Brazil F4 promoter changes car allocation system fearing unfair advantage for leader

Pedro Clerot extends his lead to 77 points after five race wins. However, the Full Time Sports dominance seen in the first round had wavered with the rest of the field catching fast. F1 Feeder Series analyses the first half of the championship as we’re now halfway through the Brazilian F4 2022 season.

By Maria Clara Castro

After the second round, a couple of days before the round three track activities began, it was decided there was going to be a car draw in Brazilian F4. Even though it might sound sort of never-seen-before type of situation, the reasoning behind it is somewhat logical. 

Unlike in Italian F4, for instance, where the cars belong to the team, Brazilian F4 cars are owned by the category promoter Vicar, meaning they decide whatever they want to do with it.

After six races, meaning two rounds, four were won by Pedro Clerot. There was a lot of speculation that Full Time Sports were violating the technical regulations so the championship leader’s had an unfair advantage. In order to prove the equality of the equipment, Vicar promoted a draw so no one would drive the third round with the same chassis and engine as the previous races.

“Yes, the Tatuus chassis are the same and so are the engines. However, apart from the driving skills obviously, the various performances we see on track rely on the way the car is built. We’re working with the current most basic open-wheel machine on the ladder to F1, meaning there aren’t many different options of set ups apart from the usual. Believe it or not, the basic mechanic knowledge when it comes to constructing the car has been making the difference,” explained Cavaleiro Sports engineer Erika Prado.

The championship after three rounds

Even though Pedro Clerot is the leader with a 77 points advantage, compared to the first round, we now see a more competitive scenario.

At Velo Città, Full Time Sports had it best, winning every races. At Interlagos, it was Cavaleiro Sports’ turn to shine. Nic Giaffone took his first win and was part of the race podium twice, as well as his teammate Vinicius Tessaro.

On the following race weekend, also at Interlagos, TMG Racing came out on top. Nick Monteiro got the first triple podium of Brazilian F4 history. Lucas Staico conquered his first win, after a crazy-ending in race 3, in which he took his chance after the race leader Monteiro made a mistake and dropped to P3. 

“Race 3 was a relief for me and the whole team, after almost making it to the first position in the other rounds. At the very beginning of that race I noticed I was very fast so I managed to jump to P3 easily. I caught up with the first two drivers, then made it to P2. I thought that was it, but then Nick made that mistake, I saw my chance and I went for it. I managed to position myself better at the Junction, so I overtook him at Senna’s S,” said Staico.

#11 Lucas Staico (TMG Racing) and #30 Vinícius Tessaro (Cavaleiro Sports) | Credit: Luca Bassani

Now not one, but three teams have shown competitive stance in the championship. The draw, meanwhile, revealed that the cars have a certain difference and can provide benefits to some and harm to others.

If you wonder how to fix that, Vicar has thought of a solution: Do the draw again at the end of Round 4, so that, at the end of Round 6, a draw is made every two rounds. 

“The team always worked to give me the best car. I think the biggest change from last week (Round 2) to this week was exactly the car draw that helped a lot in improving the straight-line speed and our setup that was already good got even better,” said Staico.

Therefore, do the car draws impact the competitiveness in Brazilian F4? Given how the championship is shaped after three rounds, we might see a more competitive second half of the season which begins September 2nd, again at Autodromo Velo Città. Who will come out on top: Full Time Sports, Cavaleiro Sports or TMG Racing?

Header photo credit: Luca Bassani

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