Home Formula 4Brazilian F4 Vinicius Tessaro takes early Brazilian F4 lead with two Interlagos wins

Vinicius Tessaro takes early Brazilian F4 lead with two Interlagos wins

by Luis Ferrari

Photo: Luca Bassani

Cavaleiro Sports driver Vinicius Tessaro was the name to beat in the 2023 Brazilian Formula 4 season opener at Interlagos, and turned his pace into an early points lead.

The 17-years old took pole position and then won races one and three, both with considerable dominance. Nelson Neto won the reversed-grid race two, in a weekend in which experience made the difference. Only one time in the weekend did a rookie make the overall podium, with Matheus Callejas doing so by finishing third in race two, which awards less points.

Tessaro had a solid rookie year in 2022, with seven podiums but no wins and an end position of third in the standings. He arrived at Interlagos this week focused on climbing the ladder this season, and led all three extra practice sessions and the first official free practice. He was second in FP2, claimed race one pole based on second-fastest laptimes in qualifying and made the front row for race three with his fastest qualifying lap.

When the lights went in race one, Tessaro took the lead and was unchallenged thereon. TMG Racing’s sophomore drivers Alvaro Cho and Luan Lopes followed, with Bassani Racing youngster Matheus Comparatto in fourth topping the rookie classification.

Alexandre Machado stalled from pole in race two, and Bassani team-mate Nelson Neto took advantage to claim the lead. He was challenged by Cho, but kept his ground to win for the first time. Callejas topped the rookie classification in third.

A move from Machado on Luan Lopes at Laranjinha corner sent the latter rolling, the first incident of this kind in the series, and got Machado disqualified. Lopes’ car was rebuilt by TMG Racing for Sunday’s race, and he competed normally.

Race two also proved dramatic for Tessaro, as he got a drive-through penalty for an incident with Arthur Pavie and finished ninth.

The third race featured a remarkable challenge from Tessaro to poleman Cho. After five laps of pressure, he made a move around the outside of Curva do Lago for the lead. Lopes, who had cleared Comparatto at the start, tried to catch up.

The TMG team-mates’ battle allowed Tessaro to open a gap by the halfway point of the race, with victory earning him the points lead, and Cho did not leave a chance for Lopes to make a move and held on to second ahead of him.

Round two of the season is also at Interlagos, on July 7-9.

Results round-up
Race 1 (17 laps)
1 Vinicius Tessaro Cavaleiro Sports 27m40.878s
2 Luan Lopes TMG Racing +0.626s
3 Alvaro Cho TMG Racing +9.984s
4 Matheus Comparatto Bassani Racing +13.151s
5 Nelson Neto Bassani Racing +21.940s
6 Arthur Pavie Bassani Racing +22.287s
7 Mateus Callejas Cavaleiro Sports +25.351s
8 Alexandre Machado Bassani Racing +38.021s
9 Lucca Zucchini Cavaleiro Sports +49.353s
10 Cecilia Rabelo Cavaleiro Sports +1 lap
P: Tessaro, 1m36.690s
Fastest lap: Lopes, 1m37.104s

Race 2 (11 laps)
1 Neto 20m19.452s
2 Cho +1.599s
3 Callejas +2.690s
4 Joao Tesser TMG Racing +5.366s
5 Comparatto +6.530s
6 Rafaela Ferreira TMG Racing +6.892s
7 Zucchini +7.937s
8 Pavie +24.983s
9 Tessaro +28.664s
10 Rabelo +38.939s
FL: Tessaro, 1m37.611s

Race 3 (17 laps)
1 Tessaro 27m46.333s
2 Cho +2.439s
3 Lopes +3.177s
4 Comparatto +4.962s
5 Tesser +6.168s
6 Zucchini +15.858s
7 Pavie +16.308s
8 Neto +24.808s
9 Ferreira +26.132s
10 Callejas +26.361s
P: Cho, 1m36.528s
FL: Tessaro, 1m37.218s

Championship standings
1 Tessaro 52   2 Cho 47   3 Lopes 34   4 Comparatto 30   5 Neto 29   6 Tesser 18   7 Callejas 17   8 Pavie 15   9 Zucchini 12   10 Ferreira 6