• Luigi Sebastiano De Blasi

FRECA | Review: Saucy Champion & Aron's En Plein

Although the title may look simplistic, the on-track action was exciting (and believe it or not, there were also overtakes!). Mugello is also a place that does not forgive at all: even if you are one inch wide, the gravel is going to make you lose some time. All these elements forced the drivers to try more things than usual for the Tuscan round.

The turns Casanova & Arrabbiata 1 (6 & 8) | © 2021 Formula Regional European by Alpine

Intro - The Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine got at its round number 9 of this year, being part of the Automobile Club d'Italia Racing Weekend at the Circuito del Mugello in Tuscany, central west Italy. The Circuito is located in a central position of Italy indeed, considering that it is located 25km/16mi North from Florence and 55km/34mi south from Bologna and it was pretty cold (although sunny) when the racing action took place.

Results from Qualifying 1 | © 2021 Formula Regional European by Alpine (2nd & 3rd pic):

Qualifying 1: Mercedes vs Ferrari - Sadly the live-stream did not work during the first Qualifying practice on Saturday morning, but luckily the issue was solved for the following sessions. The Italian team Prema locked the front row with the Estonian Paul Aron on pole and then the Swede Dino Beganovic. The first row also had a taste of Formula 1 as Aron and Beganovic are both part of the Mercedes Junior Team and of the Ferrari Driver Academy respectively.

Qualifying 1: Behind The Front Row - After the interview with the Russian driver from G4 (which you can read here and watch here), it could be said that sebmotors.info brought some luck to Michael Belov, as he got a good P3 in front of the two orange cars of Van Amersfoort's Mari Boya (ESP) and MP's Franco Colapinto (ARG). Behind them the two championship contenders R-ace's Hadrien David (FRA) & ART's Grégoire Saucy (CHE). The French would need a miracle to be still in contention as 2 points is what Saucy needs to claim the title. The Brazilian from FA Racing Gabriel Bortoleto was the best Under-17 driver in tennth.

In front, from left to right: Boya & Colapinto, behind them: Beganovic (spun) & David |

| © 2021 Formula Regional European by Alpine:

Race 1: The Crash At The Start - Going into San Donato (turn 1), Boya was down the inside of Beganovic but he locked his front-right wheel, going straight and collecting the Swede, forcing Colapinto in the gravel and involving the championship contender Hadrien David too, who broke his front wing. The poleman Aron went wide at the exit of San Donato, gifting the lead to Belov. At the restart the Estonian got back what he had lost with a great move around the outside at San Donato. Curiously, his team-mate David Vidales (ESP) did the exact same move on Saucy for third. Then at Borgo San Lorenzo (turn 5), the reigning champion KIC's Gianluca Petecof (BRA) with a really great move went around the outside of the two Italians Monolite's Pietro Delli Guanti (ITA) & ART's Gabriele Minì (ITA) for P7.

Results from Race 1 | © 2021 Formula Regional European by Alpine:

Race 1: The Safety Car & The Results - With 14 minutes to the end, David - who was climbing places from the back of the field in P30- did fantasticly well to avoid a spinning KIC's Jasin Ferati (CHE) at the exit of Poggiosecco, but his championship hopes were still very far to be realised. Seven minutes later, DR's Emidio Pesce (ITA) and KIC's Nico Göhler (GER) came together at the entry of San Donato while racing for P26 and caused a late safety car visit out on track. The Alpine safety car came in at the penultimate lap, making it a one-lap shootout in which Petecof lost his seventh place to Delli Guanti. Vidales tried to attack Belov for second, but nothing could surprise the Russian. Paul Aron won in front of Belov and Vidales, making it two Premas on the podium. Gabriel Bortoleto was the best rookie and U17 in sixth.

