A quintet of Ferrari Driver Academy students will be on track at Imola this weekend for the start of the Italian F4 and European F Regional championships.
This weekend, Imola hosts the long-awaited opening rounds of the European Formula Regional and Italian Formula 4 championships. Rafael Camara and Maya Weug represent the Ferrari Driver Academy in the former, racing with Prema and Kic Motorsport respectively. Camara has adapted quickly to this category, having gone well in the Middle East series and also in testing prior to the European season. “Rafael made the most of his preparation in the build up to this series,” commented the head of the Ferrari Driver Academy, Marco Matassa. “His feeling with the car has improved lap after lap and that is cause for optimism on the eve what will be a demanding season. What will be new for him as from this weekend, will be the inevitable pressure of having to qualify and race against high quality opponents, but Rafa has made significant progress and is all set to achieve the ambitious goals he has set himself. Maya will be making her outright debut in this category and, in testing, she has got to know her new team and has made good progress with the car. There will no doubt be hurdles to overcome this season, but it will definitely be a formative one in terms of her future.”
Formula 4. Three FDA drivers are racing in Formula 4: James Wharton and the two rookies, Tuukka Taponen and Aurelia Nobels, all driving for the Prema team. “James and Tuukka did very well in pre-season testing,” commented Matassa. “But as usual, the pool of drivers in the Italian series is high quality and they will face stiff opposition. Aurelia is tackling her first full season of racing in Europe and will have to learn the tracks and get to know the team and a completely new environment, but she has time to do so in the best possible way.”
Calendar. There are ten Formula Regional rounds this season, each one running to the usual format, with two qualifying sessions and two races. The Italian Formula 4 championship races over seven rounds, with two qualifying sessions and three races per event. However, at Imola, with over 40 drivers entered and then at all other rounds where the number of entries exceeds the maximum number of cars permitted on track, there will be four races – two on Saturday and two on Sunday. Depending on qualifying performance, drivers will be split into 3 groups, A, B and C. Race 1 will feature B against C, Race 2, A against B and Race 3 A against C. Then the first 36 drivers, based on accumulated results, will race in the final.
Qualifying 1. Friday 17.30 CET
Qualifying 2. Friday 18.00
Race 1. (if over 40 drivers entered) Saturday 11.55
Race 2. Saturday 18.20
Race 3. Sunday 10.00
Final. Sunday 18.00
Saturday 10.20 and 10.40 Qualifying
Race 1. 16.20
Sunday 9.00 and 9.20 Qualifying
Race 2. 14.55