Almost eight months after Olli famously stood on the top step of the podium at Vallelunga in all three races during his Italian F4 campaign, he is now back this time for round two of the Formula Regional European Championship. After taking a victory at the season opener on his debut in the car Olli is confident his success at Vallelunga will continue.
It very could and perhaps should have been two victories at Paul Ricard for Olli rather than one after he was driven off the road on lap one, but Olli still went above and beyond everyone’s expectations with two fourth place finishes to add to his win.
Now quickly feeling settled into the car and beating proven drivers in F3, Olli’s approach between Paul Ricard and Vallelunga has shifted slightly with race wins now the focus. Being a new championship many were unsure what to expect at the season opener but with that now done and dusted Olli has recognised who his main competitors will be this season.
With all that said Paul Ricard was also a learning experience and Vallelunga will be too. Olli is still adapting to what is a big step up from F4 and one thing he seemed to adapt very quickly to was managing tyre wear. It’ll be another thing that certainly comes into play this weekend around Vallelunga particularly when we reach the third and final race.
As for the circuit it stretches 4km in length and is made up of fifteen corners. The main overtaking spots are turns four and seven, turn four in particular is a major one as the cars will be flat out from the exit of turn fifteen all the way down to T4 and it’s heavy braking zone. The drivers will then be back on the throttle before approaching the braking zone of turn seven.
The second half of the lap is the polar opposite to the first with a slow section sandwiched in between two flowing ones. It was around the second half where Olli particularly excelled last year helping him build enough of a gap to be safe down to turn four.
Qualifying will be key as ever to place yourself well for the run down to turn four as there will be a high chance of some dramas in the mid field.
Olli Caldwell: “I am really looking forward to being back in Vallelunga this weekend. I have very happy memories here from my F4 racing and I’m hoping to create even more. Round one was a very positive start to the season, now we know we have the pace I am confident we can take even more victories.”
In both of Olli’s appearances at Vallelunga he has successfully stood on the podium in all of his races. When he first raced there in June 2017 on his Italian F4 debut he took three rookie podium finishes before taking three overall victories the following year. Can he keep that run going in 2019?
All three races will be streamed live on - http://www.f3regional.com/STREAMING
Timetable (local time):
Free Practice 1 - 09:00 (40 mins)
Free Practice 2 - 13:50
Qualifying 1 - 09:40 (15 mins)
Qualifying 2 - 10:05
Race One - 16:05 (28 mins + 1 lap)
Race Two - 08:30
Race Three - 16:15