The third race weekend for a Finnish F4 driver Luka Sammalisto (16) in the F4 Italian Championship series at Vallelunga, Italy, was fraught with challenges.

Preparations for the race weekend began on a high note for the young Finn. During Friday’s free practice, Sammalisto showcased competitive speed, clocking the second fastest lap time among 36 drivers in the morning session. The R-ace GP team, which Sammalisto represents, dedicated the afternoon to final testing and fine-tuning to ensure optimal equipment settings for Saturday’s qualifyings. Despite the preparations, the qualifying session did not unfold as planned. Nevertheless, Sammalisto’s consistent performance secured him 16th, 12th, and 10th place.

Saturday’s first race start quickly turned problematic. On the very first lap, a teammate collided with Sammalisto’s car, dropping him to 24th place. The race took a dramatic turn a few laps before the checkered flag when three drivers ahead of Sammalisto crashed, blocking the entire track. With no clear path, Sammalisto swerved into the sand area, where his car became stuck, ending his race prematurely.

During the second race start on Saturday, another incident transpired. After several laps, an unforeseen maneuver by a fellow competitor dashed Sammalisto’s hopes for a strong performance and points, as he was positioned in a promising 10th place at the time.

Sunday continued the pattern of misfortune. In the third race of the weekend, Sammalisto was derailed off the track due to a delayed braking maneuver by the driver behind him. This incident resulted in a damaged car and a 22nd place finish for Sammalisto.

– When at every race during the weekend, your race is ruined for reasons other than self-inflicted, it’s frustrating. When things happen that you can’t influence on your own, it eats away at a man. Disappointing in terms of sportsmanship.

– Concentration or skillful overtaking won’t suffice if a fellow racer veers into your path, or if a collision from the driver behind causes damage to your car. Setbacks are an inherent part of a motorsport. Navigating through such challenges is not always mentally easy, particularly on weekends like this.

Sammalisto also shared his frustration on behalf of his team.
– It’s really sad for the whole R-ace GP team. They have worked hard to close the gap to the top teams. It has been successful and the direction of development is correct.

– If there is something positive to dig out of the weekend, then mental strength and determination will only be strengthened by the experiences of this weekend.

– Every race weekend has its own special spices, and this weekend offered the bitterest of them. The work will continue with the team persistently and determinedly towards Mugello, where in a month’s time the fourth race weekend of the F4 Italian Championship series will take place.


Finnish formula driver Luka Sammalisto is improving his performance as the season progresses in the Italian F4 series. The Imola race offered a lot of positives but also technical challenges, which left Luka from the rookie driver’s podium position just one place short twice.
Earlier this year, Sammalisto also took another step closer to professional motorsport. Luka signed a management contract with the Italian Minardi Management. The company’s owner, Giovanni Minardi, acts as Luka’s manager and handles all contract negotiations. Sammalisto is the first Finnish driver on Minardi’s list, which also includes F2 driver Andrea Kimi Antonelli.

Luka Sammalisto: It was great to become a part of Minardi Management. Giovanni is a true professional and takes care of practically all matters and negotiations related to me. Final decisions are made together, but everything else is handled through the manager. Giovanni always approaches things from the driver’s perspective, which is important for a young driver.

The Imola race weekend began with three collective tests and two official free practice sessions. Sammalisto’s test program included a long list of technical adjustments in preparation for the weekend’s races.

Luka Sammalisto: The collective tests went pretty much according to the program, that was, searching for settings. We tested a lot of different things and didn’t expect any top times at all. However, in the combined times of the three tests, I was in 15th place, which was decent. The Imola track felt good right from the first run.

The official free practices went even better for Luka, with positions of P10 and P8. The car worked well with both old and new tires, and expectations for the qualifying sessions were high.

Luka Sammalisto: The speed improved further in the free practices, and I got a good feeling for the car with both old and new tires. The gap to the top was just a few tenths of a second. But the qualifying sessions did not go as smoothly. The first qualifying session was disrupted by numerous yellow flags, and due to a detached front wing, I only managed to do one fast lap, resulting in a very unsatisfactory P14. In the second qualifying session, technical problems continued, and I ended up in P18.

