Arvid Lindblad wins Italian F.4 race 1 at Monza

Published on Saturday, June 24, 2023

Arvid Lindblad wins Italian F.4 race 1 at Monza

Monza - Autodromo Nazionale Monza doesn't lack excitement in the thrilling first race of the Italian F.4 Championship. After 30 minutes and a tense final lap, Ugo Ugochukwu, the junior McLaren driver from Prema Racing, crosses the finish line first. However, he is penalized after the race following a careful review by the Stewards' Panel, which deemed a maneuver executed on Lindblad in the final lap as dangerous.

Ugochukwu is also penalized for two track limit violations while overtaking Lindblad and Taponen (10, 5, and 5 seconds added to his race time). Consequently, Ugochukwu loses his third victory in the Italian F.4 Championship and falls out of the points zone in the first race of the weekend. Arvid Lindblad wins race 1 and extends his lead over his direct championship rival. The Red Bull junior driver with Prema's colors took the lead by overtaking Brando Badoer on the first lap and maintained his position until the final stages, despite brief position swaps with the Veneto driver, who remained close behind. Badoer, from Van Amersfoort Racing, finishes in P2, in the first of the three races that will provide excitement to all motorsport enthusiasts this weekend. Nicola Lacorte, a Prema Racing driver, is also penalized by 5 seconds for a track limit violation while overtaking Kacper Sztuka. Therefore, it is the Finnish driver Tuukka Taponen, from Prema Racing, who secures the final third place in race 1. Sztuka, the Polish driver from US Racing, finishes fourth and is among the main protagonists in the battle for the lead. In fifth place is Alfio Spina, the Sicilian driver from BVM Racing, who gains a valuable result after starting from the sixteenth block of the starting grid. Behind him, in sixth place, is James Wharton, the Australian driver representing Team Prema Racing. Seventh is Akshay Bohra, the Singaporean driver from Team US Racing, followed by James Egozi from PHM Racing. Completing the top 10 are Australian driver Gianmarco Pradel from US Racing and Brazilian driver Matheus Ferreira from Van Amersfoort with Alpine Academy livery.

 

Race 1 recap 

Race 1 at Autodromo Nazionale Monza was one of the most fiercely contested and exciting races of the 2023 season, living up to the closely fought qualifying session yesterday. Brando Badoer, starting in pole position, immediately came under pressure from Arvid Lindblad, who made a perfect overtaking maneuver in the second chicane to take the lead. Badoer settled into P2, followed by Tuukka Taponen, the Ferrari Driver Academy driver of Prema Racing. The Finn defended his position against the attacks of Kacper Sztuka, US Racing driver, who was in turn engaged in a long battle with Ugochukwu for fourth place. James Wharton, also Ferrari Driver Academy from Prema Racing, wasted no time in joining the fight for the top positions, dueling with his Polish rival. Making their way up from the ninth and tenth positions on the starting grid were Nicola Lacorte of PREMA Racing and Singaporean driver Akshay Bohra, representing US Racing. As the race progressed, there was a brief change at the top, with Badoer launching an attack on the British driver, overtaking him on the outside and putting his wheels beyond the track limits, while the cars behind them spread out and battled each other.

Lindblad then reclaimed the lead with his position restored, while Ugochukwu took advantage of the battle and moved up to third place, displacing Taponen. who in turn engaged a fight with Sztuka and Lacorte. Later on, there was a Safety Car period due to Guido Luchetti of Airflow Racing damaging his suspension after cutting the chicane and being forced to park in the gravel. The race was neutralized for a single lap, then Lindblad showed great intelligence in leading the restart, accelerating at the entrance of the Parabolica. Ugochukwu made the most gains at the restart, securing P2. In the final stages, the McLaren junior driver managed to take the lead after a fierce and no-holds-barred duel, crossing the finish line in first place. However, his efforts were nullified by post-race revisions.

 

There are two more races this weekend, with Arvid Lindblad starting from pole position alongside Brando Badoer on the front row. 

The action resumes on Sunday, June 25th, with Race 2 opening the schedule for the ACI Racing Weekend Monza at 8:40 (30' + 1 lap), followed by the final race at 14:20 (30' + 1 lap).

All the races of the weekend will be broadcast live with English commentary on the Italian F.4 Championship's YouTube and Facebook pages, as well as on Motorsport TV (https://eu.motorsport.tv/). The races will also be broadcast with Italian commentary on ACI Sport TV (channel 228 on Sky), on www.acisport.it, and on the Facebook page @acisporttv.

Admission is free, and there is open access to the paddock for those who want to experience the excitement of the ACI Racing Weekend in person. All the information is available on the official website of the Autodromo Nazionale Monza: https://www.monzanet.it/events/aci-racing-weekend-1-2/ 

 

 

Arvid Lindblad: “The start was good, I got the lead early on. The initial launch wasn’t mega, then I got a good run into T4 and I took the lead and after that I was feeling quite comfortable with the car. I was sliding a little bit, the tyres overheated but still it was quite good in that part. Then towards the second half of the race I started to struggle more, and I wasn’t able to maintain my lead. In the beginning I felt quite comfortable I was able to maintain Brando behind, but then he started to challenge me towards the end, and then we had the Safety Car. I think I maybe managed the restart not perfectly. Ugo went to P2, and then there was some contact in the last few laps between me and him.”

Brando Badoer: “Race 1 was a highly competitive one. Arvid managed to overtake me on the first lap, and we exchanged positions multiple times. He was able to pass me again in turn 4. I spent the entire race putting pressure on him, waiting for a mistake to try and overtake him. Then the Safety Car came out, and I didn't have a good restart, allowing Ugo to pass me on the straight. I stayed behind the two battling drivers, but I felt like we were lacking something compared to the two drivers from Prema. Now we will analyze the race and see what we can improve for the next two races.”

Tuukka Taponen“It was quite tough. P5 is not what we want, but I think there will be some penalties in front, so we will go a few places up. We need to improve a little bit the pace, and try to find couple of more tenths”

 

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