Esteban Masson started from pole position and brilliantly dominated Race 1, before the inverted grid in Race 2 spiced up the proceedings. Alessandro Giusti kept a cool head to take his first victory in the French F4 Championship.
Organised as part of the International GT Open, the first two races of the Hungarian meeting in Budapest offered their share of confirmations and surprises. While Race 1 was generally clear due to the high level of performance and consistency of the drivers entered with the FFSA Academy, Race 2 quickly became animated, with numerous overtaking moves and even an appearance of the safety car!
Race 1: A clear victory for Masson
Race after race, Esteban Masson continues to demonstrate his speed and determination to win the 2021 French F4 Championship. The driver from the Ancenis club in the Pays de la Loire region managed to hold on to his lead at the start, before setting a hellish pace at the front of the field. “The work done with all of my team has paid off again in terms of driving technique and race strategy,” enthused the Championship leader. “I quickly got a lead, which enabled me to not push my tyres. Despite this, I managed to extend the gap to win by seven seconds and take the fastest lap point.”
Behind him, Macéo Capietto also put in a solid performance, without ever really being able to take a breather because of the pressure exerted by the Thai Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak, who made an excellent debut on his first appearance with the FFSA Academy. Owen Tangavelou was also on an excellent pace and was a candidate for the podium, but ended up taking 4th place while preserving his tyres as much as possible.
As he is in the habit of, Daniel Ligier jumped when the lights went out to quickly gain a position at the expense of Gaël Julien, then another on the following lap against Swiss driver Dario Cabanelas, to complete the top five. Cabanelas could however be satisfied with his 6th place, which gave him a deserved victory in the Juniors. Behind Australian Hugh Barter who came back to 8th, Alessandro Giusti recovered a place in the top 10 after having missed his start. Not far behind, Enzo Geraci won an important duel with Pierre-Alexandre Provost, as his 10th place was synonymous with a pole position start in Race 2.
Giusti wins despite Ligier and Julien
According to the reverse grid principle, Enzo Geraci and Alessandro Giusti took their places on the front row at the start of Race 2, which saw Giusti beat his compatriot in the first corner. “In Nogaro as well as in Magny-Cours, I managed to win the Junior class, but this victory is even more beautiful, especially as it was not easy to obtain,” commented Alessandro. “Shortly after the halfway point, the safety car came on track. It adopted a rather slow pace and a lot of rubber debris was deposited on my tyres. On the restart, the car started to slide and I really had to stay focused and fast to hold off Gael Julien, and then Daniel Ligier when he went into 2nd.” The safety car intervened following a collision that eliminated Esteban Masson.
Behind the Giusti-Ligier-Julien trio, Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak was 4th after a good attacking race, after starting only 8th on the grid. Owen Tangavelou overtook Enzo Geraci at the end of the race to take 5th place, but the latter still managed to get his best result in the discipline. The last points awarded went to Australian Hugh Barter and Macéo Capietto, closely followed by Elliott Vayron, who set the fastest lap and moved up three places.
Continuation of the programme in Budapest: Race 3, Sunday 11th July from 11:20 to 11:45
Race 1 ranking
1 Esteban Masson (France) on 13 laps
2 Macéo Capietto (France) at 7″186
3 Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak (Thailand) at 8″816
4 Owen Tangavelou (France) at 10″924
5 Daniel Ligier (France) at 11″382
6 Dario Cabanelas (Switzerland) at 12″581, 1st Junior
7 Gaël Julien (France) at 13″680
8 Hugh Barter (Australia) at 16″156
9 Alessandro Giusti (France) at 22″982, 2nd Junior
10 Enzo Geraci (France) at 24″705, 3rd Junior
11 Pierre-Alexandre Provost (France) at 25″187, 4th Junior
12 Elliott Vayron (France) at 25″589
13 Noah Andy (France) at 26″946
14 Angélina Favario (France) at 40″071
15 Enzo Richer (France) at 54″248
Fastest lap: Masson in 1’46″074 (average speed 148,6 km/h)
Race 2 ranking
1 Alessandro Giusti (France) on 11 laps, 1st Junior
2 Daniel Ligier (France) at 0″618
3 Gaël Julien (France) at 1″183
4 Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak (Thailand) at 1″698
5 Owen Tangavelou (France) at 2″170
6 Enzo Geraci (France) at 2″920, 2nd Junior
7 Hugh Barter (Australia) at 3″197
8 Macéo Capietto (France) at 4″135
9 Elliott Vayron (France) at 4″552
10 Dario Cabanelas (Switzerland) at 4″722, 3rd Junior
11 Pierre-Alexandre Provost (France) at 5″018, 4th Junior
12 Noah Andy (France) at 6″419
13 Angélina Favario (France) at 8″694
14 Enzo Richer (France) at 9″696
15 Esteban Masson (France) at 5 laps
Fastest lap: Vayron in 1’46″842 (average speed 147,6 km/h)
FSFA Academy Press Release / Photo © KSP – Guillaume Veuve