Conducted and written by Juan Arroyo, Edited by Sharifah Zaqreeztrina
Upon meeting Enzo Deligny, a Red Bull junior with a successful karting career behind him, it becomes abundantly clear that he has high expectations of himself.
The 15-year-old is competing in the Spanish Formula 4 championship—his first in single-seaters—with Campos Racing, following recommendations from reigning champion Nikola Tsolov.
Despite being sixth in the standings after three rounds, Deligny's first half of the season has been "a bit tricky," as he told Divebomb: “It's been a bit up and down. Obviously we've only had three rounds so far, so it's not been too many races.
“The first round [at Spa] was quite tricky because it was raining. It was always changing conditions, and I wasn't the best at that. So Spa was not the best, but it was the first race.”
The Spa round was dominated by MP Motorsport, the main rivals of Campos in the teams' standings, as Pedro Clerot secured two wins and a podium, firmly establishing himself as the leader at the beginning of the year.
In Belgium, Deligny finished 22nd in the first race but bounced back with a fourth-placed finish in Race 2. However, he was once again unable to secure any points in the final race of the weekend. “The whole weekend, just nothing went our way and [we had] a bit of bad luck I'd say.”
But redemption came in the next round at Aragón, where the Campos driver secured his first win in the championship, along with two more podium finishes throughout the weekend. It was his most successful performance in single-seaters to date.
Regarding the significance of that win, Deligny said: “It was quite important. I think the goal [in Aragón] was definitely just to do my best, but I think winning was definitely like, I had to do that, you know? Because we're in the best team, so we're here to win.”
Deligny crossed the finish line in second place, securing his win after race leader Christian Ho received a time penalty. The 15-year-old conserved his tires behind his Campos teammate and calmly secured his first victory.
The subsequent races resulted in two second-place finishes behind Ho and the current championship leader Théophile Naël, which elevated Deligny to fourth place in the championship standings. At that stage, only Clerot in Spa had managed such a dominant weekend.
However, the third round in Navarra had more shades of the opening round than the Red Bull junior would have preferred: two DNFs, with a second-place podium finish offering some consolation.
“What happened the last round was definitely not what I'm aiming for, and it's definitely hard. But now I'm going to be pushing really hard. The team is also going to be pushing really hard, doing their homework for the next rounds and I think we'll bounce back and be a lot stronger.
“It's just been not being able to put things together, because the results have definitely not resembled our speed. I've had four races already that I didn't finish, or I didn't finish what I should have.
“Three of them basically were DNFs, and one of them I got taken out, so four times [when] just unnecessary things happen. That was pretty unlucky, you know, definitely would have been more ideal if we would be more consistent. Yeah, it's just been a bit rough up and down.”
Amidst the fierce battles up and down the field, a larger one is intensifying in the Teams' standings. Campos Racing currently trails MP Motorsport by 66 points as the championship approaches its midway point. Despite both teams’ established dominance, Deligny sees a third opponent emerging as the year progresses.
“I think it's definitely a pretty close battle, especially now that you have new teams like Saintéloc Racing with Théophile [Naël] that are coming into the battle and have developed their car. It's not only a two-team battle, I think there are a couple [of] other teams’ drivers that could be competitive, so overall the championship is pretty tight.”
F4 Spain entered its three-month summer break following the Navarra round in late June. The scorching Spanish heat poses an increasingly challenging environment for the teams. Deligny revealed that his plan for the remainder of the season is to use this break until September to "get the work done" to improve his current standing.
“[The plan is] definitely to get the results now. Get the work done during summer, keep on improving the car and, and bring the results in, because right now we need to.”