This result is certainly not enough for Joao Vieira and the team of Antonelli Motorsport at Vallelunga circuit, scene of the opening round of the second season of the Italian F.4 Championship powered by Abarth.
The first racing weekend started under the best star for the yellow-gold Brazilian driver from Gurupi, leading his Tatuus #50 in the top positions and taking the lead in the second free practice session, prelude to the P3 and P2 won in two rounds of Qualifying, valid for race 1 and race 3. In the opening race Joao signed his first podium, thanks to the second place at the end of 28 ‘+ 1 lap of the race, followed by a good fourth in the sprint-race. With the rule of grid inversion, the driver managed by Minardi Management moved from the ninth position, succeeding in a great comeback in just 13 laps, getting to the foot of the podium and confirming the second place in the drivers’ standings, with 24 points. The biggest regret comes in race 3. The staff of Marco Antonelli is forced to change the Abarth engine, but Tatuus performances are no longer the same. A good battles with David Alexander Beckmann began: the Russian driver tried to overcome several times the Brazilian, until, unfortunately, the contact, which penalized Vieira with a drive-through, closing in twelfth place and out of the score zone.
“The biggest regret is what happened in race 3. I do not find correct the drive-through that has been assigned me. Commissioners saw the video, but there was nothing to do. Unfortunately, it cost me a third / fourth place. Important points in the championship. A real shame. It will be a hard-fought championship, but we have proven to be there for the victory too. Now, I wait for Monza for the speedy redemption. We are only at the first of seven rounds. The season is still long“, Joao Vieira says.
“Up to race 2, the weekend was going in the right way. Joao proved to be among the fastest drivers on track, managing to win the second place in race 1, putting together a good recovery in race 2. Unfortunately, the result of race 3 leaves us a very bad taste in mouth. Between race 2 and race 3, the team had to change Joao’s engine. Being a new unit, it was still to test and therefore not 100%. Unfortunately, there’s been the drive-through that has denied a final fourth place and, consequently, important points for the championship. Honestly, we do not agree with this decision, but we accept it and we remain focused in view of the appointment of Monza “, the manager Giovanni Minardi analyses.
Next round of the Italian F.4 Championship powered by Abarth is scheduled in Monza, for the weekend of May 31st.