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  • Writer's pictureIGOR LAERTE

Rafaela Ferreira makes history by scoring the first ever female race-win in F4 Brazil

After recording important results in the previous rounds, such as 2 pole positions and 3 podiums, Rafaela Ferreira made history once again - this time by becoming the first woman to win a race in the Brazilian Formula 4 championship.


Rafa Ferreira F4 Brasil
Photo credits: Marcelo de Melo

Just over two months since the second round of the 2024 season, held in April, F4 Brazil returned to action last weekend at the Velocittà Circuit in Mogi-Guaçu. The long wait was however compensated by another historic feat from Rafaela Ferreira: the 19-year-old driver, who had already scored 2 pole positions and 3 podium finishes this year, has in fact climbed the highest step of the overall podium, in spectacular fashion.


Rafaela Ferreira's strong performance began to show in the free practice sessions, where she placed in the top 3 in all of them. In qualifying, the driver of TMG Racing car #18 secured P4 for the starting grid of race 1 and P3 for race 2. The other female racer on track, Cecília Rabelo, took P12 and P10 respectively.


Race 1

On the morning of Saturday, June 29th, 12 drivers took to the Velocittà Circuit track. Due to penalties received in previous rounds, Rafaela Ferreira lost 6 positions on the grid and had to start race 1 in P9. Despite this setback, she performed well and managed to move up two positions in the first few laps.


However, a drive-through penalty for incorrect alignment during the starting procedure hindered her mission to recover from her initial starting position. She dropped to the back of the grid but still recovered, eventually crossing the finish line in 9th place.


Cecília Rabelo gained 4 positions and finished in 8th place but received a 10-second penalty due to a collision with Rogério Grotta. Thus, Ferreira was promoted to P8. Matheus Comparatto was the winner.


Race 2

With the result of the first race determining the starting grid for race 2, Rafa Ferreira occupied pole position once again this season, giving her a great chance of fighting for her first career victory. When the lights went out, Ferreira did a great job of responding to pressure from her teammate Álvaro Cho, who was in second.


Rafa Ferreira F4 Brasil
Photo credits: Victor Eleutério

She continued to defend against her rivals until lap 3 when a collision between Cecília Rabelo and Guilherme Favarete caused the race to be neutralized, and the safety car entered the track. The green flag was waved with just over 10 minutes remaining, and Rafaela Ferreira maintained her solid lead.


Rafa Ferreira F4 Brasil
Photo credits: Victor Eleutério

Maintaining a strong pace and distancing herself from Cho by more than 3 seconds, she once again wrote her name in the history books of F4 Brazil, achieving her first career victory from lights to flag - and also becoming the first woman to climb to the highest step of the podium in the series!


Rafaela Ferreira shared her feelings about the historic result at the end of the race:


“The feeling is of a task accomplished! Everything that happened in the first race influenced the second. So we started well, defended the position and made a good restart after the safety car. It went really well! I dedicate this victory mainly to my parents, who are part of it all!”


Race 3

After a sunny day on Saturday, the 12 drivers returned to action on Sunday morning in wet track conditions, bringing an extra challenge regarding tyre management. When the start of the race was authorized, Rafaela Ferreira, who was in fourth position, had troubles and fell to P8.


Cecília Rabelo maintained her position in the top 10 initially but ended up involved in a collision with Lucca Zucchini on lap 2. Facing a complicated weekend, she was forced to retire from the race early again. After the restart, Rafaela Ferreira performed well, making great overtakes and recovering positions until reaching P6.


On the last lap, a collision during an attempt to overtake her teammate Ciro Sobral left the front wing of her car #18 damaged. Ferreira still managed to rejoin the track and complete the lap but finished in eighth place. Álvaro Cho won the race, and as a result, he overtook Rafa Ferreira in the drivers' standings, which is led by Matheus Comparatto with 137 points.


Rafaela Ferreira, who was tied with Ethan Nobels in P2, now occupies the fourth position with 83 points over the 9 races held so far. Cecília Rabelo sits in 12th with 30 points, but there are only 3 points separating her from the top 10.


They will have the chance to fight again for points in the 4th round, which will be held between July 27th and 28th at the Ayrton Senna Circuit in Goiânia.

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