The weekend’s three races involved a lot of driving behind the safety car but also intense racing and overtaking. Sammalisto showed his speed and fighting spirit, resulting two times P4 among the rookies.

Luka Sammalisto: The first race started well, but crashes in the early laps brought out the safety car. The rest of the race was tough, and I even went off into the gravel briefly, but finished in P12 and P4 among the rookies. The podium was close, Luka says. The second race started also well, and I had climbed to P9 and P3 among the rookies when the safety car came out. At this point, the race director noticed that my rear wing had come loose and flagged me to the pits a lap before the finish. The third race was my best driving of the weekend. A good start, good speed, and good overtakes. I finished P7 and P4 among the rookies, which of course is a bit frustrating.

The Imola weekend did not meet the set goals. Numerous technical problems significantly affected performance and speed. When the car worked, Luka showed his speed and potential.

Luka Sammalisto: I have mixed feelings about Imola. There were many technical challenges that were out of my control. It’s good to remember, though, that without the technical issues, we are fast and competitive, which gives confidence for the future. The next race will be held in Vallelunga in 14.-16.6.

More information about Luka Sammalisto:


The Finnish driver born in 2007, Luka Sammalisto joins Minardi Management.
Luka’s first season in single-seater started already in the first months of this year, participating at the UAE F4 Championship, starting already once from the front row in Race 2 in the last event in Dubai, and now he is ready to attack the most competitive F4 Championship, the Italian one.

Giovanni Minardi: “I am very happy to start working with Luka. We met a few days ago in Imola during the first F4 test sessions and I immediately got on well with him. I am convinced that together we can achieve excellent goals.
Luka is a very intelligent guy with an impressive desire to learn, I immediately noticed how much he dedicates himself to this sport, he leaves nothing to chance, he studies everything down to the smallest detail and above all he has a very good ability to learn extremely fast the tracks, when he runs on them for first time.”

Luka Sammalisto: “This is my first season in single-seaters and I am very happy with my collaboration with Minardi Management. They have long professional experience in motorsport. I look forward to working with Giovanni Minardi and I believe that together we will achieve our goal.”


After the great success of Minardi Management in bringing Andrea Kimi Antonelli into the Mercedes F1 Academy in 2018, we are happy to announce another important achievement of ours. Giovanni Minardi managed to get the driver James Egozi into the Red Bull Junior Team. In 2023 we had already included him in the private PHM Racing Academy, giving him the opportunity to participate in an entire season in the Italian F4 Championship, however in 2024, thanks to the new collaboration just concluded with Red Bull he will have the opportunity to increase his programs to aim for its ultimate goals. Minardi Management and Giovanni Minardi demonstrate once again that they give each driver of their Agency the opportunity to open all possible doors, taking advantage of the excellent network of knowledge and respect towards Giovanni Minardi himself within the world of Motorsport and ensure its drivers a future in this sport.

Giovanni Minardi: “Who would have thought that in just two years of a management contract, we would have managed to get here. Having included him last year at the last moment in the private Academy program of the PHM Racing team and now in Red Bull, which allowed him and will allow him in the future to race like a professional, we believe we have achieved a true sportive miracle according to James Egozi.
Now it’s all in the hands of him and Red Bull to find the right path to reach the final goal, that is, Formula 1.
At this point we believe that there are no longer the conditions to continue our journey together, because it will be impossible to obtain more than what we have achieved in these two years and therefore our paths will separate, but with the awareness on our part of having done an outstanding job for James.”


He stood on the podium twice in this “Formula X Italian Series” round, winning Race 2, which marked his first triumph in car racing

The last race of Mattia Bucci‘s sports season in “Formula X Italian Series”, specifically in the “FX Pro Series” category, is over. The event took place at Misano Adriatico where he achieved the best possible result, conquering his first win in single-seaters and sealing a round that saw him as a protagonist.

Despite uncertain weather conditions on Friday, with rain briefly affecting the circuit, the driver from Abruzzo quickly established himself at the top of the leaderboard: he secured third place in the first Free Practice session and set the fastest time in the second session. During Qualifying, he recorded the third-best lap time of the day after a close battle for Pole Position, which eluded him due to traffic on track.

