Theophile Nael and Sainteloc Racing started their adventure in single-seaters together halfway into the 2022 Spanish Formula 4 season. One-and-a-half years later, they are champions.
The Frenchman won eight of 2023 season’s 21 races, which led to him beating Campos Racing’s Christian Ho by 23 points to the driver’s title. Even though it seemed a small gap in the end, formidable performances in previous rounds had given Nael a 65-point advantage going into the last round, where he just finished the job.
“I’m super happy because Sainteloc Racing is a young team in F4, so thanks to all the team,” Nael told Formula Scout after being crowned. “I’m feeling really good. Now I’m looking forward to the future.”
“I learned from my mistakes from last year because I was a bit too aggressive and in qualifying I was not able to do a clean lap. During F4 United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi and Dubai we learned a lot, and since the beginning of the year, since the test of the pre-season, we were there and we just went step-by-step.
“I think since [round three of the Spanish F4 season at] Navarra our pace was really good and we knew how to manage it,” he reflected. “Since there we knew we can be able to win the championship or to finish in the top three because Campos and MP Motorsport are really, really good. To win versus them is just unbelievable.”
Going into the final round at Barcelona, Nael just had to score 10 points across the weekend to become champion. However, he “was not really thinking about it”.
Notwithstanding, a solid start and opening lap to race one, where he moved up from sixth to fourth, and a brilliant overtake on Campos’s Enzo Deligny for third place later on meant he was crowned with two races to spare.
Regarding the future, Nael says “I hope to continue with Sainteloc because it’s a family for me; we learned everything together”.
Sainteloc’s managing director Morgan Caron also spoke to Formula Scout about the achievement.
“I’m very happy for the whole crew because they are working hard, we are pushing them hard to deliver,” he said. “And also huge congratulations to Theophile. This year he achieved a strong level and he has worked hard to be able to get this first title in single-seaters. It’s more than deserved.
“Last year we entered for the last four rounds of the season, so it has been, I would say, a first step to learn, to understand everything, the cars the tyres, the championship, how it works and so on. Then we have implemented all our processes, all our procedures. We have been able to maximise every single detail, and to have the right driver to deliver on track.”
Caron describes such a driver, his team’s title-winner, as “naturally fast and also very, very motivated”.