The 16-year-old competed his first wet race at the Ángel Nieto Circuit in Jerez, a trial by fire that he completed with great performance.
The Barcelona native was always in the top positions in each of the three rounds of the penultimate meeting of the F4 Spanish Championship and will arrive at his home career with runner-up options.
"I am leaving Jerez very happy, because we have closed the gap with the second in the general classification and I really want to race at home".
Pepe Martí leaves the penultimate round of the 2021 season of the F4 Spanish Championship, held in the Ángel Nieto Circuit in Jerez, with two more podiums in his overall scoring; the second of which was raced in wet conditions, an unprecedented setting for the driver. The 16-year-old Spaniard ended the weekend feeling satisfied after achieving third place in the driver standings with a shorter gap compared to second-placed in the championship, Sebastian Ogaard, one of his teammates at Campos Racing, a team supported by Auser, Renault and Dacia official dealer and workshop of the Movento group, that promotes young talent.
Martí who successfully completed Saturday’s free practice, proved he was going to be one of the names to take into consideration during this sixth round of the F4 Spanish Championship season held in the Andalusian Circuit. The young Catalan finished third and first in the two free practices and finished the first classification of the weekend as one of the favourites for pole position, which he missed in a session where the first 18 were separated by just a second.
Placed in third place on the grid for the first race of the weekend, Martí was conservative at the start and was outmatched by some of his rivals, which led him to fight for fifth position during the first lap with Ogaard. Although he had to defend himself from his pursuers in the last eight minutes, he crossed the line just behind the Danish and earned his presence in the top 5 after a penalty against Rik Koen. “In race 1 I lost three positions at the start because I tried not to risk it with the clutch and lost a lot there. I had a lot of speed and managed to keep pace with those in front, of whom I could have been with if I had managed to make a better start”, affirms the Campos Racing driver.
On Sunday, in the second race, Martí stuck behind Dilano van't Hoff and Vladislav Ryabov when starting from third position, a place that he maintained after the first Safety Car which entered the track in around the 8 last minutes of the race and a subsequent red flag in the last minute that neutralised any action in the Jerez Circuit. “I ended the race very happy; I had a good start and had a lot of pace, but Jerez is a circuit in which it is almost impossible to overtake so I maintained my start position from beginning to end” mentioned Pepe Martí.
For the third and last race of the weekend, Martí had achieved second place on the grid after setting a good second qualifying session, in which he was only 0.287 seconds behind the poleman, the already 2021 champion, Dilano Van't Hoff. The race starred a downpour that occurred right before the start, this signified the beginning of the first wet race of the entire season and a real challenge for the 16-year-old Spanish driver, who had no experience of these conditions in the Jerez track. After a cautious start, Martí brilliantly maintained third position until the safety car was released 20 minutes from the end due to a car sliding out of track. The race was relaunched with 8 minutes to finish in which the Barcelonian, who achieved the second fastest lap on the last lap, was close to stealing second position from driver in front, Enric Bordás.
“Sunday was a very positive day, although it was a shame that when those in front put four new wheels on, we had only put two. After finishing second in qualifying in the morning, we didn't want to risk it and saved the two new ones for the afternoon. The problem was that, as it rained, we couldn't use them. I had never driven in water in Jerez, unlike my rivals, so those who had more experience in those conditions made a bit of a difference at first, but afterwards I was quite fast. I leave Jerez very happy to have cut down the gap with the second in the championship, I’m now looking forward to Barcelona”, he concludes.
It should be highlighted that in the last three meetings of the season, Pepe Martí has stepped on the podium in six of the nine races held, with two victories, a second place and three third places. With these results he will arrive to the last round of the season in third position in the general driver standings (2º in the rookie standings) with 163 points, 33 being the danish Sebastian Ogaard, who is placed second. This last weekend of the season will be celebrated in the Circuit of Barcelona – Catalonia on the 13th and 14th of the following month of November. Until then, Pepe Martí will continue to prepare himself to close this first year of single seaters in style.