A strong start at Imola for Marino Sato saw him fight for the lead to win the final race of the weekend. The victory is the first of his Italian F4 career and the first time he’s been on the podium since September 2015.
It was a clean start for the front-runners, but incidents further back brought an end to Ahmed Al Muhanadi‘s race with the safety car being called as a result. Sadly for pole sitter Yan Leon Shlom he was unable to maintain his lead as the experienced Sato led the pack at the end of lap one.
After only a lap under neutral conditions, Sato and Shlom lead away Leonard Hoogenboom who was now third. Events would go from bad to worse for Raul Guzman as he dropped back in the opening sector losing a golden opportunity to close in on his title rivals. Car issues forced him to pit.
This allowed Artem Petrov to take fourth away from Simone Cunati as the Russian looked for his best result this season. He wasn’t finished though and a few laps later took third from Hoogenboom.
With four minutes to run, Petrov was now up to second and rapidly closing in on Sato. In what became a final minute showdown, Sato hung on to the place. Elsewhere, Marcos Siebert had been on course for another low points finish until an error cost him any chance at extending the gap.
As the flag flew, it was Sato who took the win with Petrov reluctantly following him home. Shlom would initially complete the podium before a time penalty pushed him to seventh overall.
In the closing laps, Hoogenboom had found himself under pressure from Cunati with the Italian hounding the rookie for fourth place. The Dutch driver would take third as a result of Shlom’s penalty with Juan Manuel Correa behind them in fifth.
The ever impressive Lorenzo Colombo took sixth as Devlin DeFrancesco took eighth, not benefiting from Shlom’s penalty. As for Mick Schumacher, he had started last, but managed to fight his way to thirteenth. Sadly this was not enough to earn him the points.