2021 Drivers' Champion: Grégoire Saucy | © 2021 Formula Regional European by Alpine

Race 1: Grégoire Saucy Champion! - The Swiss from ART got to P5 which was enough to mathematically seal the drivers' championship: "I think that [this year] I was closer with my team, with my engineers, with my mechanics, with my team manager... All the team was really close and we worked a lot during the winter for the preparation of this season and I'm really happy about that."

"The level was quite high this year, I'm happy to be in front because I think it was a really good battle with all the drivers in the championship. We have won the championship and for the next seasons it will be a good thing for me, because it is the first championship I win in my career and I will work a lot to win all the [other] championships."

Results from Qualifying 2 (sanctions not included) | © 2021 Formula Regional European by Alpine:

Qualifying 2 - In a very cold morning it took a lot of time for the drivers to find heat in the tires. The session was then ended by a red flag 2 minutes earlier than previewed, with Ferati beaching his car in the gravel. Aron, Saucy, Beganovic, Colapinto, Boya & Belov were again in the top places. Great effort from MP Motorsport's Kas Haverkort (NED) in P6 too. There was some drama in the hours preceding the race though as Boya's and Monolite's Joss Garfias (MEX) times were cancelled as they got to the finish line after the red flag had been shown. Same procedure for Ferati, as he was the driver who had caused the red flag. The three would start Race 2 respectively in ninth, thirtieth, and thirty-fifth.

Results from Race 2 | © 2021 Formula Regional European by Alpine:

Race 2: The Start - The start was clean, with Beganovic getting P2 from Saucy and making it a Prema 1-2. The champion was then pressurised from Belov, but some laps later the Russian had a moment coming out of Poggio Secco (turn 3) as he made a trip to the gravel, but managed to retain P4 anyway.

Race 2: Bortoleto - Gabriel Bortoleto was another one who had a lot of work to do: he got in front of Delli Guanti on the second lap between Luco & Poggio Secco (turns 2 & 3) for sixth and later in the race had to deal with Hadrien David, who got the Brazilian around the outside at San Donato.

Race 2: Minì - Not the ideal race for Minì: he started to struggle while fighting against the two R-aces of the Barbadian Zane Maloney and the French Isack Hadjar for P13 and then suffered a sudden loss of pace which eventually led the Sicilian to retire. A few minutes later - in the final stages of the race - another Italian rookie, FA's Andrea Rosso (P20 during the time being) was forced to retire as well.

Ferati ran wide at the exit of Bucine (first pic), lost his car crashing on the other wall and then bounced back again on track (second pic) | © 2021 Formula Regional European by Alpine

Race 2 : The Red Flag - At the very end - with 6 minutes remaining - the safety car was deployed as JD's Ido Cohen (ISR) found himself beached in the gravel: as it happened in Race 1, another shootout, this time of a couple of laps. That did not last long though: Arden's William Alatalo (FIN) crashed at the exit of Poggio Secco, that was just followed by double yellows in that part of the circuit. There was a red flag though, as Ferati had a terrible crash on the main straight which set the race to a premature conclusion. The dynamic of the crash is explaines in the pictures below. Thankfully, the Swiss was not harmed.

From left to right: Beganovic & Aron | © 2021 Formula Regional European by Alpine

Race 2 : Paul Aron - It was a Prema 1-2 in the end, with Paul Aron making an en plein of poles and victories. The Champion Saucy rounded out the podium. A good week-end for both the new entries R-ace's Sami Meguetounif (FRA) & MP's Dilano van't Hoff (NED) always close to the top-20 (the French got inside it in Race 2). Here is what the Mercedes junior had to say on his victory: "It was a mega weekend. We had great pace from free practice and the car was really good. I did a lot of work before the weekend to absolutely maximise what I had, and it worked very well. We took two poles and two wins, so I'm super super happy also for the team as they got back where they belong and for Dino who got his first podium after a difficult year. We will continue to work, I found my way back and I don’t want to ever lose it again so we can expect a strong weekend in Monza."

