- Ricardo Gracia chains two ninth positions on Sunday in a meeting marked by equality and great competitiveness.
- Lin Hodenius debuts in single-seaters with the Spanish team.
- “The upline of our pilots is maintained. For us, Motorland marks a magnificent starting line for the next championship match,” says Jaime Serrano, CEO of Monlau Motul Technical School.
Monlau Motul Technical School concluded last weekend at Motorland Aragón its first weekend of competition in the Spanish Formula 4 with four cars. Lin Hodenius joined the regular starters, Ricardo Gracia, Fernando Barrichello and Pablo Sarrazin, to continue contributing to the progress of the Spanish team in the championship, whose competitiveness has grown significantly compared to 2022. All in all, the drivers, mechanics and engineers of Monlau Motul took a remarkable leap forward to close the second round by scoring points in two of the three races.
After the always atypical visit to Spa-Francorchamps, Motorland Aragón marked the reunion of the Spanish F4 with the national territory in the first of the Racing Weekend of the season. Monlau Motul Technical School was reinforced for the occasion with a fourth car, which he entrusted to the Dutch debutant Lin Hodenius. David Simon, team manager of Monlau Motul, assessed this addition: “We are happy to continue growing as a team and overcome the challenge of increasing our number of engineers and mechanics with one more car. Lin has started racing late, but we are pleased that he has chosen us for his single-seater premiere”.
The 5,344 meters of the fast and technical Aragonese route presented a height challenge for the team of Monlau Motul Technical School, as evidenced by the few differences in times throughout the weekend. On this occasion, after a Friday of changing weather for the collective tests, the sun and heat accompanied the four riders of the team during the free sessions, qualifying and, of course, the three qualifying races.
Ricardo Gracia, Pablo Sarrazin, Fernando Barrichello and Lin Hodenius were less to more in preparation for the always decisive first classification of the Spanish F4, since their two best laps ordered the starting grids of two of the three races. The Brazilian Gracia was the most regular of the team, signing two laps in 2:00.9 that placed him in 15th and 7th position, respectively. Also began to appreciate the leap forward of Pablo Sarrazin, 18th and 16th, near Fernando Barrichello, who signed a 22nd and 23rd place, respectively. More trouble for Lin Hodenius, who could not score fast laps by breaking a car part.
In the first race, held under intense heat on Saturday afternoon, the drivers of Monlau Motul did not have the luck of face, concluding outside the points area. Gracia (14th), Sarrazin (19th), Hodenius (26th) and Barrichello (31st) were commissioned on Sunday morning to improve their performance. A step forward that was reflected in the moment of truth, with a Ricardo Gracia who managed to sign in the second race a brilliant and competitive 9th place to add the first point of the weekend after fighting intense in the peloton. Sarrazin accompanied him in some of these battles and finished in 12th place, and Barrichello and Hodenius saw the checkered flag after 25 minutes of action in 22nd and 27th, respectively.
These good results were preceded by an excellent morning classification, in which the four riders of the team signed their fastest records of the weekend to a lap: Ricardo Gracia (7th), Pablo Sarrazin (11th), Fernando Barrichello (27th) and Lin Hodenius (30th). The thirty minutes plus a lap of the final race again rewarded the Brazilian Gracia, who with a new ninth place provided a further completion in points for Monlau Motul. Lesser fortune for Sarrazin and Barrichello, who were forced to abandon, while Hodenius continued to learn in the busiest part of the squad and crossed the checkered flag in 26th place.
At the end of the match, David Simón assessed the performance of his four drivers: “The team closes a weekend full of important lessons for the future. Ricardo Gracia was less to more, with qualifying records very close to the pole position that should arm him with confidence and showing a lot of combativeness in race. Last year I was in a different grid area, and the top 10 matches are much more expensive, but he has shown that he is prepared to do so. Near these positions is already Pablo Sarrazin, who has filmed regularly between the top 15 and has evidenced a great leap over Spa. He has worked hard and well to polish his piloting technique. In his case, the misfortune has been baited with him in the form of a touch of an opponent in Race 3, which forced him to abandon when he was in 10th. As for Fernando Barrichello, this weekend he has not had all the fortune he deserved in the races, but he has signed good rankings that mark the line to follow in the future. And finally, Lin Hodenius has lived a weekend full of usual experiences for a beginner, and you will certainly not forget”.
In his final balance sheet, Jaime Serrano, CEO of Monlau Motul Technical School, commented: “The rising line of drivers is maintained and, as in Spa, we underline it finishing races in the points area despite the important increase in the competitiveness of the championship. We leave happy for the learnings and also for the good work demonstrated by the team of engineers and mechanics, which certainly has not suffered any notable incidents. For us, Motorland marks a magnificent starting line for the next meeting, which we will live full of motivation”.
The third meeting of the Spanish F4 will take place between 23, 24 and 25 June in the circuit of Navarra.