Home News Theophile Nael turns pole into victory in Spanish F4 race one at Estoril

Theophile Nael turns pole into victory in Spanish F4 race one at Estoril

by Ida Wood

Photo: F4 Spain

Sainteloc Racing’s Theophile Nael claimed his sixth Spanish Formula 4 win on Saturday at Estoril.

The day kicked off with a 40-minute practice session, and Campos Racing’s Enzo Deligny and Christian Ho traded top spot through the first half of it. Deligny’s 1m38.443s set 20 minutes in was not beaten until 10 minutes later when Nael set a 1m38.361s and MP Motorsport’s Pedro Clerot was just 0.01 seconds slower than him.

His team-mate Jeronimo Berrio slotted into fifth place, 0.197s off the pace, and there was no charge to the order until MP’s Valerio Rinicella went eighth fastest with eight minutes to go. On his next lap he went fastest by 0.05s to end FP1 on top, and in the final minute MP’s Keanu Al Azhari was black flagged for track limits abuse.

FP2 took place several hours later and Nael was fastest with a 1m38.375s lap. Deligny was 0.265s behind in second place, with Ho and team-mate Andres Cardenas in third and fourth.

Alex Ninovic, Al Azhari and Deligny had each spent time at the top when the session was red flagged “due to the collapse of the TL system”. When it restarted, the previous fastest laps had been deleted and Al Azhari was back on top. Campos’s Matteo De Palo was therefore officially the first driver into the 1m39s later on. Ho then Nael lowered the pace, before another red flag stoppage caused by Isaac Barashi striking trouble at turn two.

Luciano Morano, Al Azhari, Sebastian Murray, Kai Daryanani and Fernando Barrichello were all black flagged during the session, and Barashi even got a stop-go penalty.

The first qualifying session followed not too long after FP2, and Nael pipped fellow Frenchman Deligny to race one pole by 0.179s. Ho and De Palo were third and fourth fastest, with Clerot and Cardenas in fifth and sixth.

Nael had to resist an attempted turn one move from Deligny on lap one of the race, then pulled away for a points lead-extending win. Deligny had Ho in his mirrors throughout but an overtake was never attempted, and Clerot held fourth over Cardenas despite a lengthy side-by-side battle on lap four after he had a brief off.

There was drama further down the order as Valentin Kluss retired following a lap one collision at the hairpin, Noah Lisle had to pit at the end of that lap and Morano suffered sidepod damage before leaving the race a few laps later.

Alexander Abkhazava ended up in the gravel on lap two, Fernando Barrichello ended his race in the pits on lap five and later Alvise Rodella and Theodor Jensen had contact.

Race result (19 laps)
Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Theophile Nael Sainteloc Racing 31m45.547s
2 Enzo Deligny Campos Racing +3.220s
3 Christian Ho Campos Racing +3.925s
4 Pedro Clerot MP Motorspot +11.644s
5 Andres Cardenas Campos Racing +12.245s
6 Valerio Rinicella MP Motorsport +12.970s
7 Matteo De Palo Campos Racing +13.717s
8 Hiyu Yamakoshi Tecnicar Motorsport +14.795s
9 Ricardo Gracia Monlau Motorsport +16.170s
10 Alex Ninovic Carlin +17.350s
11 Lin Hodenius Monlau Motorsport +23.678s
12 Noah Stromsted Campos Racing +28.053s
13 Federico Al Rifai Carlin +30.404s
14 Keanu Al Azhari MP Motorsport +30.649s
15 Jeronimo Berrio MP Motorsport +30.770s
16 Juan Cota Drivex School +30.916s
17 Eric Gene Tecnicar Motorsport +33.468s
18 Pablo Sarrazin Monlau Motorsport +34.124s
19 Alvise Rodella MP Motorsport +35.552s
20 Jesse Carrasquedo Campos Racing +36.079s
21 Sebastian Murray Sainteloc Racing +38.514s
22 Theodor Jensen Sainteloc Racing +39.365s
23 Maxi Restrepo Drivex School +46.474s
24 Flavio Olivieri Cram Motorport +53.392s
25 Georgi Zhuravskiy Drivex School +54.985s
26 Griffin Peebles Tecnicar Motorsport +57.812s
27 Carl Bennett GRS +1m01.468s
28 Isaac Barashi GRS +1m01.934s
29 Kai Daryanani Cram Motorsport +1m05.275s
30 Noah Lisle Carlin +1m18.986s
NC Fernando Barrichello Monlau Motorsport
NC Luciano Morano Sainteloc Racing
Ret Alexander Abkhazava Drivex School
Ret Valentin Kluss MP Motorsport
Pole: Nael, 1m38.604s   Fastest lap: Nael, 1m39.557s

Championship standings
1 Nael 224   2 Rinicella 149   3 Deligny 141   4 Ho 135   5 Clerot 121   6 De Palo 97   7 Stromsted 96   8 Al Azhari 79   9 Cardenas 75   10 Berrio 33