Alexander Dunne wins the final race starting in pole. An extremely positive weekend for the Irishman of the US Racing team, who gets the richest output, with 2 wins and a podium. In the final race, the fourth of the Austrian weekend, he starts as poleman and, quickly set himself in P1 after a battle with teammate Sztuka (starting with him on the front row); then started to build gap. Only during the last laps of the race Kimi Antonelli approaches him. Antonelli closed in P2 half a second behind Dunne. The Bolognese of PREMA Racing started from the third row and battled from P5 to climb positions. A series of overtakes led him to pass his two teammates Wharton and Ugochukwu, then the thoughest battle was with Sztuka, US Racing, for P3. Antonelli, placing ahead of his rival, opened the door for his two teammates as well. So the very fast Ugo Ugochukwu ended up on the podium again, 3 out of 3 in his debut weekend in the Italian F.4 Championship certified by FIA. The Italian-American, already known for his great results in the British series, brings home a very successful weekend in the most ambitious and internationally competitive F4 Championship.
In P4 and third on the Rookie podium James Wharton, the Australian of PREMA Racing can also draw the conclusions of an extremely positive weekend, even if he missed the win, which he will still have to look for in the next two race events, he is getting closer and closer to the target in his debut season. On the track he is the protagonist of a good fight with Antonelli, after a good defense he is forced to give him the position, then he recovers the gap in the tussle of his teammate with Sztuka and passes finishing fourth. Behind him is precisely the Pole of US Racing, who started from the front row alongside Dunne and, with him, took the lead for most of the duration of the race. Then he was caught by Antonelli, who put on the turbo (to the Bolognese the fastest lap in the race with 1'31.577), resisted the first assaults but was stopped in the corner soon after, when he was passed on the inside and found his rival in front. P6 went to Conrad Laursen who, closes PREMA Racing's drivers into the points. Seventh under the checkered flag is Charlie Wurz, but the Austrian slips in P14 with a 10'' penalty imposed for a contact with Bohra. Closing seventh was Nikita Bedrin, PHM Racing, starting in P11 recovering positions, then excelling in the fight with Martinius Stenshorne, Van Amersfoort Racing, getting the better of the Norwegian (in P8). Ninth and penultimate driver to take points from the fourth race of the weekend is Taylor Barnard. The British driver of PHM Racing, started 26th and managed to climb back up the slope by racking up quick overtakes to get back into the advanced group.
P10 to Marcus Amand, US Racing, who also did well to recover by starting 16th, followed by Maya Weug.
The Iron Dames driver, while not bringing home points from the race, puts on a show on the track, particularly in the fight with Nikhil Bohra, US Racing, who eventually manages to keep behind (in P12). In 13th place finishes Brazilian Rafael Camara, PREMA Racing. Camara, one of the drivers on the track along with Wharton and Weug to be part of the Ferrari Driver Academy program, breaks the front wing in the early stages the race, he is then forced to pit in. He rejoins the group in P30 and climbs positions reducing the gap from sector to sector.
However, he didn’t succeed in reproducing his Spa-Francorchamps parade - in which after the stop he had still managed to finish on the podium - and, not scoring points in 2 of his 3 races at the Red Bull Ring, he now feels Dunne onto on his back for P2 in the drivers' standings.
Alexander Dunne: “I’m really happy. Clearly this weekend we weren’t the fastest, but I think there were no mistakes. Always consistent results, I managed to get pieces together. In race 3 Kimi was definetly quicker than me and he was coming quite fast. I know if I didn’t make any mistakes, there wasn’t very long left to go, I just had to stay calm and hit my marks and get the job done.”
Andrea Kimi Antonelli: “It was a rollercoaster weekend, full of emotions. Race 1 we started well, with a win on the wet. In race 2 unluckily after a contact, due to a puncture, I had to pit and we left a lot of places and a lot of points as well. Going to race 3 I just thought about taking more points without risking too much. At the end it was a good race, I did a nice comeback. I am happy to be back on the podium and to take good points.”
Ugo Ugochukwu: "it was a very good weekend, 3 podiums. I didn't expect it so much I would say, however it went very well. We were going strong and I am very happy. Thanks to the whole Prema team for this very good weekend."
James Wharton: “I think this weekend is probably my best weekend so far in the Italian Championship. 3 podium finishes, in one race we ended up sixth, which probably wasn’t our best, but in the next 2 races I think I maximed our results with P2 and P4. I think, for going into the next race in Monza, I am really confident in the steps we are making. Every race I’m getting closer and closer to the front. I’m in my Rookie season and I’m really happy with how is going and now trying to get the win in the next couple of round would be amazing.”
The standings after round 5 at the Red Bull Ring:
1. Antonelli, 262 pts; 2. Camara, 201 pts; 3. Dunne, 197 pts; 4. Wharton, 150 pts; 5. Sztuka, 135 pts; 6. Wurz, 122 pts; 7. Amand, 86 pt; 8. Laursen, 81 pt; 9. Bedrin, 76 pt; 10. Stenshorne, 76 pt.
Full rankings: https://www.acisport.it/it/f4/classifiche/2022
• Monza, 6-9/10
• Mugello, 20-23/10