PREMA scores two poles, two wins in Monza FRECA opener
PREMA Racing put up a stellar performance in the opening round of the 2022 Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine at Monza, with Dino Beganovic and Paul Aron sharing the poles and overall victories and Sebastian Montoya claiming two rookie wins at his first appearance in the series.
The team carried out a valuable amount of work in free practice, while the drivers maximised it when it mattered the most. Beganovic started it off with a stunning pole on Saturday morning in the first of the group-split qualifying sessions and then cruised to victory surviving a restart scare when a contender made contact with him. The 18-year-old, Ferrari Driver Academy-supported Swede sailed smoothly in wet conditions to take a much-anticipated win.
On Sunday, it was his 18-year-old Estonian teammate who impressed the most. After paying the price of a front wing issue in Qualifying 1 and falling victim to attrition in Race 1, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team junior laid down a blistering run in Qualifying 2, before powering away and never looking back in the following race to claim his third career victory.
Entering his first race in the series, Sebastian Montoya posted two rookie wins. The 17-year-old Colombian constantly improved his pace, making gains as the weekend progressed and scoring two points finishes overall.
Also making her first start in the championship, Hamda Al Qubaisi climbed her learning curve and made steady progress. Although the variable weather and race incidents did not play out in her favour, she showed great potential ahead of the next round at Imola.
#3 - Paul Aron
"Today was a very good one, we managed to maximize qualifying with pole position, and the race with the win. It was a lights-to-flag victory, the car was really good, and so were the pace and the race management. I'm really happy for myself and the team. Yesterday we had some bad luck, facing technical issues in qualifying that compromised the whole day and made us come out with zero points. I'm really happy to finally get the championship started by winning race 2 and to see the team finish 1-2 to show our dominating form today."
#18 - Dino Beganovic
"It was a great first weekend in the 2022 championship, we definitely got a lot of points, which was the main goal. I got my first pole for the season, my first victory, and a good Sunday result with P2. I think we maximized the situation and we had a great pace overall within the team. We showed it first with the win on Saturday and then with Paul winning on Sunday. We got great points and I'm really happy with P2 today even if it's hard to beat a pole and a win!"
#58 - Sebastian Montoya
"We struggled a bit in free practice honestly, we needed to try a few things, and I needed to improve obviously. The car was not best suited for me, and we were trying to adapt it, but today it was really good. Yesterday in qualifying, I missed a bit on my side, and I think I could have done a better job. In the race however, the car felt great. It was just a little lack of experience managing the tyres, but I got my first rookie win. Today I did a pretty good job in qualifying, despite being unlucky with the traffic and the red flag. I think we could have been on pole. We got P8 overall in race 2, more points for the overall championship, which is what we are aiming for, and the rookie win feels really good."
#88 - Hamda Al Qubaisi
"Coming into the race we made a key improvement to my seat position which helped me a lot in terms of vision. I used that to my advantage and made a great step from preseason testing. Already in free practice, I felt good with the car, and I wanted to translate that in qualy. Qualy 1 was good, but I didn't maximize it as I should. If I had an extra lap I could have done it, but nevertheless, it was a good lap in P14. Race 1 was wet, conditions that I'm always not so comfortable in. With practice and time, I will get used to them. In qualy 2 today it was very difficult with damp conditions, but I managed to put a lap in. The race was dry, which was what I wanted. I got a good start, and I tried to make up positions but was taken out. It wasn't really in my hands, but I learned a lot from this weekend, and we will take that into the next round."