The Ferrari Driver Academy’s Brazilian driver won, one of the races at Imola in the first round of the 2022 Italian Formula 4 championship. James Wharton also made it to the podium and Maya Weug finished in the top ten twice.
The first round of the Italian Formula 4 championship went well for the Ferrari Driver Academy participants, with all three of them having a good weekend, validating all the hard preparation work of the previous months. After taking his first win in Europe a fortnight ago in the ADAC series at Spa-Francorchamps, Rafael Camara also broke the ice in fine style in the Italian series, winning first time out. The Brazilian went on to stage an impressive fight up the order in Race 2 to finish eighth, having started from the back of the grid and then was runner-up in Race 3. He came away with 47 points, which puts him second in the standings, while James Wharton is fifth and Maya Weug tenth. 15 year old Wharton, like Camara, is also tackling his first single-seater season and finished third in Race 2, as well as making it into the top ten in the other two races. Maya Weug also scored her first Italian championship points, having already raced in this series last year, with a sixth and a tenth place.
Race-1. In the first race of the season, Camara started from second place, Wharton from sixth and Weug from 16th. Rafael shadowed Antonelli for two thirds of the race until the poleman had to retire with a gearbox problem. Once in the lead on lap 11, Camara reeled off the remaining four laps without any problem, to take his first win in the Italian series. “In general, I am very happy with the way the team worked,” commented Rafael. “We are at the start of a long journey, but I’m happy with how it’s begun and obviously, it’s gratifying to get my first win in the Italian championship.” Wharton finished just four tenths of a second off the podium, while with a tenth place, Maya was rewarded for a good climb up the order with her first Formula 4 point.
Race-2. Camara started the second race of the weekend from the back of the grid having missed the second qualifying session because of a technical problem. Weug was a great third in that session, along with the team making the right choice to go for rain tyres on the damp track, while Wharton was tenth. In fact, Wharton was one of the front runners of this race, making up places on every lap, eventually coming home third. Camara also staged a great fightback, going from last to eighth at the flag, behind Ivan Domingues and Weug. So, just a few hours after her first top ten finish, Maya did it again, this time with a sixth place at the end of a fast and gritty drive.
Race-3. Unfortunately, in the third and final race at Imola, Maya’s chances were compromised shortly after the start, due to a collision which dropped her well out of the points. Starting from fifth, Camara passed Taylor Barnard and Domingues to finish second, just four tenths behind Kasper Sztuka. Wharton’s charge to the podium was blocked by a move from team-mate Kimi Andrea Antonelli, who was later penalised for this, which meant James came home in ninth place.