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
|3||Kacper Sztuka||US Racing||1m34.503s||+0.133s||34|
|4||Brando Badoer||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m34.511s||+0.141s||37|
|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|
|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|
|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|