F4 – The new season starts for North European Zone

19.05.17

F4 - SMP Formula 4 NEZ Championship - Round 1 Sochi - Preview

F4, NEZ F4, Sochi, Motorsport, FIA

Round 1 of the 2017 SMP F4 NEZ Championship certified by FIA will officially start on Friday, in Sochi Autodrom, Russia. After two successful seasons all around the North European Zone and three drivers signed in F1 Junior teams, the Series is now entering its third year at full speed.

Sochi Autodrom is a 5,853 kilometer long circuit built around the Sochi Olympic Park and is the longest one on the 2017 calendar. The track goes through great locations such as Fisht Olympic Stadium and it is known mainly for its turn 3. The long left-hander puts drivers under a lot of pressure and it will be a difficult one to master.

“Sochi Autodrom is a very technical circuit with lots of space both on and off the track. It is a good circuit for racing because of the two straights that help overtaking”, said French driver Tristan Charpentier who drives MP Motorsports car #2.

The drivers have gained confidence today when they drove three separate test sessions. Renault Academy Dane driver Christian Lundgaard and Dutch Bent Viscaal were the quickest drivers all day long and only ones who drove a lap time under 2:12, with Viscaal setting the fastest time of the day in 2:11.307.

This season, the SMP F4 NEZ will welcome 20 drivers coming from Russia, Finland, Estonia, Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, Cyprus, France, Spain and Azerbaijan, who will be fighting for the €300.000 support to enter the FIA F3 European Championship.

The regulations however have changed from last year to let teams enter the championship, and the Series now have MP Motorsport from The Netherlands (also present in Formula Renault 2.0 and FIA F2), ALM Motorsport from Estonia, FA Racing from Spain, SMP Racing from Russia, Lappalainen Racing Team and AKK Academy from Finland.

The race weekend will start on Friday morning at 10.00 with FP1 followed by FP2 at 13.00. The first qualifying session will go on at 15.30 and the lights will go off for Race 1 at 18.15. The two-days event will continue on Saturday with Qualifying 2 at 11.00 and Race 2 and 3 at 13.50 and 16.50. The races will be broadcasted live on Russian TV channel Auto 24.

Today the weather remained dry, but the forecast showed it will rain on both Friday and Saturday. If so, it would make racing a lot more interesting.