F4 Spain: Lena Bühler crashed out after incident filled race 1
Lena Bühler, Spanish Formula 4 only female driver, had a very promising start of the Le Castellet weekend, but had an unfortunate crash that took her out of an incident-filled first race as she was battling for P8.
Lena Buhler, the Spanish F4 only female driver, had a very promising start of her second race weekend in Formula 4, as the Swiss racer was fifth in the second practice session in a very crowded grid of 21-cars. "I would like to improve everything in general and take one more step." - said Lena before the French round at Le Castellet - "I want to do even better than the first race." "My goal is to finish in the top 5 or even a podium."
After the 15-minutes qualifying dominated by traffic, Lena was tenth but showed plenty of pace to recover up the order in Race 1. She was the second fastest Drivex racer, as Filip Ugran topped the timesheets for Jenzer Motorsport.
Kas Haverkort, Mari Boya - who was fastest in the morning's practice session - Oliver Goethe and Joshua Dufek again put the MP Motorsport cars high up the order. Under the heat of the Circuit Paul Ricard, the young Swiss lady was eager to make up positions and top her eighth-place best finish of the Navarra season opener.
The start proved immediately troubled: MP Motorsport teammates Joshua Dufek and Enzo Joullie collided on the main straight as the lights went out - Dufek was collected after having stalled on the grid.
A lengthy Safety Car followed - with the two hugely damaged Tatuus F4 cars stranded on the start-finish straight. Lena Buhler had a good start and advanced to ninth, before attacking her Drivex teammate Ivan Nosov just before the Safety Car board was shown, which freezed positions.
The restart came with less than 12 minutes left on the clock, as Filip Ugran led Kas Havekort and Mari Boya. Buhler had a slower restart and had to defend from Javier Sagrera - who moved up to ninth. A few laps later though, the Swiss racer could re-claim her position and started chasing again Nosov. Lena dived on the inside at the last corner, but the Russian held off. Nevertheless, the 23-year old lady seemed faster and, held up by her teammate, she tried to find a way past into eighth place.
Jasin Ferati went past Fluxa, while the battle between the MP cars of Haverkort and Boya allowed Ugran to gain a couple of seconds - enough to manage his lead.
On the seventh lap, a big crash for Buhler brought to an early end her charge up the order: as she was alonsgide her competitor, the two made contact and her car flipped into the run-off area. Despite the heavily damaged car, Lena was luckily unhurt.
After a Safety Car-interruped race, Ugran won unchallenged with a 2.5 seconds gap from Havekort. Boya could not move ahead of his teammate and was third, preceding Francesco Simonazzi, Oliver Goethe and Jasin Ferati - who could hold on to sixth from the attacks of Lorenzo Fluxa. Nosov was eighth, ahead of Sagrera and Eriksen, rounding out the top-10.
Lena Buhler made her way back to the paddock visibly - and understandably - angry about the incident, which is currently under review by the stewards.
With the next Spanish F4 session going underway on Sunday morning at 09:00 CEST, Drivex team will hopefully fix Buhler's car in time for the second day of racing at Circuit Paul Ricard.