Here's everything you need to know about last weekend's European Formula Regional and Formula 4 rounds.
FORMULA REGIONAL EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP BY ALPINE
RACE 1: COLAPINTO AND MP CONQUER THEIR FIRST WIN
Franco Colapinto conquers his and MP Motorsport’s first win in the championship in Race 1 at Red Bull Ring. From pole position, the Argentinian driver manages to always keep the lead, even though his start is not perfect. Much better is the restart at the very beginning of the race determined by the accident of Lèna Buehler crashing into Tommy Smith.
Behind the Argentinian driver, the battle is strong, but chances to overtake are few. Hadrien David (R-ace GP) also keeps his second position from the start, and so does Paul Aron (Prema Powerteam) with the third, managing to be back on the podium after his last time in Monaco.
Alex Quinn (Arden Motorsport) gains one position from the start and ends fourth. The championship leader Grégoire Saucy (ART Grand Prix) also improves one position and is finally fifth, but evidently below expectations. Sixth is Michael Belov (G4 Racing), up from the 11th position and one of the drivers who manages to overtake more on a difficult track in this sense.
Seventh is Gabriel Bortoleto (FA Racing), who loses 3 positions from the start, but still obtains a very good result and is first among the Rookies.
“I am really happy for the improvement, and thank the team for the amazing work as they have given me a great car. I did not have a good start and it was a very difficult and long race, but I am happy and confident also for tomorrow”, comments Franco Colapinto after the podium ceremony.
“I am very happy about the result. It is my first time on this track so I am positive for the improvement and expect to do even better tomorrow, hopefully starting from pole position, as the slipstream here is not quite enough to overtake”, comments Hadrien David, who partially reduces the gap from Saucy in the championship.
“I think the team has worked really well and finally we have found the right direction to be fast. I feel good here as I have always been competitive, with two successes in F4. I hope for tomorrow we can conquer the pole position, as this is key for the final win”, explains Paul Aron after the race.
“I am really positive for this result, and being first of the Rookies and obtaining my best performance of the season until now is great. The team has helped a lot and I thank them”, is the comment by a very excited and positive Gabriel Bortoleto.
RACE 2: COLAPINTO HAS HIS PERFECT WEEKEND
Two pole positions and two wins, this is the perfect weekend for Franco Colapinto (MP Motorsport), who manages to keep the lead of race 2 from pole position and defend it to the end from Grégoire Saucy (ART Grand Prix), who battles the entire race but cannot manage to overtake the Argentinian driver, as the two have very similar performances. The best lap time of the race is also set by Colapinto with 1:26.569.
After the first two an amazing Gabriel Bortoleto (FA Racing), first of the Rookies, obtains his best result of the season until now, with a fantastic podium and a great race, putting together great performance and no mistakes.
Fourth is Zane Maloney (R-ace GP), who battles all the race for the fourth position with his teammate Isack Hadjar, finally fifth.
Sixth is Dino Beganovic (Prema Powerteam), doing a very good race a being the best gainer in the top ten, moving up from the 11th position on the grid, after having been slowed down by traffic during qualifying.
Seventh is finally another driver obtaining a great performance, Pietro Delli Guanti (Monolite Racing), conquering his first points of the season. Eighth is a good William Alatalo (Arden Motorsport), followed by his teammate Alex Quinn, not able to do as good as in race 1. Tenth, and last in the points, is David Vidales (Prema Powerteam), who manages to overtake Gabriele Minì (ART Grand Prix), and then has to defend himself from the Italian for many laps.
The next round of the championship will be held in Valencia on September 24th.
ITALIAN FORMULA 4
OLIVER BEARMAN WINS RACE 1 AT THE RED BULL RING
The Englishman driving for Van Amersfoort Racing wins for the eighth time this season and extends his lead in the standings. On the podium Tramnitz and Montoya. Antonelli wins on debut among the rookies.
The positions on the grid changed, but not the final result for Oliver Bearman. The standings leader starts third, but after a few turns he is already in the lead and controls his opponents until the chequered flag. A victory that brings him even closer to the Italian title, but above all a victory of strength, intelligence and shrewdness. On the podium, together with the British Van Amersfoort driver, Tim Tramnitz, on his return in the series and Sebastian Montoya, certainly not satisfied with his performance, but with his sixth podium in the season looking for a victory that seems to never come. Out of the podium Kirill Smal (Prema Powerteam), Joshua Dufek (Van Amersfoort Racing) and Leonardo Fornaroli (Iron Lynx) who tried to reach the first three, but had to "settle" for bringing home points in view of the championship. In seventh position Francesco Simonazzi (BVM Racing), at his comeback, showed to be immediately fast keeping behind Erik Zuniga (BWT Muecke Motorsport). Ninth position and first among the rookies Andrea Kimi Antonelli (Prema Powerteam) who immediately shows to be among the best. The rookie podium is all Italian and completed by Francesco Braschi (Jenzer Motorsport) more and more at ease in the series and Lorenzo Patrese (AKM Motorsport) who brings home important points in view of the championship.
