PREMA Powerteam experienced a memorable weekend at Imola. With one win and two second-place finishes, Gabriele Minì secured the 2020 Italian Formula 4 Championship with one full round still to go. The 15-year-old racer, who was the first Italian to take the overall title in the history of the championship, delivered three outstanding runs including a win in race 1, as he kept control of the situation and did not make the slightest mistake. He is the fifth Prema driver to take the Italian title, the first being Lance Stroll in 2014.
Dino Beganovic was no less delighted at Imola. The young Ferrari Driver Academy racer claimed his maiden win in the series as he dominated from the pole in race 2. He completed his score for the weekend with two more podiums. His outstanding form of late is turning him into a top competitor for the runner-up spot.
Sebastian Montoya, Gabriel Bortoleto and Kirill Smal showed good potential since testing and delivered consistent runs to take points finishes in the races. The Colombian-American secured sixth place in race 1 and rebounded to P7 in race 3, after a heavy race 2 crash caused by a puncture. The Brazilian fought as hard as he could and was able to finish the event in improving fashion with two P8 finishes. The Russian showed impressive pace since collective testing, and despite some ups and downs, he managed to also bring home two top-10s.
PREMA Powerteam will now be back to fight for the team title in the series finale scheduled in two weeks at Vallelunga.
#3 - Kirill Smal
“Overall the pace was there, but we didn’t manage to bring it in the races sometimes because of mistakes, sometimes just for being unlucky. Overall it was a good weekend because we were here for the first time and we were on the same pace as the other drivers of the team. We found what we needed, and we will be back strong in Vallelunga.”
#6 - Sebastian Montoya
“In qualifying 1, we struggled a lot honestly, and generally we had a tough time to warm the tyres all weekend. In qualy 2 I improved, and I finished with a double P7. Race 1 was really really positive. I was able to go from P16 to P6, which I think is great. In race 2, we were set for some good points again and probably the best finish of the year, but I was unlucky as I touched with another car which gave me a puncture with two minutes to go and that caused me to crash. I want to say a big thank you to my mechanics for putting the whole car back together, and it looked brand-new. In race 3 I struggled a bit on my side with a couple of mistakes, but I learned a lot, and I will improve for Vallelunga.”
#7 - Dino Beganovic
“We had the speed all weekend long, and qualifying was really good as we got another pole and two P2 starts. I was very happy with race 1, great pace, fastest lap and a P2, a very strong result. I also was delighted with the balance and the teamwork. In race 2 I got my first win in Formula 4 which I’m really happy about, and we got the fastest lap again. Then in race 3, we got another solid result with P3. We scored a lot of points this weekend. I’m delighted with our work, and I look forward to Vallelunga.”
#46 - Gabriele Minì
“It feels so good. It has been a tough championship since the beginning of the year. I tried to score as many points as I could, and I tried to learn from every mistake. It would have been perfect with a race win, but I’m still really happy about taking the title. I can’t be thankful enough to my team, my management and everyone who supported me. Winning my first title in single-seaters is something special, I really can’t explain my feelings right now, I’m so happy.”
#85 - Gabriel Bortoleto
“It hasn’t been an easy weekend for me. We performed well in testing, and we were among the fastest. I don’t know why, but since qualifying, we didn’t have grip on the four tyres and I couldn’t really bring them to temperature regardless of my attempts. I was 0.8s off in Q1 and 0.6s away in Q2. In race 1, I started well from P15 moving up to P11 but unfortunately, I made contact with another driver. In race 2, we had a lot of laps behind the safety car, and again we couldn’t get the temperature in the tyres. In race 3, I had a bit of difficulty despite a good start, but from the midpoint on, I had a great pace, and the grip seemed fine. Let’s now hope for a better weekend at Vallelunga!”