A wet and wild kick-off

3.1 mins

The Formula 4 South East Asia Championship – fueled by Petron – is getting off to a great start here at the Sepang International Circuit as the fastest teens in the region prepare to go out on track. However at press time, the circuit has been enveloped by dark ominous clouds threating rain.

At exactly 9am, the pit light flashed green and cars filed out of the pit lane in an orderly fashion.

Two laps later and it was 2016 champion Presley Martono clocking the speediest times around the 5.543km-long circuit, with a best time of 2.14.944 in the cool morning air.

By the fifth lap, it was reported that the southern tip of the track was starting to get wet as the incoming rain clouds began to dampen the tarmac.

The field had set out at the beginning of the session on slick rubbers, so the newly-anticipated wet conditions would not be ideal for them to continue.  

By the seventh lap of the practice session, the rain had started to pour. The field retreated to the pits where MERITUS.GP mechanics broke out the wet weather Hankook tyres to deal with the downpour.

#23 of Muizz Musyaffa was the first back on to the rain-soaked tarmac, followed by Alessandro Ghiretti, Kubo Masataka and Allister Yoong.

However the talented drivers faced a tough time controlling their machines amidst the wet conditions. Alister Yoong was one of the first victims of the rain, as he slid off track in Turn 4.

Lap times plummeted in the rain, as the young drivers were forced to rein themselves in.  Learning to control their speed and handle their race cars in all weathers is essential to their racecraft training.

As safety takes priority in these conditions, the marshals waved the chequered flag thus concluding the first Free Practice session of the Formula 4 South East Asia Championship.

For more action on these amazing drivers and the Championship, head over to the F4 SEA Facebook page and catch the action Live. Please visit https://www.facebook.com/Formula4SEA/ to catch ‘em all.

F4 SEA will be heading out for Qualifying at 10.50am (GMT+8). Get the live timings at https://livetiming.getraceresults.com/sepang?nomobile=true#screen-results 

Race 1 will be streamed Live at http://fiaf4.asia/2018_event-1_race-1_fb_live