R04 Mugello - Race Report
F4 Italian Championship

17 July 2017

Foto 1 - R04 Mugello - Race Report
It was an excellent weekend for the Prema Team in the fourth round of the Italian Formula 4 Championship at Mugello. The Italian squad scored three pole positions and two wins in the three races held at the Tuscan venue, while Ferrari Driver Academy supported driver Marcus Armstrong was able to extend his lead at the top of the championship table. In race 1, the New Zealander won from the pole in a great display of power, followed by team-mate Jüri Vips. The Estonian then repeated his team-mate’s antics in race 2 as they exchanged positions for another Prema 1-2.

In race 3, Vips cruised to the lead early from yet another pole but was soon caught by Van Uitert, who was on much better tires due to the contacts that brought early endings for him in the previous heats. In the end, he captured an hard-fought second place while Armstrong took more points in P8, penalized by a red flag in qualifying 2. In sixth place overall, Enzo Fittipaldi wrapped-up an improving weekend with a P2 among rookies and a sixth place overall. In race 1, the FDA-supported Brazilian had scored the same results before suffering from a broken suspension by flying debris in race 2.

Juan Manuel Correa experienced a tough weekend. In race 1 and race 2 he delivered a 9th and an 8th place respectively, before being collected in an unavoidable contact in the final heat.

# 9 – Marcus Armstrong
We had a good collective test on wednesday here prior to the race weekend where I felt fairly happy with the car until qualifying. In the first qualifying session we got pole. This was my third pole of the season and unfortunately on the second one we took a bit of a risk to go out later on new tyres. In my opinion it still was the best solution but there was a red flag on the last lap so we couldn’t get a good second lap. Nevertheless  we still qualified fourth but unfortunately I was fourteenth for the last race which was a bit disappointing. In the first race I won. I was very happy with the car, it was almost perfect for that race. In Race 2, from fourth to second  with a good start we made progress, did some good overtakings and I was happy to finish behind Juri and perhaps I could have gotten to him with a few extra laps. In race 3 track temperature was very high and with the old tyres we struggled a lot but fortunately we made a very good first lap picking up 7 positions at the first corner and we finished ultimately 8th with good points in total. We extended our championship lead so I can’t complain. The car has been great all week except for the third one but with old tyres it’s what it is.”

# 44 - Juri Vips
“Overall a very good weekend. I think we maximised our potential, perhaps missing a little bit in qualifying 1. In race 3 it was difficult to keep the lead as I was fighting with Van Uitert who had newer tyres compared to mine but other than that I think we got the most out of the weekend.”

# 68 – Juan Manuel Correa
"The main problem for us this weekend was just the qualifying. We didn’t put the lap together in the first qualifying and after the virtual safety car were the first ones to take the chequered flag and the second qualifying we just didn’t have any pace. This is what affected us for all three races starting outside the top 10. The first two races we were able to maximise the position quite well and at least get some points. In race 3 it was a shame I was taken out as two drivers in front of me crashed and collected me. After a nose change I got one of the fastest laps of the race so I guess a top 5 result could have been possible but anyway we’re not fighting for the championship in this particular series and this was just a practice race so on we go to the next one.”

# 74 – Enzo Fittipaldi
“In Free Practice we struggled a bit with the pace but then I worked with my engineer on the corners I had to improve. We then had a good qualifying 1 with a 5th best lap time and then in qualifying 2 I got the sixth fastest lap for both race 2 & 3. In race 1, we had an ok start holding up in P5 and then the safety car came out and at the restart had a bad exit in the last corner where I got overtaken by two cars into T1 going to P7 and towards the end of the race I overtook an opponent finishing P6. Pretty good points being second rookie and sixth overall. In race 2 , after a good start in the second lap, there was debris and unluckily a piece of a wing hit my car damaging my suspension forcing me to retire. In race 3 we had a good start holding our position with a consistent race. We made quite a few improvements this weekend, especially in my driving. I am really looking forward to
 the next race.”

[16.07.2017]
Foto 2 - R04 Mugello - Race Report

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