The fifth round of the Italian F4 took place this weekend at Imola, with Marcus Armstrong, Juri Vips and Enzo Fittpaldi completing the Prema Theodore line up.
After a strong performance in free practice the qualifying session was also a solid drive from all three drivers. Juri Vips started the trend going straight into P2 only 0.7 seconds off Job Van Uitert. Kiwi Armstrong took the pole position for Race 1 with a 1’45.417, Vips completed the front row lock out and Fittipaldi slotted into the last top ten position.
Race 1 was a lights to flag finish for Marcus Armstrong. Although he came under pressure in the closing stages from Van Uitert, the Ferrari backed driver held onto the win in a controlled fashion. For Vips the race was cut short after contact into the first corner forcing him to retire. Fittipaldi had a good beginning passing Kush Maini and Leonardo Lorandi for P7 but it quickly went down hill for the Brazilian as he was involved in an incident ending his race.
Due to extreme thunderstorms at Imola, Race 2 was delayed for a few hours before it eventually got underway. All starting behind each other Fittipaldi started P6 but after many laps begun to struggle with his tyres finishing P12. Estonian Vips went from P7 to swiftly passing drivers one by one before entering into the podium positions after getting by Lorenzo Colombo. It turned into an exciting last lap for Vips battling with Maini almost causing a photo finish by taking P2 in the last few seconds of the race. For Armstrong it was another strong performance getting himself into P4 from P9 scoring crucial points for his Championship title campaign.
For the final race of the weekend Armstrong was quickly in P3, Vips P6 and Fittipaldi P7. It was a rather uneventful race with each driver maintaining their position for the duration of the race. However due to an incident in the last few laps the safety car was called out and brought the drivers across the finishing line giving Armstrong his second podium of the weekend.
It is now another month until the second to last race of the Italian F4 Championship at Mugello 6-8 October. Marcus Armstrong will be hoping to increase his gap in the Championship as he currently holds a 17 points lead over his nearest contender.
# 9 – Marcus Armstrong
“A positive weekend in Imola. Our car felt good from FP1 and afterwards we managed to get 1 pole position in Q1. Unfortunately we had a technical issue in Q2 which cost us the double-pole. In the race we secured a victory, 4th and 3rd. We did a great job of damage limitation after our mishap in Q2. Big thank you to all of the team this weekend.”
# 44 -Jüri Vips
“This weekend has been a great preparation for then next round of the German championships. The results in the end weren’t great but the pace was really good so I’m happy and looking forward to next weekend’s round.”
# 74 – Enzo Fittipaldi
“It wasn’t the weekend we were looking for here at Imola. We struggled in qualifying with traffic management so I did not have the best starting spots for the races. In all the races we had really good pace. I made some very good overtakes which I am happy with. I know we have the race pace to be fighting at the top so I am really looking forward to come back even stronger for Mugello.”