaway meant he lost the lead to Nael before they reached turn one for the first time. After starting fourth, Campos Racing’s Enzo Deligny dropped down the order and then pitted at the end of the lap.

Nael finished the opening lap 0.968 seconds ahead, with that gap slightly reducing on lap two while Campos’s Noah Stromsted in third was 2.3s back in third.

The gap remained stable over the next laps, although Rinicella did set fastest lap on lap five. On the next lap the safety car was called after Drivex School’s Maxi Restrepo came to a stop and got his car stuck just by turn five. Before retiring, Restrepo got a warning from the stewards and so did Federico Al Rifai.

Racing resumed on lap 10 and Ricardo Gracia dropped from ninth to the back of the field, requiring him to pit too, while Nael put 0.857s between himself and Rinicella.

Two laps later Monlau Motorsport’s Fernando Barrichello went off near turn three and retired, but this time the safety car was not summoned and top two continued around 0.85s apart as they had done previously.

They finished the 17-lap race split by 0.84s, with the victory being Nael’s second in a row, while Stromsted finished 3.359s behind in third and Christian Ho a further 3.6s back in fourth.

There were scarce instances of overtaking, although after the safety car period pre-race points leader Pedro Clerot had to resist several laps of pressure from MP team-mate Keanu Al Azhari.

Alvise Rodella passed Alexander Abkhazava to score the final point in 10th place, while a time penalty for track limits abuse dropped Federico Al Rifai behind them down to 21st in the final results.

A race-ending incident for Andres Cardneas early on is currently being investigated by stewards.

Race result (17 laps)
Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Theophile Nael Sainteloc Racing 31m41.877s
2 Valerio Rinicella MP Motorsport +0.840s
3 Noah Stromsted Campos Racing +3.359s
4 Christian Ho Campos Racing +7.027s
5 Pedro Clerot MP Motorsport +9.549s
6 Keanu Al Azhari MP Motorsport +9.946s
7 Jeronimo Berrio MP Motorsport +10.716s
8 Alex Ninovic Carlin +12.570s
9 Pablo Sarrazin Monlau Motorsport +14.033s
10 Alvise Rodella MP Motorsport +16.394s
11 Alexander Abkhazava Drivex School +17.446s
12 Jesse Carrasquedo Jr Campos Racing +17.936s
13 Juan Cota Drivex School +18.803s
14 Luciano Morano Sainteloc Racing +21.203s
15 Bruno del Pino Campos Racing +21.279s
16 Daniel Nogales Drivex School +23.934s
17 Carl Bennett GRS +24.715s
18 Griffin Peebles Tecnicar Motorsport +25.829s
19 Eric Gene Tecnicar Motorsport +26.215s
20 Lin Hodenius Monlau Motorsport +30.232s
21 Federico Al Rifai Carlin +30.391s
22 George Zhuravskiy Drivex School +33.456s
23 Ricardo Gracia Monlau Motorsport +46.839s
Ret Fernando Barrichello Monlau Motorsport
Ret Flavio Olivieri Cram Motorsport
Ret Maxi Restrepo Drivex School
Ret Enzo Deligny Campos Racing
Ret Andres Cardenas Campos Racing
Ret Hiyu Yamakoshi Tecnicar Motorsport
DNS Theodor Jensen Sainteloc Racing
Fastest lap: Rinicella, 1m40.572s

Championship standings
1 Nael 101   2 Clerot 92   3 Ho 85   4 Deligny 70   5 Stromsted 66   6 De Palo 63   7 Rinicella 60   8 Al-Azhari 47   9 Berrio 26   10 Lisle 16