Italian F4 hits the ground running with a seven-round season | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

Italian F4 hits the ground running with a seven-round season


Despite the difficulties associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, owing to the joint efforts of the Automobile Club d’Italia (ACI) and the series organisers, a seven-round season of the Italian Formula 4 Championship powered by Abarth went ahead in August, attracting a strong entry. 

Founded in 2014, the Italian F4 series is one of the strongest entry-level single-seater championships in Europe. Current grand prix stars, Lando Norris and Lance Stroll competed in the ACI-organised championship on their way up the single-seater ladder.

The likes of Robert Shwartzman, Mick Schumacher, Juan Manuel Correa and Juri Vips, all proven at Formula 2 level, also cut their teeth competing in Italian F4, demonstrating that the series serves as an excellent racing university. 

Despite the COVID-19 implications, the organisers managed to secure a seven-round calendar, retaining the same number of races as in the previous years. Furthermore, this year’s season attracted a strong grid, with some promising young talent amongst it, maintaining its status as one of the top junior single-seater championships in Europe. 

 “A huge work had been done by the Italian federation to ensure that competitions could be postponed, but not cancelled,” says Carlo Forni, Head of Press Office, at ACI Sport Spa.

“It was a great achievement to confirm all seven rounds of the Italian F4 Championship. At the same time in the best possible way, we were helping teams to run in this extremely tough year from an economical point of view. All of this, always putting health safety of all the people involved in the first position.”

Similarly to major international FIA-sanctioned championships such as Formula 1, the summer break was used to accommodate the postponed races from the beginning of the season.

“Normally, Italian F4 starts at the beginning of May. This year the first rounds were then shifted onwards, and competitions continued even in August, which is normally a break month for motor sport in Italy,” explains Forni.

The organisers had overcome several challenges in order to ensure the F4 field can turn their wheels in anger for the first time at the season-opening round at Misano in early August.

“The uncertainty was definitely the biggest challenge. We had different options planned and had to adapt our calendar daily, at the same time validating specific procedures for organisers, teams, drivers, and media to be on track.”

With finances of many stakeholders, teams and sponsors being affected by the pandemic, securing sufficient entry was a challenge in its own right, however, the strength of the championship proved vital.

“Luckily, the international success of the Italian F4 in the previous years helped to keep a very high level of participation also this year, with 30 drivers per round on average,” Forni summarised.

This year’s championship will conclude in December at Vallelunga, preceded by the penultimate round at Imola in the second part of November. Gabriele Mini currently sits atop of the standings ahead of Francesco Pizzi and the 2019 FIA Motorsport Games gold medallist Andrea Rosso.

For more information, visit the official website of the Italian F4 Championship Powered by Abarth.