One more win for Sorensen, maiden wins for O’Ward, Moineault at Paul Ricard


With the championship having been wrapped up a week earlier in Spain, Lasse Sorensen had no pressure as the French F4 championship arrived for its finale at the Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France, but the young Dane ended the year by taking his eighth victory of the season and two runners-up spots.

The finale also saw two new winners, with Mexican Patricio O’Ward and Frenchman Valentin Moineault both seeing the chequered flag first in races two and three.

Sorensen was on pole position for the opening race of the weekend, and had to fight an on-form Felix Hirsiger for the victory. The Dane re-passed the Anglo-Swiss driver in the final third of the race after originally losing the lead to Hirsiger on the fifth lap. Hirsiger kept Sorensen honest until the end, finishing only 0.725s adrift.

Amaury Richard finished third for his first podium finish of the season, with Moineault fourth ahead of Dorian Boccolacci and Denis Bulatov. O’Ward was seventh ahead of Paul Hokfelt Jr, while Vladimir Atoev and Max Defourny completed the top ten, although with Defourny being classed as a guest driver and therefore ineligible for points, Simo Laaksonen took the final point on offer despite finishing eleventh.

For race two, Defourny took pole position after finishing tenth in race one, with Atoev alongside him on the front row, while race one winner Sorensen would start tenth.

It would not take long for fourth place starter O’Ward to take the lead from Defourny, and the young Mexican, who joined the series mid-season, secured his maiden series triumph ahead of the charging Sorensen, who picked his way through his competitors superbly and ended the race only 1.524s adrift of the win.

Defourny held on to take his first podium finish for third place, ahead of his fellow front-row starter Atoev, while Bulatov completed the top five ahead of Hokfelt Jr. Moineault and Ricard were seventh and eighth, with Laaksonen ninth and Frenchman Erwan Jule tenth. With Defourny again ineligible for points, Mexican driver Axel Matus was able to claim the final point, which was his first point of the season.

Unfortunately for the drivers battling over second place in the championship, both Hirsiger and Boccolacci failed to see the chequered flag, with the Anglo-Swiss driver being a victim of the midfield squabbles on the opening lap, while the Frenchman dropped out of contention with an apparent mechanical issue.

Moineault would start the final race of the season from pole position- his first of the year – and took his maiden series victory ahead of Sorensen, while Boccolacci was able to finish third and secure second place ahead of Hirsiger, who retired on the opening lap for the second race running following a collision, this time with Valentin Hasse-Clot.

Hokfelt Jr took fourth ahead of O’Ward and Bulatov, while Swede Reuben Kressner scored his first points of the weekend with seventh place. Swiss junior Gjergj Haxhiu, a winner a week previously at Jerez, also took his first points finish of the weekend in eighth position, ahead of Briton Harrison Newey who scored his first points of the year in only his third race having joined the series just for this weekend. Atoev finished tenth and claimed the final point of the season.

All this meant that Sorensen finished the season on 373 points after finishing on the podium seventeen times out of a possible twenty-one, including eight wins. He was 135 points clear of Boccolacci in second, who beat Hirsiger into third by just 12 points. Australian Joseph Mawson was fourth in the championship despite opting to miss the season finale, while Bulatov beat Moineault to fifth.

Paul Ricard Race 1 Result (Top 10)

POS DRIVER NAT TIME/Laps
1 Lasse Sorensen DEN 15 Laps
2 Felix Hirsiger GBR +0.725s
3 Amaury Richard FRA +1.504s
4 Valentin Moineault FRA +2.228s
5 Dorian Boccolacci FRA +3.210s
6 Denis Bulatov RUS +3.851s
7 Patricio O’Ward MEX +6.226s
8 Paul Hokfelt Jr SWI +9.264s
9 Vladimir Atoev RUS +12.874s
10 Max Defourny BEL +13.297s

Paul Ricard Race 2 Result (Top 10)

POS DRIVER NAT TIME/Laps
1 Patricio O’Ward MEX 15 Laps
2 Lasse Sorensen DEN +1.524s
3 Max Defourny BEL +2.482s
4 Vladimir Atoev RUS +2.788s
5 Denis Bulatov RUS +4.243s
6 Paul Hokfelt Jr SWI +6.891s
7 Valentin Moineault FRA +7.327s
8 Amaury Ricard FRA +10.709s
9 Simo Laaksonen FIN +12.378s
10 Erwan Jule FRA +13.820s

Paul Ricard Race 3 Result (Top 10)

POS DRIVER NAT TIME/Laps
1 Valentin Moineault FRA 15 Laps
2 Lasse Sorensen DEN +0.999s
3 Dorian Boccolacci FRA +1.238s
4 Paul Hokfelt Jr SWI +4.564s
5 Patricio O’Ward MEX +6.404s
6 Denis Bulatov RUS +8.955s
7 Reuben Kressner SWE +9.335s
8 Gjergj Haxhiu SWI +10.454s
9 Harrison Newey GBR +16.517s
10 Vladimir Atoev RUS +17.005s