On Saturday, the young talent from Catignano returned to the podium, finishing third in Race 1. Although he initially secured second place in the early stages of the race, he later lost it. The magic happened in Race 2 on Sunday: starting from the fourth position on the grid, Bucci wasted no time in gaining a crucial second position, which he converted into a victory thanks to a penalty imposed on the driver ahead of him. This triumph was the result of his exemplary performance on the track.

Mattia Bucci expressed his thoughts on this significant result, stating
“This win is very important for me and my family, as it represents the culmination of our sacrifices. I don’t know how to describe this feeling, i’m incredulous! I never expected to achieve such a result in only my third career round in car racing. With a total of three podium finishes in 2023, we established a solid foundation to build upon in 2024. I want to dedicate this success to my family, my manager Giovanni Minardi and Minardi Management, Sandro Giuliani and the entire SG Motors team, my staff and sponsors and i want to thank all those who have supported me throughout me journey. I will immediately begin working for next year.”

Matteo Gaudieri
Press Officer Mattia Bucci


The difficulties faced in Magione were part of a learning process that will culminate in Misano Adriatico, the venue for the final round of the “Formula X Italian Series”

The prestigious and historic Misano World Circuit, named in memory of the late Marco Simoncelli, will host in this weekend the final round of the “FX Pro Series”, a prominent championship within the “Formula X Italian Series” landscape.

The SG Motors’ Tatuus F4 T-014 will once again be driven by Mattia Bucci, who is eager to redeem himself after the challenges encountered in Magione. However, those difficulties have been valuable in terms of his learning process as the Abruzzo-born driver approaches his third race weekend in single-seaters.

The event’s schedule has undergone a change compared to what was seen in Varano de’ Melegari and the Umbrian stage: “The Flash” will hit the track from Friday for Free Practice and Qualifying while the races, namely Race 1 and Race 2, will take place on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

“To race on a historic circuit like Misano is an honor for me, it’s another small milestone achieved after so many sacrifices – said Mattia – I am very happy about it and can’t wait to get in the car. I want to thank my family and sponsors for the opportunity they have given me, Giovanni Minardi and the entire Minardi Management for their help and support during this period, Sandro Giuliani and SG Motors for allowing me to continue with them, and all my staff.”

The race will be broadcasted on the Facebook page of “FX Racing Weekend – GT4 Italy” and on the YouTube channel “Formula X Italian Series – GT4Italy.”

Matteo Gaudieri
Press Office Mattia Bucci


wo fifth places are the result with which “The Flash” returns home from the Autodromo dell’Umbria. A different weekend from Varano de’ Melegari but important in the growth process

It was not an easy weekend for Mattia Bucci in Magione for the penultimate round of the “Formula X Italian Series” category “FX Pro Series”. The young Abruzzo representative had to face some unexpected difficulties on the track, which, from the perspective of a debutant, proved useful in expanding his experience for the upcoming events.

The Free Practice sessions on Saturday saw Bucci qualify in fifth position in both sessions, a result that was also replicated in Qualifying: the first sign of how this race in Umbria was different from the story lived in Varano de’ Melegari.

Race 1 started with a red flag due to an accident that fortunately did not involve Mattia; as a result, the race duration was halved and, furthermore, the Race Direction changed the starting procedure to a rolling start. Starting in fifth position, Mattia then crossed the finish line without any changes.

The achieved result allowed him to line up his Tatuus F4 T-014 on the second spot of the starting grid for Race 2. Thanks once again to a good start, Bucci was able to defend his position at the start of the second of the two Sunday races, acquiring the right to attempt an assault on the race leader. Unfortunately, a difficult tyre management then caused a loss of performance that saw the Catignano ace slip to fifth under the checkered flag.

Mattia Bucci commented on this atypical weekend: “It was a very formative weekend for me, even though we didn’t bring home the result we wanted. I am very happy with how the team and I have faced all the difficulties that arose. Now we have a month to work hard for the next race. I want to thank Giovanni Minardi and Minardi Management for their support, Sandro Giuliani and the entire SG Motors team who have worked hard to provide me with the best possible package, my athletic trainer Walter Marini and his staff, my staff, my family, and all my sponsors for their constant support.”

