It was an outstanding weekend for PREMA Powerteam at Mugello, as the Italian venue hosted round 4 of the 2020 Italian Formula 4 Championship.
Lining up in extreme changing weather at the Tuscan venue, the team brought home two wins and multiple podium finishes which included two complete podium lockouts on Sunday.
Gabriel Bortoleto was the most impressive prospect of the weekend. The young Brazilian found superb pace, especially on the wet. In race 1, he dropped 10 spots on the grid due to a carryover engine change penalty but charged to second place in front of teammate Gabriele Minì.
Race 2 featured an all-Prema showdown with Bortoleto and Minì dicing for the lead. Bortoleto got the nod of the situation though and crossed the finish line in P1 to convert his maiden pole in a maiden win. Dino Beganovic completed the podium to round out a superb team performance.
Race 3 saw it all happen again. Minì delivered a masterful start and cruised to the lead, which he never relinquished. Ending up in second was Beganovic, with Bortoleto demoted to P3 by a penalty but still able to hit the podium.
Sebastian Montoya experienced a tough weekend but managed to make a rebound in race 3 showing great potential. The Colombian eventually scored two points finishes and took P7 in race 3.
Kirill Small made his debut with PREMA Powerteam showing good promise. In race 1, the 15-year-old Russian posted a brilliant seventh place in the rain, and then made the most of the challenging starting positions in race 2 and 3.
#3 - Kirill Smal
“We were running here for the first time without any tests and in the beginning, we were just learning the track. Then we kept increasing our pace, getting better and better with each run, which was quite good. In the end, the pace was almost perfect, even though the bad qualifying cost me a lot in the races.”
#6 - Sebastian Montoya
“We struggled in the first two days and we weren’t exactly where we wanted. In practice, we gained a lot in the dry but qualifying was difficult again, and even in race 1, struggling a bit in the rain. We were still missing a bit compared to my teammates. In race 2 we had a good run, we gained ten positions which was really positive, we managed to score one point for the championship. Then in race 3, we showed the speed we had in the dry. I just have to thank the team for the work they have been doing. It hasn’t been easy in the last few races, but the improvement we made has been big.”
#7 - Dino Beganovic
“I liked this track a lot and it has become my favorite by far. The weekend was really positive overall with a lot of points gained. Qualifying 1 was OK, although the second was much better. We still scored great points in race 1 when we started P8. Then we got a third and a second place on the podium on Sunday which feels great. The pace was even there to take the top step of the podium for the last race, but I’m happy anyway and I’m looking forward to the next event.”
#46 - Gabriele Minì
“It has been a pretty positive weekend. In testing, we found the right balance on the dry and we were pretty quick. With the rain, we still had to get in full shape but we managed that in qualifying. We weren’t perfect, but we were looking better than the days before. After that in race 1, we weren’t as fast as we wanted so in race 2 I was pretty aggressive, fighting for the lead. I gave everything I had and eventually ended up second. In race 3 I quickly gained one position to the front. I tried to manage the tyres as much as I could and when I knew that Gabriel had a penalty, I just focused on not making mistakes.”
#85 - Gabriel Bortoleto
“It was a really good event for me and I’m really happy about the weekend in general. It was my first pole position, my first podium and my first win, everything in one weekend. It really couldn’t be better than this. I want to thank everyone who supported me. Thank you very much, Prema, my mechanics and engineer too. Let’s keep pushing for the next races and I look forward to the next rounds of the season.”