With a really positive second half of the season, Angélina Favario carried momentum in the French F4 season finale, where she scored points in two races. She now aims to secure the budget for a second season in F4.
Young Frenchwoman Angélina Favario, 18, made her final appearance of the season in French F4 at Magny Cours, as the championship came to a close at the former home of the French GP. Favario, in her first season in racing cars and with little previous testing experience, noticeably improved weekend after weekend and had a strong second half of the season.
The French F4 title fight went down to the wire at the 4.412 km circuit, with Esteban Masson and Maceo Capietto battling at the top of the standings.
The only female driver on the grid spent the first weekends to familiarise with the car and the tracks and, after the summer break, had a season-defining weekend at Monza that proved important both for her championship tally and for her confidence.
At the Temple of Speed, Favario secured her first Top-10 of the season in race 1 and started from reverse grid pole position in race 2. Under the pouring rain, Favario held on until the very final minutes of the race. From then on, she had two more point-scoring finishes at Paul Ricard, as well as the final round in Magny Cours.
The series visited the track for the second time this year; Favario had a positive weekend in May, as the 18-year old lady claimed an 11th place finish.
On Saturday morning, the final qualifying session of the season went underway: Esteban Masson confirmed himself as the fastest on track - having already taken two victories at Magny Cours this year - and scored pole position, edging Alessandro Giusti and Hugh Barter. Angélina Favario was sixteenth.
Pole-sitter Masson had a strong start and led the pack into Turn 1, followed by Barter - who overtook Giusti when the light went out. Daniel Ligier, meanwhile, had joined the battle for the podium positions from fifth on the grid.
Barter tried to keep up with Masson's pace but the action was interrupted early by a first Safety Car following an incident that caused the retirements of Enzo Richer and Luciano Morano. Masson managed the restart and held off Barter, opening a safe gap.
In the final minute, Daniel Ligier went off from fourth place, also delaying title contender Maceo Capietto. The incident brought out the red flag and the race result was called.
With a dominant performance, Masson took victory in the first race of the title decider, ahead of Barter and Giusti. Capietto was initially classified in fourth place.
Angélina Favario had a clean race and moved up to P11, finishing ahead of Elliot Vayron and Enzo Peugeot and thus gaining 6 places from her starting position.
The second race featured a reverse grid, with tenth placed Pierre-Alexandre Provost lining up from pole position. Provost, initially, had to battle with the fast Owen Tangavelou - but the race took a dramatic turn on the first lap when championship contender Masson was caught in an accident with Noah Andy and Hugh Barter. While the latter could continue, Masson and Andy were out of the race, in a huge moment for the championship.
Capietto had in fact recovered to third from seventh on the grid.
At the Safety Car restart on lap 5, Tangavelou dropped a few places, with Maceo Capietto firing into second place and chasing pole-sitter Provost.
Behind them, though, Alessandro Giusti wasn't ready to give up the fight and passed both as Capietto tried to find a way around Provost. Giusti stretched his gap to 2 seconds and claimed his second win of the season, preceding Capietto and Provost. With second place, Capietto was back in the lead of the championship.
Angélina Favario kept it clean once again and finished P12 across the line - but the gues driver status of Vayron, Peugeot and Richer meant that she moved up three positions to score points for ninth place.
Unfortunately, that turned out to be the final chequered flag of the year for Angélina Favario, who was caught in a starting accident in Race 3. Gael Julien stalled on the grid and Favario, left with no space to go, made contact with the stationary car. Drivers were luckily unharmed, and the red flag halted the action to allow the marshals to clear the main straight from debris. Masson led at the restart, aiming to steer clear of trouble and seal the championship title. While he initially opened a small gap, he soon had to watch hir mirrors from Hugh Barter and championship rival Capietto - the latter having to finish ahead of Masson to keep his hopes alive. As in a movie script, the skirmishes between Barter and Masson gave Capietto the chance to go for a late move: on the final lap, he hit his main rival, forcing him to a retirement and paving the way for Barter's second win of the season. Capietto finished 13th. When the final chequered flag fell on the last race, Barter preceded Alessandro Giusti and Daniel Ligier. A post-race investigation, though, would deem Capietto at fault for the accident and he was excluded from the classifications of all three races in Magny Cours. As drivers were allowed to drop one result from the championship standings, in fact, Capietto - the provisional champion - dropped to third place in the standings, behind Hugh Barter and 17-year-old Esteban Masson - the latter sealing the 2021 French F4 title. The exclusion of Maceo Capietto from the final round meant that Angélina Favario was promoted to 10th place in Race 1 and scored points for eighth in Race 2 - rounding out her rookie season with two more points-scoring results. "My last race at Magny Cours was overall very good for me." - said Angélina. "It was difficult physically, but I was in the zone and managed to score two more points - I'm really proud of that." "Since my debut this season I'm super happy because I have progressed a lot and I'm proud of that." Angélina was the protagonist of a noticeable improvement and, despite a lack of budget that almost terminated her season after the summer break, she fought back and made more steps in the right direction. With one more season in Formula 4, Favario would be able to continue her development and battle further up the order, before evaluating her long term plans. "I hope next year to do another season in French F4, but it's so expensive that I have to raise more sponsors." - she stated. "I will always do my best to secure another season, I really would like to have the chance to continue in motorsport for a long time; I know that it was a difficult season - because it's a physical challenge, because of the competition."
"It was a crazy year, but driving is my life and I hope to do this forever".
We can still help Angélina in her next steps of her racing career through her crowdfunding campaign, which has been extended until the end of the calendar year.