In the first race at the Red Bull Ring Montoya started well ahead of Bearman and Tramnitz. However, the Colombian makes a mistake at the third turn of the Austrian track and is passed both by the Englishman driving for Van Amersfoort and the German driver of US Racing. After a few minutes of the race Nicolas Baptiste spins and ends up in the sand, before a contact puts him out of the game, in turn 1, Leonardo Bizzotto (BVM Racing), started from 26th position after not the best qualifying session and Pedro Perino, at the Red Bull Ring for the first time in the colors of US Racing. At the restart the leading positions did not change with Bearman maintaining the lead, pulling away together with Tramnitz and Montoya, while Kirill Smal managed to get the better of Nikita Bedrin, also passed by Joshua Durksen. These two however, are forced to return to the pits leaving the way clear for Dufek and Fornaroli who recover ground and positions.
A tight fight for the rookie podium with Andrea Kimi Antonelli who has some space to breathe ahead of the fight between Lorenzo Patrese, Francesco Braschi and Conrad Laursen who is more "wait-and-see" than the two Italian drivers who often exchange positions for the second and third place among the rookies. There is also a battle between Fornaroli and Dufek for the fifth position with the Iron Lynx driver from Piacenza trying to worry the Austrian. The fight for the overall podium also flared up, with Tramnitz and Montoya very close to each other and Russian Kirill Smal trying to take advantage of it by attacking his teammate, but without success. At the chequered flag it was Bearman who resumed his race towards the title with his eighth win of the season ahead of the returning Tim Tramnitz and Sebastian Montoya.
TRAMNITZ WINS IN RACE 2 AT RED BULL RING
The German, driving for US Racing, won in front of Fornaroli and Bearman. Among the rookies, it was the first victory for Francesco Braschi, sixth in the overall standings.
A race marked by safety cars which have not given much spectacle on track, a solid win for Tim Tramnitz, good in passing Leonardo Fornaroli (Iron Lynx) after the start and excellent in maintaining the leading until the chequered flag. On the third position of the podium, Oliver Bearman (Van Amersfoort Racing) scored important points for the championship after a come-back race from the sixth position. Out of the podium Kirill Smal (Prema Powerteam), who was not able to pass the English driver despite the good rhythm during the race. The Russian kept behind Josuha Durksen (Muecke Motorsport) and Francesco Braschi (Jenzer Motorsport) who scored his first victory among the rookies. Franesco Simonazzi (BVM Racing), Charlie Wurz (Prema Powerteam) second among the rookies, bence Valint (Van Amersfoort Racing) and Lorenzo Patrese (AKM Motorsport) who completed the rookies’ podium.
Leonardo Fornaroli started from the pole position in race 2, flanked by Tim Tramnitz. It is the German driver who has the better, conquering the leading in turn 3. Joshua Dufek (Van Amersfoort Racing) was forced to enter the pit because of a damage to the front wing and he restarted in the back of the group, while Sebastian Montoya raised the white flag after only one lap with a puncture in the front left tyre. Oliver Bearman (Van Amersfoort Racing), starting from the sixth position, took advantage of the contact between Montoya and Dufek and also his teammate Nikita Bedrin, grabbing the third position. Contact between teammates with Bearman and Bedrin who touch each other. The Russian gets the worst of it with a damaged suspension, while Bearman seems to have no problems with the rear and keeps Kirill Smal (Prema Powerteam) behind him. The Russian Joshua Durksen (BWT Mueke Motorsport) behind them tries to get closer. The safety car enters on track after Hamda Al Qubaisi (Prema Powerteam) goes out and remains stopped.
