Home Formula 4Italian F4 Wharton fastest in Italian F4 practice as under a second covers top 24

Wharton fastest in Italian F4 practice as under a second covers top 24

by Ida Wood

Photo: ACI Sport

Prema’s James Wharton was fastest in Italian Formula 4 free practice at Misano.

PHM Racing’s James Egozi set the early benchmark in the 40-minute first session, a 1m38.405s keeping him on top for just under five minutes before Van Amersfoort Racing’s Matheus Ferreira set a 1m36.551s.

Egozi improved to be 0.307 seconds behind in second place, then was shuffled down to fourth as Prema’s Ugo Ugochukwu set a 1m36.136s to top the times and PHM team-mate Nandhavud Bhirombhakdi slotted into third.

A few seconds later Wharton demoted Ugochukwu to second with the first sub-1m36s lap, and Arvid Lindblad made it a Prema 1-2-3 as BVM Racing’s Alfio Spina jumped to fourth ahead of US Racing’s Akshay Bohra.

Ferreira set a 1m36.012s to go second fastest, then when Ugochukwu crossed the line he returned to first place by 0.583s with a 1m35.388s lap.

Bohra lapped 0.025s slower than Ugochukwu to go second, then Lindblad set a 1m35.182s to move to the top. Ugochukwu responded with a 1m36.061s, and Bohra returned to second place by improving while Wharton improved by 0.7s in fourth.

Another improvement from Wharton 11 minutes in returned him to the top, but his impressive 1m35.030s was bettered by a 1m34.912s fom Ugochukwu. In reponse, he set a 1m34.703s, while their team-mate Tuukka Taponen made it up to third place.

VAR’s Brando Badoer and US Racing’s Kacper Sztuka shuffled him down to fifth by setting 1m34s laps, but Taponen was also capable of that pace and went second fastest with a 1m34.808s after 16 minutes.

After a prolonged period of inactivity, bar Sztuka and team-mate Zachary David who stayed on track and improved to third and fourth at FP1’s halfway point, there was change at the top again with six minutes to go as Taponen set a 1m34.550s and Lindblad and David improved in fourth and fifth.

In the final minute Sztuka then set FP1’s fastest lap to finish 0.149s clear of Taponen and to lead a top 21 covered by 0.985s.

Ugochukwu was the driver to beat through the first quarter of FP2, getting to 1m35.434s before two successive improvements from Lindblad put him ahead. Sztuka, David and Bohra then each lowered the pace, before Badoer became the first driver to go quicker than the FP1 benchmark by setting a 1m34.511s in the final 10 minutes.

Sztuka went 0.008s faster, then Wharton lowered the pace three times to finish no 1m34.370s, putting him just 0.081s ahead of Lindblad and this time with 23 drivers within a second of him.

The only two drivers whose personal bests were set in FP1 were Tina Haussmann and Ariel Elkin.

Free practice results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 James Wharton Prema 1m34.370s 35
2 Arvid Lindblad Prema 1m34.451s +0.081s 34
3 Kacper Sztuka US Racing 1m34.503s +0.133s 34
4 Brando Badoer Van Amersfoort Racing 1m34.511s +0.141s 37
5 Tuukka Taponen Prema 1m34.517s +0.147s 34
6 Ugo Ugochukwu Prema 1m34.604s +0.234s 34
7 Akshay Bohra US Racing 1m34.638s +0.268s 33
8 Zachary David US Racing 1m34.712s +0.342s 31
9 Rashid Al Dhaheri Prema 1m34.768s +0.398s 33
10 Ivan Domingues Van Amersfoort Racing 1m34.820s +0.450s 36
11 James Egozi PHM Racing 1m34.930s +0.560s 30
12 Tina Hausmann AKM Motorsport 1m34.947s +0.577s 36
13 Ethan Ischer Jenzer Motorsport 1m34.950s +0.580s 29
14 Gianmarco Pradel US Racing 1m34.958s +0.588s 33
15 Matheus Ferreira Van Amersfoort Racing 1m35.062s +0.692s 37
16 Valentin Kluss PHM Racing 1m35.088s +0.718s 32
17 Niko Lacorte Prema 1m35.091s +0.721s 37
18 Ariel Elkin Jenzer Motorsport 1m35.131s +0.761s 28
19 Ruiqi Liu US Racing 1m35.138s +0.768s 34
20 Alfio Spina BVM Racing 1m35.194s +0.824s 31
21 Davide Larini AKM Motorsport 1m35.226s +0.856s 34
22 Aurelia Nobels Prema 1m35.311s +0.941s 35
23 Matteo Quintarelli R-ace GP 1m35.334s +0.964s 33
24 Jack Beeton Van Amersfoort Racing 1m35.336s +0.966s 33
25 Nandhavud Bhirombhakdi PHM Racing 1m35.377s +1.007s 35
26 Raphael Narac R-ace GP 1m35.519s +1.149s 26
27 Andrea Frassineti BVM Racing 1m35.665s +1.295s 35
28 Kim Hwarang Jenzer Motorsport 1m35.674s +1.304s 26
29 Ismail Akhmed Van Amersfoort Racing 1m35.694s +1.324s 37
30 Viktoria Blokhina PHM Racing 1m35.729s +1.359s 32
31 Frederik Lund AKM Motorsport 1m35.947s +1.577s 27
32 Manuel Quondamcarlo AS Motorport 1m36.130s +1.760s 40
33 Guido Luchetti Airflow Racing 1m36.759s +2.389s 35
34 Max Cuccarese AS Motorsport no time 0