PREMA Powerteam posted consistent results at Mugello in the penultimate round of the Italian Formula 4 Championship. Sebastian Montoya brought home a second and a third place in the opening two races respectively, showing a fast and consistent pace despite a carryover grid penalty from Red Bull Ring in race 1. Unfortunately, contact in race 3 relegated him to the pits for a lengthy stop on Sunday afternoon.
Kirill Smal secured three points finishes including third place in race 2. The Russian came close to the same result in race 3 before eventually settling for P4 to confirm his positive form.
Dane Conrad Laursen took home a double rookie podium in a weekend conditioned by qualifying. The 15-year-old was particularly impressive in race 2 when he was punted in a spin early and recovered from the back to P13 displaying great racecraft.
A double points finish overall and a double rookie podium highlighted Andrea Kimi Antonelli's second outing in the series, with the Italian displaying remarkable promise. Hamda Al Qubaisi showed strong potential when the right chance came to fruition and fought her way among the midpack in race 2 and 3 after her race 1 was compromised by attrition.
# 6 – Sebastian Montoya
"It was a really good weekend overall. Obviously, there are some details here and there that we could have done better. I think it was the first weekend that we were really solid in all three races with good qualifying and consistent results. In free practice 1, we were good in the wet, although we struggled in FP2. However, we understood what we got wrong and from there on, it was just consistency. In qualifying 1 we had a small issue with the engine, while in qualifying 2 we did a good job despite a small mistake on my side, which probably cost us pole. In the end, we got P3, P3, and P5. In race 1, we had an excellent start. I made my way up from P5 with a couple of passes. Good hard racing was fun, and I finished in P3. Race 2 was different with a good start again, straight to P2, before moving to P1. A safety car halfway through the race bunched the pack again. While that may have cost me the win, I was happy with P2. In the final race, the tyres were falling off quite a bit. We were three seconds off compared to qualifying but the car still felt amazing and I was managing the situation well. I tried a bit of an optimistic move that didn't pay off, but we learned from that. I think my driving improved a lot since the beginning of the year, now let's go for a final push at Monza!"
# 7 – Kirill Smal
"It was a good weekend, we scored points for the championship in every race, which is good. Of course, you can always aim for a better result and we could have done it in race 2 and 3, especially in race 3 where we had used tires. However, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but we maximised the results, we learned as much as we could and we are ready to move on to the next."
# 20 – Conrad Laursen
"We struggled a bit in qualifying, both driving and car wise as we didn't find the correct set-up. The pace in race 1 and 2 was really good. Race 1 was a steady one with big gaps. I made the most out of it with a top-10 and I feel I couldn't get much more. In the second race, I got crashed in T1 but I had pace so I went from last to P13, a very good comeback. On the other hand, in race 3 I struggled with the pace, we have to check why, and I hold onto the position."
# 88 – Hamda Al Qubaisi
"Qualifying didn’t go as planned, so I started quite far back for the races. In the first race, I ended up in the gravel after being pushed off, however in race 2 and 3 I think I had a good pace at the beginning and had some good battles, still didn’t maximise my potential as I thought I would. I’m taking the positives out of this weekend and will work even harder for Monza."
# 99 – Andrea Kimi Antonelli
"We started off really well in practice, then in Q1 I was a bit unlucky with the traffic and in Q2 we went for a change on the car that didn’t really pay off. In the first two races, I didn’t have perfect starts but I fought as hard as I could to take two top-ten finishes with a good pace especially in race 2. In race 3, I made a slight mistake and had an off which compromised the result. However, I learned a lot and I’m looking forward to racing at Monza."