Tina Hausmann claims personal best finish in Italian F4 after charging races
Updated: Jul 26
Tina Hausmann enjoyed a highly positive weekend at Paul Ricard, securing her personal best finish in Italian F4, a Female Trophy win and her first top-10 in the rookies classification while charging up the field and gaining 25 positions across the three races.
Swiss racer Tina Hausmann enjoyed a very positive weekend at Circuit Paul Ricard, in the South of France, for the fifth round of the 2023 Italian Formula 4 Championship. The racecar rookie has in fact secured her best finish to date in the uber-competitive series, as she closes in on her first top-15. Despite tricky qualifying sessions, Hausmann was the protagonist of impressive recovery drives and gained 25 positions across the three races - scoring two top-20 finishes and making up 12 places in race 2 alone to claim her best result to date, which gained her victory in the Female Trophy for the fourth time this year. Her weekend at the former home of the French Grand Prix was off to a great start, with hugely promising practice sessions on Friday which saw the AKM Motorsport driver running in the top-20 of a strong 37-car field in FP2, after she had made a 1.3 second improvement in between the two sessions. In qualifying, Hausmann did improve her previous reference with a 2:06.443 in Q2, but would have to start from P30 and P28 in the first two contests of the weekend - forcing the Swiss talent to make up for it with some passes in the three races. At the start, US Racing's Kacper Sztuka had a perfect getaway and got ahead of pole-sitter Ugo Ugochukwu (Prema Racing) with a great move around the outside of turn 1. Ugochuwku and Prema teammate James Wharton banged wheels after Signes but both could continue without damage, albeit allowing Sztuka to open a small gap ahead. Taponen also joined the battle but couldn't get ahead of his teammates. Hausmann, from P30, had a blistering first lap and made up six places, as the Swiss driver started to charge up the field in the action-packed yet clean first laps. Showing amazing pace, Tina then chased Matteo Quintarelli for P23. Positions settle down in the second half of the race and Kacper Sztuka took victory for US Racing following a faultless drive for the Pole, who preceded Ugo Ugochukwu and James Wharton. Tina Hausmann had a strong recovery drive to finish P23, making up seven places, but unfortunately a post-race penalty demoted the AKM Motorsport driver to P27.
On a sunny and warm Sunday morning, Hausmann lined up in 28th place for the second race of the weekend, aiming to charge up the field once again. With a brilliant first lap, Tina immediately moved up to P22. An accident involving Riuqi Liu and Aurelia Nobels at turn 3 brought out the safety car at the end of the first lap. Second-placed James Wharton had stalled on the grid, as Kacpèer Sztuka made the most of a sensational launch to pull away from Prema's Tuukka Taponen and Arvid Lindbald. At the restart, Hausmann continued to climb the order and got ahead of Matteo Quintarelli who spun at the Mistral chicane. She would reach the top 20 and clinch P18 by passing Kabir Anurag and then James Wharton, who eventually retired after the difficult start. Taponen couldn't keep up the pace with Sztuka, while Lindblad and Ugochukwu fought for third: the Red Bull-backed driver closed the door aggressively on the main straight, but Ugochukwu kept the pressure on and completed the pass for the podium after a two lap battle with 4 minutes to go. Sztuka never set a foot wrong and held to win his second race of the weekend, ahead of Taponen, Ugochukwu, Lindblad and David, who rounded out the top five 10 seconds adrift. Tina Hausmann gained 12 positions in race 2 alone to finish P16, in an extremely positive performance that resulted in a Female Trophy win and her personal best finish of the year - topping a P19 finish in the opening round at Imola - as well as her first top ten in the rookies classification.
Later in the afternoon, Hausmann had another blistering start and moved from P30 to P23 over the course of the first lap of race 3, preceding Aurelia Nobels and Victoria Blokhina, all making up places. The three young women battled for the lead of the Female Trophy and, while Blokhina and Nobels traded positions, Hausmann remained in control and chased the cars ahead.
Looking to bounce back after the disappointment of race 2, James Wharton found a way past Sztuka, who had again taken the lead at the start. The safety car, though, neutralized the action once AKM Motorsport's Frederik Lund went off at the Mistral chicane. Hausman, Nobels and Blokhina had gained more places, climbing to P21, P22 and P23 respectively. Hausmann had a perfect restart and slotted into 18th place, ahead of Nicola Lacorte. On the final lap, though, Tina lost three places to Lacorte, Nobels and Pradel, as Aurelia snatched the top spot in the Female Trophy. With a few corners to go, Wharton slowed down with a puncture and Kacper Sztuka went through, taking his third win of the weekend. With plenty of battles throughout the three races and having shown great pace, Hausmann recorded her fifth top-20 finish of the year with P20, gaining again 10 positions alone in race 3. Her spectacular charges are testament of her continuous progression in her rookie season, as she will target higher qualifying positions in the coming rounds to capitalize on her speed.
"The learning process is so big and each session I learn so much and improve a lot - which is the important thing", Hausmann told us after the weekend.
"Overall I'm happy with the weekend - I was happy to show what I learnt and it was fun."
"I leave France feeling stronger on many aspects, that's always the main goal", Hausmann commented, as Italian Formula 4 takes a break before returning on 29 September-1 October at Mugello.