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F4 Spain Round 1: MP Motorsport Dominates Spa

Written by Juan Arroyo, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

Pedro Clerot celebrates a Race 2 victory. Credit: F4 Spain

MP Motorsport took centre stage in a rain-soaked opening round of the F4 Spain Championship. On a wet track, the trio of Clerot, Al Azhari, and Rinicella claimed pole positions for the three races, leaving the rest of the field far behind.


Al Azhari maintained the lead in Race one after a quick start left him ahead of Clerot into the first turn, only for Theodor Jensen to crash, and bring out the safety car. Clerot stuck to his MP teammate following the safety car period, and overtook him into Raidillon, a lead he kept until the chequered flag.


It was the other way round at the start of Race two: Al Azhari was passed by Clerot into the first turn. Campos' Noah Stromsted quickly overtook Valerio Rinicella for third, then passed Al Azhari for second.


Following another safety car period, Stromsted quickly attempted to overtake Clerot, the pair even going side-by-side on occasions before the Campos driver eventually took the lead.


An incident between Campos’ Deligny and Rodin Carlin’s Ninovic left the Australian on the gravel, forcing another safety car period. Meanwhile, Al Azhari was forced to retire due to mechanical issues while running third.


The MPs of Clerot and Rinicella made light work of Stromsted on the restart, as the Campos driver fell down the order. Sainteloc’s Theophile Nael passed Stromsted for third place to claim his first podium in Formula 4. Clerot and Rinicella enjoyed a thrilling battle for the win on the final lap, with the Brazilian taking his second win of the weekend.


It was Rinicella’s turn for pole in Race three. The Italian led away from the first lap, while teammate Al Azhari dropped to third behind Campos’ Matteo De Palo, while Nael moved from 12th to sixth. Two safety car periods interrupted the race, with Rinicella overtaken by De Palo on the last lap.


Rinicella crossed the finish line first, but was demoted to 12th place due to a five-second penalty for overtaking off-track. His fellow Italian De Palo was declared the race winner. Meanwhile, Deligny attempted to pass Nael for fourth place on the last lap, resulting in a spin that classified Deligny 16th and Nael 7th.


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