top of page

Pepe Martí returns to the podium of the Spanish Formula 4 in Portimao

The Campos Racing driver was third in the second race of the three held this past weekend and proved once again that he is one of the fastest in the competition.

In the first race he was forced to abandon due to a racing incident whilst fighting for second position, whilst on the third he finished 12th after his car stalled on the starting grid.

“The best thing is that we were very fast and we got back on the podium. The third race was quite frustrating, we did the fastest lap two tenths ahead and we had a pace that surpassed the one of the race leaders, so it's a shame we didn't have a good start”

The third round of the F4 Spanish Championship 2021 has left a bittersweet taste for Pepe Martí, who has achieved a podium in the second of the three races held this weekend at the Portuguese circuit of Algarve, in Portimao, but has ran out of scoring options in the other two. In the first, held on Friday, a race incident ended with his abandonment when he was fighting for third and second places, while in the last meeting on Saturday he was 12th after climbing eleven places. One more step in the training and learning process of the Barcelona driver from the Campos Racing team in his single-seaters debut season, in which Auser, the official Renault and Dacia dealer and workshop of the Movento group, has been involved to promote young talents.

Whatever the outcome of the competitions, whether he was luckier or not, or finishing higher or lower in the classification, Pepe Martí has always proved the same: he is one of the fastest drivers in the Spanish F4 championship. This weekend he has done it again, managing to take over records such as: second in the 'free practice' 2, third in the 'qualifying' 1, second in the 'qualifying' 2 and fastest lap on the third race on Saturday.

Fortunately, sports are not mathematics and race incidents, as well as dozens of other variables, can tip the balance in favor or against. And that is what happened in this third meeting of the season, in which the first test ended too early for Pepe Martí. The young driver, that just turned 16, started third on the grid with used wheels, while most of his rivals opted to fit two new tires. That complicated the initial laps for him and was overtaken by Daniel Macia and Quique Bordás. But as the minutes passed, his tires' performance stabilised until he was able to regain a position with Bordás on lap six, placing himself fourth. Soon after, he pinned Daniel Macia and Rik Koen on his radar. He had what it took to be second, but when he launched himself into Koen, the two cars touched and were knocked out halfway during the first race.

The accident entailed a three-place penalty on the grid for Martí, which meant he would start sixth in the second race (that same Saturday), with a shorter format: 18 minutes plus one lap, instead of the 25 minutes plus one lap format used for the other two meetings. As soon as he started, he won two places that allowed him to rise to a looming fourth position for his rivals. The Barcelonian showed a fast pace since the beginning, and in the second lap he managed to place himself third after passing Quique Bordás. In front of him he had the following objective: Dilano Van’t Hoff, the leader of the championship. It was, however, no longer possible to improve the third position, with which Pepe Martí crossed the finish line.

The magnificent result that he had just achieved, raised hopes for the third and final test of the weekend. This was the ideal opportunity that both the driver and team had generated in their strategy to fight for the victory. The Catalan started from the first row, in second position, and the most important thing: he did it with the four new tires, unlike the rest. Everything suggested a promising race, but when the traffic lights went out, Martí's car stalled and when he was able to recover, the rest of the drivers were already far ahead from him. Far from giving up, he decided to push harder and from the 23rd and last position he started a grand overtaking spectacle. Ten in total on track! At a rate of practically one per lap, he overtook rival after rival while also setting the fastest lap at 1:46.165 until finishing 12th (he rose from 13th to 12th due to a penalty to Branden Lee Oxley), at two places away from the points. There was no time for more.

“It was quite frustrating, because we were very fast. We did the fastest lap two tenths ahead and we had a pace that surpassed that of the race leaders, so it's a shame we didn't get off to a good start. I did not expect the traffic lights to be on for so long, I pulled too much clutch and the car stalled. From there it was very difficult because I was about five seconds away from the others. When I started to have pace, I did what I could, but from 23rd place you can't do much more. It was a lesson. You learn from mistakes and we will move forward. The best thing is that we were very fast and we got back on the podium ”, says Pepe Martí.

The next stop for the F4 Spanish Championship will be on July 31 and August 1 in Alcañiz, at the Motorland Aragón circuit.


bottom of page