MP Motorsport’s Valerio Rinicella claimed the victory in a quiet first Spanish F4 race of the weekend at Valencia’s Circuit Ricardo Tormo to keep his championship hopes alive.
Campos Racing’s Christian Ho and Sainteloc Racing’s Theophile Nael completed the podium in second and third place respectively. The pair put pressure on Rinicella for most of the race, but the Italian held on well to take his second win of the season.
Rinicella had a better launch than polesitter Ho, and tried to take the lead going into turn one, but the Campos driver held on. Although, he didn’t do so for long, as the Italian went into his inside and claimed first place at turn two.
Meanwhile, championship leader Nael moved up from fifth, where he started due to a three-place grid penalty for causing a collision in practice, to third position. Campos’ Matteo de Palo dropped from third to seventh place instead.
The safety car was deployed before the end of the first lap to recover the car of Pablo Sarrazin from the gravel trap of turn one, after he was hit by Drivex’s Joao Diaz under braking. Then GRS Team’s Isaac Barashi ran into the back of Cram Motorsport’s Fillipo Fiorentino at the main straight under safety car conditions as the first lap was completed.
The race resumed with 20 minutes remaining on the clock, with Rodin Carlin’s Alex Ninovic using momentum out of the last corner to overtake de Palo into turn one. However, de Palo quickly reclaimed the place at turn two.
Rinicella, Ho and Nael soon broke away at the front, opening an over two-second gap to Monlau’s Ricardo Gracia in just three laps. The three stayed within half-a-second of each other for several laps, but there were no real chances of overtaking.
The race progressed with little action between drivers in the top 10. A mistake from MP’s Keanu Al Azhari resulted in him dropping out of the top 10 down to 13th. GRS’ Daniel Macia inherited then 10th position, having previously Carlin’s Noah Lisle.
Tecnicar Motorsport’s Lorenzo Castillo lost control of his car at the exit of turn with 10 minutes to go, and ended up beached in the inside gravel trap between corner one and two. Race direction decided the car was at a safe place though, and the safety car was not called into the track.
In the closing stages of the race, several drivers received two-second time penalties for repeatedly exceeding track limits, penalties which were increased to five-seconds for those who kept going off-the-track.
Race result (18 laps)
|1||Valerio Rinicella||MP Motorsport||31m57.230s|
|2||Christian Ho||Campos Racing||+1.335s|
|3||Theophile Nael||Sainteloc Racing||+2.261s|
|4||Ricardo Gracia||Monlau Motorsport||+6.872s|
|5||Enzo Deligny||Campos Racing||+8.070s|
|6||Andres Cardenas||Campos Racing||+8.659s|
|7||Matteo De Palo||Campos Racing||+9.310s|
|9||Alexander Abkhazava||Drivex School||+13.542s|
|11||Reno Francot||MP Motorsport||+19.004s|
|13||Keanu Al Azhari||MP Motorsport||+19.646s|
|16||Hiyu Yamakoshi||Tecnicar Motorsport||+21.729s|
|17||Fernando Barrichello||Monlau Motorsport||+23.375s|
|18||Theodor Jensen||Sainteloc Racing||+23.804s|
|14||Lin Hodenius||Monlau Motorsport||+27.423s|
|15||Jesse Carrasquedo||Campos Racing||+27.152s|
|25||Alvise Rodella||MP Motorsport||+30.337s|
|19||Noah Stromsted||Campos Racing||+31.296s|
|26||Luciano Morano||Sainteloc Racing||+31.778s|
|20||Pedro Clerot||MP Motorsport||+32.065s|
|21||Eric Gene||Tecnicar Motorsport||+32.972s|
|22||Flavio Olivieri||Cram Motorsport||+33.716s|
|27||Juan Cota||Drivex School||+33.864s|
|23||Griffin Peebles||Tecnicar Motorsport||+35.018s|
|24||Federico Al Rifai||Carlin||+36.414s|
|29||Maxi Restrepo||Drivex School||+36.623s|
|28||Kai Daryanani||Cram Motorsport||+38.204s|
|Ret||Lorenzo Castillo||Tecnicar Motorsport|
|Ret||Joao Diaz||Drivex School|
|Ret||Filippo Fiorentino||Cram Motorsport|
|Ret||Pablo Sarrazin||Monlau Motorsport|
|Fastest lap: Rinicella, 1m33.053s