James Wharton confirms his dominance on day 1 at Spa-Francorchamps

The free practice sessions are over, and tomorrow morning the drivers will take to the track to determine the starting grid for the three races of the weekend


James Wharton of PREMA Racing remains the fastest driver at Spa-Francorchamps. In the second free practice session, the Australian Ferrari Driver Academy confirmed his position and further improved his lap time to 2’21.698. The session had its share of challenges, including a brief interruption with approximately 30 minutes remaining, due to Guido Luchetti, Airflow Racing, going off track into the sand. The session resumed, intensifying the competition between Wharton and Kacper Sztuka from US Racing, as seen earlier in the day. The results remain unchanged in the evening, with Sztuka setting the second-fastest overall lap time with a gap of +0.219. Brando Badoer, the Italian driver from Van Amersfoort Racing, achieved an excellent result once again, securing the third position with a gap of +0.432.

The fourth fastest time is recorded by Ugo Ugochukwu, the McLaren junior driver from Prema Racing. The American driver recorded a gap of +0.458 and finished ahead of his teammate, Finnish Ferrari Driver Academy Tuukka Taponen, who took the fifth place with +0.472. Arvid Lindblad, the Red Bull junior from Prema Racing, followed closely behind, with a gap of +0.586. Zachary David, the Maltese-Filipino driver from US Racing, finished in seventh place with a gap of +0.795. Rashid Al Dhaheri, representing Prema Racing and Yas Heat Racing Ambassador, is the last driver to stay within one second from Wharton, setting the eighth fastest lap in FP2 with a gap of +0.917. Completing the top 10 of the evening are Matheus Ferreira, the Alpine Academy driver representing Van Amersfoort Racing, and Akshay Bohra from US Racing.

The second and final session of the day represented the last opportunity for teams to work on their setups and for the many Rookie drivers to familiarize themselves with the challenging Ardennes circuit, considered a University for Formula 1 drivers due to its difficulty. Starting tomorrow, the third round of the Italian F.4 Championship will kick off with the morning qualifying session preceding Race 1.


On Saturday, May 27th, there will be two official practice sessions of 15 minutes each, with a 10-minute break in the pit lane, starting at 9:50. Race 1, lasting 30 minutes + 1 lap, will start at 14:30. Sunday, May 28th, will feature Race 2 (30 minutes + 1 lap) starting at 10:35, followed by Race 3 (30 minutes + 1 lap) at 17:20, which will conclude the weekend.

All three races of the weekend will be broadcast live with English commentary on the Italian F.4 Championship's YouTube and Facebook pages, as well as on Motorsport TV (https://eu.motorsport.tv/). They will also be aired with Italian commentary on ACI Sport TV (Sky channel 228), on www.acisport.it, and on the Facebook page @acisporttv.