• Luigi Sebastiano De Blasi

Formula Regional | Race 1: Vidales Keeps It Clean

It was a clean race indeed for David Vidales who could manage his race from the start until the checkered flag. But things were not as "clean" behind him.

First sebmotors.info must apologise for being wrong on the starting grid in the last article (Qualifying Report). In FRECA, qualifying Practice 1 decides the starting grid for Race 2 and just the same does Qualifying Practice 2 for Race 1. This means it was Prema's David Vidales (ESP) starting the race on pole today for Race 1, as these were in fact the results of Qualifying 2.

Before the race, the President of the FIA Jean Todt (FRA), the Executive Director of Renault Luca de Meo (ITA), ACI President Angelo Sticchi Damiani (ITA) and Alpine's CEO Laurent Rossi (FRA) had a picture together to celebrate the merge of the two championships (FREC and Formula Renault Eurocup) and to officially start this new era.

Jean Todt (FRA), Luca de Meo (ITA), Angelo Sticchi Damiani (ITA) and Laurent Rossi (FRA) |

| © 2021 Formula Regional European by Alpine

The Brit Alex Quinn from Arden had a flying start from third, it was not enough to get to the

lead, but it was at least to interrupt a possible Prema one-two, as on the other hand the other Prema driver Paul Aron (EST) found himself back in P4. R-ace's Hadrien David (FRA) did well to snatch the podium place from the Estonian.

Still during the first lap, Prema's Dino Beganovic (SWE) ran wide at the exit of Tamburello, lost three places and handed the rookie lead to R-ace's Isack Hadjar (FRA). With the term "rookie-lead", reference is made to the Rookie Drivers' Standings and to the fourth place on the podium which is reserved for the best one in the race.

Dino Beganovic (SWE) & Isack Hadjar (FRA) | © 2021 Formula Regional European by Alpine

It was not a lucky race for the English-speaking drivers. The Barbadian Zane Maloney from R-ace GP was out right after the first lap for an issue which visibly slowed him down at the start. On the second lap, Arden's Nicola Marinangeli (ITA) spun and ended in the gravel at Tamburello. And during the same lap the American Brad Benavides from DR Formula had an airborne moment by spinning and hitting the kerb at Acque Minerali. These two retirements brought out the first Safety Car appearance of the race.

Zane Maloney (BAR) | © 2021 Formula Regional European by Alpine

Nicola Marinangeli (ITA) | © 2021 Formula Regional European by Alpine

Brad Benavides (USA) | © 2021 Formula Regional European by Alpine

Just a few minutes after the green flag, the Australian Tommy Smith from JD Motorsport spun & crashed at the exit of Tosa, forcing the stewards to deploy the Safety Car for a second time. After that, Quinn made a mistake at the restart going slightly wide at Rivazza. David closed up to him but it was not enough for the French to make it through. This mistake from Quinn certainly gave Vidales some more calm in order to manage his lead.

Tommy Smith (AUS) | © 2021 Formula Regional European by Alpine

Getting to the end of the race, Hadjar made a mistake touching the gravel at the exit of Variante Villeneuve and allowing Beganovic to close up. But not enough to get seventh. Slightly afterwards, DR Formula's Emidio Pesce (ITA) retired in the pits for a technical issue.

On the right, Isack Hadjar (FRA) running wide with Dino Beganovic (SWE) almost catching him |

| © 2021 Formula Regional European by Alpine

Emidio Pesce (ITA) | © 2021 Formula Regional European by Alpine

In the end, the fight for P12 was on, with FA's Andrea Rosso (ITA) shutting the door on MP Motorsport's Kas Haverkort (NED), who exited Tosa with no speed whatsoever meaning that KIC Motorsport's Patrik Pasma (FIN) could do nothing to avoid contact. All of this resulted in Haverkort crashing out of the race, bringing out a last Safety Car which de facto called an end to the race. The graphics with the top 10 finishers are below this picture of the contact.

Patrik Pasma (FIN) & Kas Haverkort (NED) | © 2021 Formula Regional European by Alpine

Top 10 from Race 1 | © sebmotors.info 2021

This is what the winner David Vidales said after the race: “Great race, I am absolutely happy as also last year I did great here. Surely Alex (Quinn) was pushing at the beginning. It was important with Pirelli tires to control wear all along the race, and it was my first race with such tires. Tomorrow I start P5, but I know I have the pace so it is going to be fun. Thanks to the fantastic job done by the team”. Two guys that certainly stand out in the top 10 are Arden's William Alatalo (FIN) and FA's Gabriel Bortoleto (BRA) who both ended up three places higher compared to their starting ones. Right below are the graphics with both the drivers' and the constructors' standings.

Drivers' Standings | © sebmotors.info 2021

Constructors' Standings | © sebmotors.info 2021

The full race replay is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaZ94opaS4Y&t=587s

Up next it's race 2 on Sunday at 12:20, with the Swiss Grégoire Saucy on Pole, and you can watch everything live on these links:

-FRECA's YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrCEln9HtJvw5TDIDli1Rwg ;

-FRECA's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FormulaRegionalEUbyAlpine/ ;

-FRECA's website: https://formularegionaleubyalpine.com/ .

Do not forget to follow all sebmotors.info's updates this weekend on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, on the WhatsApp broadcast and of course also here on the blog!

Cover image: © 2021 Formula Regional European by Alpine

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