SMP Racing junior driver Pavel Bulantsev took the final win of the 2019 SMP Formula 4 season. The final round of the competition took place on September 21-22 at the Alastaro track in Finland.
Pavel had taken the overall lead in the SMP Formula 4 Championship before the final round. In qualifying session of the racing weekend, Bulantsev was fastest and took pole position.
In the first race, Artem Lobanenko, who was second fastest during the qualifying round, was able to overtake the leader and take first position. Pavel Bulantsev tried to win back the leading position, but closer to the finish line he stopped attacking his rival, making the decision not to take risks and score extra points in the standings. Ivan Nosov took third place on the podium.
The second race of the weekend was full of battles - the drivers fought for places on the podium from start to finish. Artem Lobanenko managed to overtake Pavel Bulantsev again and take the lead. Bulantsev and Alexey Nesov made numerous attacks to get ahead of Artem, but were not successful. Lobanenko took first place, followed by Bulantsev and Nesov.
Pavel Bulantsev took the SMP Formula 4 championship title.
Pavel Bulantsev said: “The qualifying was successful. The main task was to warm the tires well, since the weather in Alastaro was quite cold, and then show the best lap times. The first race was quite predictable. We started after the rain, on a wet track. The whole race I steadily held second, made a couple of attempts to attack Artem Lobanenko, but without any luck, and I decided not to risk it and stay in second place. The second race turned out to be very intense. I started from first position, but, unfortunately, hesitated a bit with a gear change and therefore lost my position - Artem overtook me. Throughout the race, we had a great battle with him that the fans had been waiting for the whole season. In general, I am pleased with the result: the championship is ours. Now I will prepare for the FIA Motorsport Games, which will take place in Italy in early November."
Artem Lobanenko said: “The qualifying wasn’t good, I could not put the lap together - I was driving the wet-weather tyres on the drying track and made a mistake in the last two corners. In the first race I started from second position, but I managed to overtake Pavel Bulantsev and move to the top. In the race, Pavel was faster, he caught up with me and tried to pass me. I overheated the tyres a little and the rest of the race fended off his attacks. A similar situation also happened in the second race, which was one, I guess. More than half of the race we went neck and neck with Pavel at the same pace. Then he began to attack me, I again overheated the tyres, began to make mistakes and had to defend my position. The fight was interesting, I liked our battle.”
Alexey Nesov said: “I did not manage to put a lap together in the qualifying - I did not immediately figure it out in rain conditions. Therefore, I am not satisfied with the result - fifth place. In the first race I was able to move up to third position, then made a mistake and let Ivan Nosov pass me. I finished fourth. I am satisfied with the second race, it turned out to be a good fight, I move up to fourth place. I was pleased with my speed: on the last lap I managed to join the fight for first place, which was very nice. Progress along the weekend is clearly visible. In general, I am pleased with my first season in the SMP Formula 4 Championship: third place for my debut season is a good result."