The final round of the 2016 Italian F4 Championship has resulted in a three-way championship battle with Marcos Siebert leading the way on 205 points. Though behind him are Mick Schumacher on 180 points and Raul Guzman on 169.
Siebert has led the way since the end of the second round and has seemed to have just enough to keep himself ahead of the competition. The Jenzer Motorsport driver competed last year, picking up two wins on course to fifth in the championship. None of those came at Monza though and the Argentine failed to pick up a top six finish at the race last year.
As for rival Schumacher, he has been playing catch-up all season. The German led after round one, but sat out the second event due to commitments in ADAC Formula 4. Like Siebert, he has four wins this season, but failed to score in a weekend for the first time in his career at Imola last time out.
Finally there’s Guzman. The Mexican had a strong start to the season, collecting two wins in the opening two rounds. Since then, he’s been relatively struggling, picking up just one more trophy. While he has been off the pace on occasions, qualifying has often been a strong suit for him. He has nothing to lose and Guzman may yet turn an upset.
With 63 points still available, the championship could easily swing in any drivers favour. The series is known for being widely international with nine different nationalities in the top nine drivers. Despite this, the home crowd will once again prepare for a non-Italian champion at Monza.
Italian drivers aren’t out of contention entirely though, with the rookie title still available. Second place Simone Cunati (206.5 points) and fourth place Lorenzo Colombo (184.5 points) could still salvage home pride. On 212 though, Juri Vips has been the man to beat and will want to be the second Estonian in a year to pick up a title in the series after Ralf Aron‘s title exploits in 2015.
Challenging Vips will also be his team-mate Juan Manuel Correa. The Prema Powerteam driver sits on 188.5 points and will not want to be crowned lowest Prema driver of the year. The final challenger is Indian Kush Maini. Despite a year of incredible consistency, he’ll need luck to win from 41.5 points behind.
The teams championship, which has come down to Jenzer and Prema, could be largely affected by the title battle and Job van Uitert. The Dutchman won two of the last three races at Imola and recently won the Pre ’90 class in the Formula Ford Festival. Sitting fourth in the standings, he could easily affect the title battle with Jenzer team-mate Siebert leading the way.
Qualifying takes place on Saturday at 15:30 local time with the three races on Sunday. The finale will begin at 16:30.