Matteo Gaudieri
Ufficio Stampa Mattia Bucci


A change in the schedule of the “Formula X Italian Series” has allowed for an additional round of the “FX Pro Series” championship: the chosen venue is the Autodromo dell’Umbria in Magione
Mattia Bucci is ready to hit the track and battle it out in this weekend in the “FX Pro Series” category, a weekend that was originally scheduled without any events in the “Formula X Italian Series”. A decision by the organizers regarding the calendar has brought life to the dates from October 7th to 8th 2023, deleting the silence that would have surrounded the Autodromo dell’Umbria in Magione, the next stop in “The Flash’s” career.

After a great performance in the last round at Varano de’ Melegari, where he achieved a podium finish in Race 2, the goal set by the Abruzzese rookie is to continue what was shown at the circuit located in the province of Parma, further showcasing the results of a challenging yet formative growth journey.

Sandro Giuliani’s SG Motors and his staff will suppport once again the ace from Catignano with their Tatuus F4 T-014.

“I am very happy to be able to return to the Magione circuit for the new penultimate round of the ‘Formula X Italian Series'” Mattia declared. “In the past two weeks, after returning from Varano de’ Melegari, I have been working hard in the gym with my trainers to improve both my physical and mental strength in preparation for the end of the season. I am excited to be back battling on track with the other drivers, and my goal is to improve the results achieved previously. I want to thank my family and SG Motors for allowing me to get back on track, my manager Giovanni Minardi and the entire Minardi Management for their invaluable advice, my trainer Walter Marini and his staff for the work they have done in these days, and all my sponsors who support me day after day. I will push to the maximum to achieve the best possible result.”


A fourth and a third place were the results achieved by the Abruzzese representative in the two races of the Formula X Pro Series, part of the “Formula X Italian Series” championship
Mattia Bucci successfully completed the weekend at Varano de’ Melegari in the “Formula X Italian Series”, an event that saw him make his debut in single-seater racing for the first time in his career after some test programs he has done so far.
The weekend started on Saturday with the official free practice sessions, where Mattia managed to set the fastest time in the second of the two sessions, showing immediately a great feeling with the Tatuus F4 T-014 of SG Motors.

The Sunday program included the qualifying sessions in the morning, which ended with the fourth best time. In Race 1, due to a less than brilliant start compared to his much more experienced opponents, he founded himself involved in overtakes and duels that brought him back to fourth position, a placement that would be useful for taking advantage of the reverse grid format in Race 2 and starting third in the afternoon race.

The determination that has always distinguished the ace from Catignano allowed him to climb up again in the second of the two races, once again due to an unfortunate start. After crossing the finish line, Mattia was able to celebrate his first podium in single-seaters in parc fermé.

Here are Mattia Bucci’s statements: “I am very happy to have achieved this result. I have made immense sacrifices in preparation for this debut. This result is significant for my path as a driver, but I must not treat it as a destination, but as a beginning towards bigger goals. Standing on the podium was special, especially after seeing the emotion of my parents. I want to thank Giovanni Minardi and Minardi Management for the incredible work they do for me, my athletic trainer Walter Marini and his staff, all the sponsors who support me, and last but not least, my family.”


After a long preparation process, which saw Mattia Bucci involved in various testing sessions on the track, the ace from Catignano will finally make his racing debut
The event in which he will be the protagonist is the penultimate round of the “Formula X Italian Series,” in the “FX Pro Series” category, and it will take place at the Riccardo Paletti racetrack in Varano De’ Melegari, a circuit that is dear to Mattia due to his past experiences in testing sessions. The race weekend includes the following dates: September 23rd and 24th.
Mattia will compete with the Tatuus F4 T-014 from SG Motors, a structure that is friendly and loyal to the Catignano representative and that allowed the young driver to make the first step from karting to single-seaters.
Mattia Bucci commented on his impending debut like this: “Finally, the moment I’ve been waiting for almost a year has arrived: my first race. I am very happy and excited to be on track next weekend for the penultimate event of the Formula X Italian Series. I will try to achieve the best possible result and, above all, gain valuable experience that will be crucial for the course of the season. I sincerely thank my whole family, especially my father who, together with my agents, will allow me to be on the track in Varano; the sponsors, and last but not least, Giovanni Minardi and Minardi Management, who are always very close to me. As I always say, I enjoy these challenges and I feel ready to fight on the track!”