Bühler ends 2020 Spanish F4 campaign in style with top-5
With another Top-5 finish at the Barcelona season finale, Léna Bühler equalled her best result in her 2020 Spain Formula 4 rookie season.
The Spanish F4 Championship came to its final chapter of the 2020 season at Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, with the last three race of the year.
After some very unlucky previous races at Jarama but coming from her best qualifying result so far, Léna Bühler - the only lady on the F4 Spain grid - started the Barcelona weekend with more steps in the right direction and with very positive free pratice sessions. The Swiss racer was then sixth in Q1 - after running with the second fastest time for a certain part of session.
The already-crowned 2020 champion Kas Haverkort kept momentum and gained pole position; Mari Boya was second, while Thomas ten Brinke and Oliver Goethe shared the second row.
The two top runners both maintained positions at the green lights, while Goethe overtook ten Brinke for third. Meanwhile, Léna Bühler battled for remain in the top-ten.
Haverkort immediately opened a gap from the rest of the pack, in what would be an unmatched and clean run from start to chequered flag for the Dutchman.
Léna Bühler held eighth place, followed by Bordàs, as they caught up with the Nosov-Fluxa duo which were fighthing for P6 during the initial laps of the race.
On lap 4, Dufek passed Goethe for the last podium spot and, successively, the Dane lost one more place to teammate Ten Brinke.
The MP Motorsport drivers battled to secure second place and ultimately it was Ten Brinke to make the winning move on Dufek at approximately the half-race distance.
In the middle of the pack, Léna Bühler dropped to P9 when Bordàs managed to pass the Swiss lady.
In the final stages of the first race, Mari Boya tried to reduce the gap from the race leader and set a couple a competitive laps - but his tyre wear forced him to give up P2 to Ten Brinke, the latter thus completing the first race of the weekend on the second step of the podium.
The Race 1 top-three positions saw Haverkort taking the win, followed by Ten Brinke and Boya.
Léna Bühler concluded Saturday's race with a tenth place that allowed her to bag more more important point for the championship standings.
The 2020 champion lined-up on pole for the second race as well, with fellow countryman Ten Brinke in second. Oliver Goethe and Josh Dufek were right behind them on the second row, while Léna Bühler placed on the sixth grid slot.
The first Sunday's race saw one dominator - Kas Haverkort - plus three other leading players: Ivan Nosov, Mari Boya and Léna Bühler.
The Dutch driver had the perfect getaway when the lights went out and drove away with a comfortable run, without any pressure from his teammates despite he couldn't extend his lead to over a second throughout the whole race duration.
Nosov finally broke MP Motorsport's dominance with a great performance.
The Russian driver, starting from fifth, made a series of spectacular passes during the race until he made it up to second place, just behind the leader Haverkort.
Mari Boya completed the podium and finished third after starting from the mid-pack.
The young Spaniard gained three positions in the opening lap thanks to a great start and made the final move for the podium on Lap 9, overtaking Ten Brinke.
But it was an outstanding performance for Léna Bühler as well: the young Swiss racer, after dropping a couple of positions in the first half of the race, was then able to re-claim sixth from Goethe mid-way through the race and then passed Dufek in the penultime lap for P5.
With this Top-five finish, Lena equalled her best seasonal result so far, previously recorded at Motorland Aragon two weeks ago.
A costly mistake then stopped the only female driver in the series at the green lights of race 3, which costed Léna Bühler the opportunity to end the season with another remarkable result.
Dropping to last from the twelfth starting position, the Drivex Team member was then protagonist of an fierce comeback through the field: one pass after the other, Léna Bühler showed again remarkable pace and made it back to her starting position, crossing the line in P12 at the chequered flag after swapping positions with Álex García on the final lap. She finished less than a second behind the Mexican after an exciting charge.
In the top of the field, Thomas Ten Brinke converted pole position into his first race victory and led the race from the start to finish. After running comfortable in second for the whole final race, Kas Haverkort engaged in a great battle with Mari Boya on the final lap.
The Spaniard tried the move at Turn 1 and was side to side with the Dutchman, but a strong defensive maneuver allowed Haverkort to hold on to the runner-up spot until the chequered flag.
Léna Bühler's final race of the 2020 Spanish F4 championship was somehow a summary of her first ever season in formula racing: she always showed great pace and proved to belong to the Top-5, but some unfortunate developments costed her further positive results. Overall, though, the balance of this 2020 rookie season is absolutely positive for the Swiss lady, who certainly looks to be one of the most promising female talents of the near future.
"What season in my first year in single seater", she commented after the Barcelona round.
"This year I learned a lot with the mistakes, I had very difficult times and moments of satisfaction, I never gave up, always giving my best. At the end it's not the result I wanted but the speed and progress is there!"
"I would just like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped and followed me this season: my team Drivex, my sponsors, my family, my manager, my osteopath.
See you next year for more!"