Two wins for Prema driver Kimi Antonelli at season-opener in Spa

Published on Saturday, April 23, 2022

Two wins for Prema driver Kimi Antonelli at season-opener in Spa

Italian driver Andrea Kimi Antonelli (Prema Racing) celebrated a pair of wins at the season-opener in the ADAC Formula 4 and on the debut of the new Formula 4 race car in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium. The 15-year-old benefited from two pole positions and proved unbeatable on Saturday. There were some thrilling duels for the positions behind him on the 7.004-kilometre circuit. The best rookie was Rafael Camara (Prema Racing) from Brazil, who completed both races in second place. Austrian driver Charlie Wurz, son of the former Formula 1 driver Alex Wurz, finished third in the first race and his Australian Prema team-mate James Wharton celebrated his first podium finish in the second race. Antonelli was initially able to defend his position in the first race, but was overtaken by Marcus Amand (16/FRA/US Racing) after a few turns during some spectacular slipstream duels. However, the Italian struck back two laps later and reclaimed first place. The Mercedes Junior then held on to that position and celebrated victory. He was followed by a three-way battle for the remaining podium spots. Camara finished stronger, holding off the challenge of his Austrian team-mate Wurz. Conrad Laursen (16/DNK/Prema Racing) crossed the finishing line in fourth, with Amand in fifth. In spring temperatures of 16 degrees, Antonelli also started the second race of the season from first place. The championship leader defended his position at the start of the 30-minute race on the current Formula 1 circuit, turning first into the ‘La Source’ hairpin. In the early phase of the race, Amand moved up from sixth to second place but a drive-through penalty then saw him finish eighth. This reopened the battle for the podium: Camara first moved past Wharton and defended second place. The 15-year-old was rewarded for moving up from eighth place with a podium finish, becoming the second-best driver in the rookie standings. Kacper Sztuka (16/POL/US Racing) and Nikita Bedrin (16/ITA/PHM Racing) finished in fourth and fifth positions. German driver Jonas Ried (17/PHM Racing) from Ehingen made a successful debut in the ADAC high-speed school, finishing seventh. Antonelli was delighted with the win and at securing the double triumph in the team standings for Prema Racing. “I made a very good start and was able to defend my position on the long straight. It was an unbelievable day for me with the two wins. I would like to build on that for the third race on Sunday. Of course, the results have really boosted my confidence,” said the two-time race winner. After the second event, Camara was unhappy with how his race had started. “I had a really unfortunate start and lost a few places. I was able to recover from that as the race progressed and record my second podium. I hadn’t expected that ahead of the weekend.” Wharton completed the international podium in the ADAC Formula 4, with three nations on the rostrum in both races. “I steered clear of the duels in front of me and knew that this long circuit rewards error-free driving. Hopefully I’ll be able to confirm my form on Sunday,” said Wharton. The third race for the motor racing stars of tomorrow will be under starter’s orders at 9:15, applying the reverse grid rule to switch the sequence of the top eight from the second race: Antonelli will be starting from eighth, with Amand in pole position. After two wins in a row, Antonelli heads the drivers’ standings with 50 points, followed by Camara on 36 points in second place. The race will be broadcast live on adac.de/motorsport

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