At the restart the leading positions didn't change, with Tramnitz gaining meters immediately and Fornaroli managing to gain some margin on Bearman, attacked by Smal. Behind them Braschi and Durksen exchanged positions several times in a short time. Once again it's the safety car to be protagonist after a contact that puts out of the games Han Cenyu (Van Amersfoort Racing), Georgios Markogiannis (Cram Motorsport) and Jorge Garciarce (Jenzer Motorsport). And also this time the leading positions don't change, but the green flag lasts only a few meters as Samir Ben (Jenzer Motorsport) and Pietro Armanni (Iron Lynx) make contact before crossing the finish line. The race ended under safety car with Tim Tramnitz returning to victory after two successes at Paul Ricard. Leonardo Fornaroli and Oliver Bearman are also on the podium. Among the rookies was Francesco Braschi ahead of Charlie Wurz and Lorenzo Patrese.
THE RAIN PROVIDES WITH SPECTACLE AND VICTORY FOR TRAMNITZ IN RACE 3
A few minutes before the start of race 3 the rain shuffles the cards, but in the end it is Tramnitz who manages to get the better of Dufek and Smal.
A race full of turning points, the third one on the Red Bull Ring circuit, which gave the fourth victory of the season to Tim Tramnitz. The German driving for US Racing was the best on the Red Bull Ring, passing Joshua Dufek a few laps from the end to take the victory. The Austrian driver of Van Amersfoort Racing climbs on the second step of the podium, while Kirill Smal is third under the checkered flag, good at containing the exuberance of Francesco Simonazzi (BVM Racing) who tries until the end, but is forced to "settle" for fourth place. The rain exalts Nicolas Baptiste (Cram Motorsport) who conquers the fifth position and the first victory among rookies. Lorenzo Patrese is second among rookies, ahead of Leonardo Fornaroli and Charlie Wurz who completes the rookie podium. Andrea Kimi Antonelli and an amazing Pedro Perino complete the top 10.
At the start of race 3 no one dares to change tires on the grid despite the rain starting to become consistent. The cars started behind the safety car with Tramnitz leading the group ahead of Fornaroli, Montoya Bearman and all the 31 starters. Eron Rexepi (BVM Racing) didn’t take part in the race for the whole weekend because of a leg pain. During the first two laps almost all of them entered the pits to change their tires. The safety car leaves room for the protagonists with the three Van Amersfoort Racing drivers who, despite the difficulties, entered in the battle for the first three positions. From the back of the grid, the drivers who had put on rain tires came up with Smal and Tramnitz who managed to pass Bearman for the third and fourth position. Montoya has a contact with Braschi. The Colombian driver goes back to the pits, while the winner among the rookies in race 2, remains stuck in the sand forcing the safety car to return to track.
At the restart Dufek took a good lead over Tramnitz, who managed to pass Smal for the second position. Santiago Ramos (Jenzer Motorsport) spins and once again the safety car enters on track. At the restart it's a fight between Tramniz and Dufek for the first position with the German driver who, after several attempts, manages to get the better of it. Under the checkered flag it is Tramnitz who wins ahead of Dufek and Smal.
The next round of the championship will be held in Mugello on October 8th.
FRENCH FORMULA 4
Capietto, starting from pole position, confirmed his performance with a clear victory in Race 1 ahead of Masson, from whom he gained precious points in the Championship. The reversed grid in Race 2 was favourable to Provost, who won against Géraci.
Two months have passed since the previous event in Hungary and the drivers of the French F4 Championship organised by the FFSA Academy were eager to get back to the adrenalin of competition. At Lédenon, in particularly good weather at the end of the summer, two races were on the agenda on Saturday 11 September. In Race 1, Macéo Capietto did not fail to turn his pole position achieved the day before into a particularly important victory in the Championship, his third since the beginning of the season. "In single-seater racing, getting pole position is crucial and once you have achieved that goal, it is important to stay focused and determined to confirm that advantage. For me, everything went well. I got a good start, set the fastest lap in the race and won by more than 4 seconds. I couldn't have wished for anything better!"
Somewhat disappointed to have had to settle for 4th position in qualifying, Esteban Masson reacted magnificently. After an excellent start, he quickly managed to take the lead over Gaël Julien and Australian Hugh Barter to limit the loss of points to his rival Capietto. Masson never stopped pushing, as the French prospect had to fend off the assaults of Daniel Ligier, who had also got the better of Julien and Barter. Between these two drivers, the positions were reversed from the starting order, with Barter ahead of Julien.
Provost holds off Geraci in Race 2
Always very spectacular due to a reverse grid, Race 2 put the young drivers of the F4 ranking in the spotlight. Provost was on pole position and led the race from start to finish, showing great strength. However, Enzo Géraci never wavered, keeping the pressure on the leader from start to finish. The positions remained there, with Provost happy to get his first F4 success and Géraci just as happy to climb on the podium. "Honestly, I didn't put any pressure on myself, I just tried to get a good start, not to make any mistakes and to apply the advice of my entourage," admitted Pierre-Alexandre. "I don't have much experience of karting, I know I still have a lot to learn in single-seaters, but this victory is obviously welcome to validate the first part of my training."
