PREMA Powerteam faced a really challenging weekend at Imola, in the fourth round of the Italian Formula 4 Championship.
Racing at the classic Italian venue, the team faced a series of incidents and mishaps in the three races. Sebastian Montoya had his share of racing misfortunes with a mechanical issue in race 1 and P8 in race 2. The Colombian-American managed to harvest some points with a positive fourth place in the final race.
Conrad Laursen put up a good performance and posted two points finishes in the two opening races before being collected in an unavoidable contact on Sunday afternoon. The Dane also got a double rookie podium with two second places in class. After achieving less than expected with a troubled run in qualifying, Hamda Al Qubaisi showed steady growth, improving her pace and position lap by lap, and securing P13 at the end of race 3. On the other hand, Russian Kirill Small had the worst luck this weekend, ending up with two retirements and no points on the board.
Making his championship debut this weekend, Maceo Capietto gained valuable experience, logging laps and maximising his performance as the laps progressed. The 15-year-old Frenchman wrapped up the event with 14th place, P6 among rookies.
#5 – Maceo Capietto
“It was a tough weekend, but I learned a lot against a really competitive field. Overall it was a good experience, with some great racing, and I improved session after session.”
#6 - Sebastian Montoya
"I think in general, the speed was quite good all weekend. In Q1 I made a slight mistake in my fast lap which maybe cost us a chance for pole, while in Q2 we didn't have the same speed but I think we did a good job and managed P4 for race 2 and 3. In race 1 the car felt really good but a technical issue put us out. In race 2, the pace was again strong but there was a slight mistake on my side: I tried to go around the outside of turn three and was put off, but that's racing. However, the start was really good and the recovery was quite amazing. In race 3 I got another good start and jumped to P3. I was trying to get by for P2 but ran a bit wide. I was passed and finished P4 but the speed was really good again. I was able to set the fastest lap of the race which is positive. We have a one-month break, we will organize and see what we can do in the second part of the season."
#7 - Kirill Smal
"Overall there is not a lot to say as it was a weekend to forget. We had the pace all the time, but we were unlucky on some occasions and on others I ran into too many mistakes. The team did a really good job as always so I need to forget about this weekend and work hard for the next ones. We have a break now so we can prepare and get ready for the next round."
#20 - Conrad Laursen
"It has been a tough weekend for me and the rest of the team. I think we had a lot more pace than what we got out of the weekend. The same goes for me too. The speed was there but I've been just struggling a bit with qualifying again. It is something I have to put my head through. We have one and half months to recuperate and get the qualifying back to where it was in Paul Ricard. The first two races were very positive. We gained positions, the pace was good and we got some fighting too. Obviously, race 3 didn't go as I wanted due to personal mistakes making it harder for me than it should have been. In the end, I was caught in a very unlucky situation with an unavoidable crash. We head in the break with the goal of coming back stronger for the Red Bull Ring."
#88 - Hamda Al Qubaisi
"Not the easiest weekend. Qualifying didn't go as we expected, and that put us a bit on the back foot, but we moved forward as the races progressed and finished P13 in race 3 from P20 on the grid. I will continue to work and push to prepare for the second part of the season."