Standings - Saucy has of course sealed the drivers' championship. Aron in the meantime has recovered three places, he is in P2 now 2 points over David with all the detailed standings following:

FRECA Drivers' Standings:

1 Grégoire Saucy 🇨🇭 ART 264

2 Paul Aron 🇪🇪 Prema 171

3 Hadrien David 🇫🇷 R-ace 169

4 Zane Maloney 🇧🇧 R-ace 149

5 Franco Colapinto 🇦🇷 MP 126

6 Isack Hadjar 🇫🇷 R-ace 123

7 Gabriele Minì 🇮🇹 ART 112

8 Michael Belov 🇷🇺 G4 110

9 Alex Quinn 🇬🇧 Arden 104

10 David Vidales 🇪🇸 Prema 101

11 William Alatalo 🇫🇮 Arden 89

12 Patrik Pasma 🇫🇮 ART 56

13 Mari Boya 🇪🇸 Van Amersfoort 51

14 Dino Beganovic 🇸🇪 Prema 43

15 Gabriel Bortoleto 🇧🇷 FA 43

16 Thomas ten Brinke 🇳🇱 ART 28

17 Kas Haverkort 🇳🇱 MP 23

18 Pietro Delli Guanti 🇮🇹 Monolite 18

19 Andrea Rosso 🇮🇹 FA 14

20 Francesco Pizzi 🇮🇹 Van Amersfoort 12

21 Dexter Patterson 🇬🇧 Monolite 6

22 Gianluca Petecof 🇧🇷 KIC 5

23 Oliver Goethe 🇩🇰 MP 3

23 Elias Seppänen 🇫🇮 KIC 1

sebmotors.info's U17 award*:

6 Isack Hadjar 🇫🇷 R-ace 123

FRECA Teams' Standings​:

1 ART Grand Prix 🇫🇷 399

2 R-ace GP 🇫🇷 398

3 Prema Powerteam 🇮🇹 310

4 Arden 🇬🇧 193

5 MP Motorsport 🇳🇱 151

6 G4 Racing 🇨🇭 110

7 Van Amersfoort Racing 🇳🇱 63

8 FA Racing 🇪🇸 54

9 KIC Motorsport 🇫🇮 51

10 Monolite Racing 🇮🇹 24

FRECA Rookies’ Standings​:

1 Isack Hadjar 🇫🇷 R-ace 123

2 Gabriele Minì 🇮🇹 ART 112

3 Mari Boya 🇪🇸 Van Amersfoort 51

4 Dino Beganovic 🇸🇪 Prema 43

5 Gabriel Bortoleto 🇧🇷 FA 43

6 Thomas ten Brinke 🇳🇱 ART 28

7 Kas Haverkort 🇳🇱 MP 23

8 Pietro Delli Guanti 🇮🇹 Monolite 18

9 Andrea Rosso 🇮🇹 FA 14

10 Francesco Pizzi 🇮🇹 Van Amersfoort 12

11 Dexter Patterson 🇬🇧 Monolite 6

12 Oliver Goethe 🇩🇰 MP 3

13 Elias Seppänen 🇫🇮 KIC 1

*The U17 award is valid for those who were 16 at the start of the season, Isack is now 17 but -for the previous reason- still in contention

You can re-watch the full sessions in the links below, the last round of the season will be at Monza on October 30th:

-Race 1 on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fdikA0pYk0 ;

-Race 1 on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FormulaRegionalEUbyAlpine/posts/245002060975775 ;

-Qualifying 2 on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSw3cmB4JqQ ;

-Qualifying 2 on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FormulaRegionalEUbyAlpine/posts/245005120975469 ;

-Race 2 on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7Cf8S-I2G8 ;

-Race 2 on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FormulaRegionalEUbyAlpine/posts/245008247641823 .

Do not forget to follow sebmotors.info for the rest of the FRECA season also on YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram & other social platforms here: https://linktr.ee/sebmotors.info !

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