Behind him, Daniel Ligier also achieved a great feat by completing the top-3, even though he only started in 8th position in the middle of the French Championship's tenors. Daniel was again particularly incisive in the first laps to gain precious places. Hugh Barter did not spare any effort to move up to 4th ahead of Owen Tangavelou and Esteban Masson, who managed to keep Macéo Capietto behind him. Pablo Sarrazin and Paul Trojani had a promising first top-10 in F4. Disappointment for Swiss driver Dario Cabanelas, who was running in an excellent 3rd place, before spinning out with three laps to go.
The 4th meeting of the French F4 Championship ended with a brilliant victory for Julien in Race 3. By resisting Barter for 2nd place, Capietto made an excellent deal in the general standings.
So far, seven different drivers have had the opportunity to climb onto the top step of the podium in 2021 in just four events, confirming the interest of the FFSA Academy Championship. After Pierre-Alexandre Provost the day before, it was Gaël Julien's turn to add his name to the list of winners of this competition which has revealed so many talented drivers since its creation. A beautiful blue sky and a summer temperature were present when the peloton started for a little more than 20 minutes of racing. Macéo Capietto took the lead in the famous triple left of the Gard circuit, while Gaël Julien tried to contain the attacks of his pursuers.
"My start wasn't really good," explained Gaël, the French prospect who was trained in karting for several years in Singapore. "I wasn't too worried when I saw that I was able to follow Macéo quite easily. As soon as I found myself in a good position, I managed to overtake him, before taking the lead. I had a little doubt this morning though, as I had food poisoning and had to go to the emergency room until late in the evening. In the end, I felt very good in the car, it was really efficient and I thank the FFSA Academy team for the repairs made after the collision the day before."
Intense duel between Capietto and Barter
If Capietto quickly realised Julien's superiority in this Race 3, he didn't have any rest because of the pressure exerted by Hugh Barter. "My pace was good, I was able to gain a place on lap 3, before getting stuck in the wake of Maceo," commented the Australian. "I tried several times to push him, to find an opportunity, but trying to overtake proved to be too risky. I ended up securing this new podium."
"A pole, a win, a fastest lap and second place in this Race 3. It was an excellent weekend," said Capietto. "I'm taking back around fifteen points from Esteban Masson, which is positive in terms of the Championship. The suspense remains before the next trips to Monza in Italy, Paul Ricard and Magny-Cours.
Third on the starting grid, Esteban Masson did not make the best start of his career. Ranked 6th on the first lap, he managed to regain a place at the expense of Daniel Ligier at the price of a beautiful attacking race. Esteban remains a solid leader in the French F4 Championship. In front of him in fourth position, Owen Tangavelou had a consistent and clean race. "The aim was to get on the podium, but I damaged a tyre the day before driving on a piece of debris and I wasn't as comfortable in Race 3."
A successful debut for Pablo Sarrazin
Alessandro Giusti, who had already won the Junior category in Race 1, repeated his performance, achieving a good result in the battle with Swiss rider Cabanelas in this category. Seventh in the scratch, Alessandro finished in the wheels of Ligier, without being able to pass him despite some intimidating manoeuvres. Dario Cabanelas and Enzo Geraci took the next places, while completing the top-3 of the Juniors. For his first experience in a single-seater, Pablo Sarrazin made remarkable progress, to the point of overtaking drivers who were present from the start of the season. Son of Stéphane Sarrazin, a 24 Hours of Le Mans specialist and former F1 and Rally driver, Pablo took 10th place ahead of Noah Andy, Pierre-Alexandre Provost, Paul Trojani and Angélina Favario.
The next round of the championship will be held in Monza on September 24th.
JAPANESE FORMULA 4
Iori Kimura was the best-performing driver at Sportsland SUGO in Japanese Formula 4 this weekend with a pole, a 2nd place in Race 1 and a win in Race 2. Syun Koide also had an impressive streak of 3 podiums with a win in Race 1 and two 3rd places in Race 2 & 3. Reimei ito completed the podium in race 1 and had a fantastic end of the weekend with a 2nd place in Race 2 and a win in Race 3.
The next round of the championship will be held at the Twin Ring Motegi on November 5th.