Difficult start to the F4 season for GRS in Jarama

A new Formula 4 Spanish Championship season is now started. The championship kicked off this weekend at Circuito del Jarama, a track where the results did not match the team’s ambitions and goals.

The 2024 Formula 4 Spanish Championship season is underway. Circuito del Jarama hosted the season opener, being the series’ first visit at the track in Madrid since 2020. It was a complicated weekend, in which we did not score points. It helped us, however, to keep learning in order to revert the situation

GRS Team’s drivers’ line-up consisted of Douwe Dedecker, who will do the entire season, and reigning Karting World Champion Kirill Kutskov. As it is now usual in F4 Spain, the field was packed, and the level of the competition was very high. Friday’s test proved how tight the gaps between drivers were, with more than 20 drivers separated by less than a second.

Our drivers worked hard to find their pace on a weekend that did not start as well as expected. The test was useful to keep working on the track and to evaluate the conditions. For Kutskov, it was his first time driving on this track. Weather conditions, with high temperatures, were another key factor over the whole meeting.

Coming into Saturday, we had two Free Practice sessions. We were still working on the pace, and our qualifying results were not ideal, with both cars out of the Top 30. On the race, however, both drivers improved significantly, gaining several positions on track. Kutskov finished in 20th place, with Dedecker in P24 despite an incident on the final laps.

Sunday’s action began with QP2. Kutskov kept improving and progressing as he qualified in P27, less than a second behind the Polesitter, while Dedecker found himself unable to complete a proper lap on his ideal pace.

Race 2 was interrupted by a red flag. Both of our drivers were once again fast and competitive. Kirill and Douwe managed to climb up spots and passed several cars on track. The Kyrgyz-licensed driver finished in 19th place, and the Belgian was 21st.

The final race was heavily influenced by numerous safety car periods, and a red flag. Our drivers took advantage of their rivals’ issues to climb up the order. Dedecker equalled his result from Race 2 as he saw the chequered flag in P21. Kutskov recovered after going into the gravel and finished in 23rd position.

It was not an easy start to the season. The team did not have the expected pace despite the job done and the efforts to turn the situation around. The drivers’ performance during all races was the most positive aspect of the weekend. We will keep working to regain our pace and be stronger in upcoming meetings.

F4 Spanish Championship will return in June 7-9. Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, in Portugal, will host the season’s second round. There, Alexander Jacoby will finally be able to make his Formula 4 debut.