Théophile Naël on track in Kuwait in the F4 UAE championship

Saintéloc Racing on their maiden full-time season: ‘We have the capacity to be on the top’

Fresh-faced French outfit Saintéloc Racing made their maiden outing last year in the Spanish F4 Championship, entering mid-season. Come 2023 and an entry into the F4 UAE Championship see them looking to solidify their position as a long-term Formula 4 team. Feeder Series spoke to Saintéloc Racing Team Principal Morgan Caron at the Kuwait Motor Town circuit.

By George Brabner

For the 2023 F4 UAE season, Saintéloc Racing opted to stick with two of their drivers from their debut Formula 4 campaign, fielding Théophile Naël and Theodor Jensen. They would both be joined by Luciano Morano, who’s entering his third year racing Formula 4 machinery following two partial French F4 seasons.  

Even in this early stage of the year, Théophile Naël is emerging as a consistent potential challenger for the top eight – a testament to the platform Saintéloc is able to provide the young Frenchman.

Hot out the blocks, still finding their footing

Round 1 of the F4 UAE season in Dubai saw Théophile Naël emerge as the strongest of the Saintéloc Racing line-up; he picked up a pair of seventh-place finishes, making up thirteen places in the first race of the weekend and five in Race 3, leaving with a crucial haul of points in a hugely competitive midfield.

Here in Kuwait, his pace improved further, taking fourth place in Race 1 and fighting amongst the top five. However, a penalty in Race 2 for forcing another driver off the track and another penalty in Race 3 for leaving the track and gaining an advantage derailed his hopes of a maiden podium.

“Of course, Théophile, race after race he has good progression, he is learning a lot, he is learning from the mistakes he is also doing at some points, and us as a team, it is also a result of the hard work we are doing since we have decided to join F4,” the team’s principal Morgan Caron told Feeder Series.

Théophile Naël is currently 8th in the standings | Credit: F4 UAE

At this early stage in the season, the focus of the team as a whole is on steady improvement, not instant results. The French outfit has already shown an upwards trajectory in pace.

“In Dubai at the first round of the UAE Championship, we were already in a good place, not the best one but still on our learning curve as a team. And since the beginning of the week here in Kuwait, we have well improved.

“And now, the results are coming, but we are still low-profile, I’m not saying we have the level of our competitors like Prema or Mumbai Falcons who are really strong and also like Hitech or R-ace GP, but we are quite happy with the way we are progressing,” explained Caron.

Moving forwards as a team

Whilst Naël stole the headlines in Kuwait, Theodor Jensen and Luciano Morano are working equally as hard behind the scenes.

Jensen has more of a unique story to tell, skipping karts to venture straight into F4 as soon as he turned fifteen, joining the Saintéloc Racing squad at Motorland Aragon for the fifth round of the 2022 Spanish F4 season.

He had this idea to start in motorsport last year, but he had never done karting before

Morgan Caron on Theodor Jensen’s journey to F4

“Regarding Jensen, it’s a different profile [than Naël] because he came back from nothing. I mean, he had this idea to start in motorsport last year, but he had never done karting before, so for him, it was also a very challenging task last year,” said Caron.

“But he is also improving a lot, he is a hard worker, and we are quite happy with the job is currently doing.”

Close-up shot of Luciano Morano's halo
Morano is back to racing after breaking his arm last season | Credit: F4 UAE

Whilst Morano has more experience than Jensen in Formula 4 cars, it hasn’t been smooth sailing for the Frenchman.

“And Morano, last year he had an accident during the season, so he had to stop for a few months to recover because he broke his arm. He decided to join us at the end of the year for some testing, and then he decided to make the move with us for the full season in 2023,” Caron explained.

“As well for him, he is still on the learning curve – he is a young boy, and we are supporting him as much as we can to help him to progress.”

Having the strength to fight at the top

Saintéloc Racing have a strong line-up in the UAE with Naël, Jensen and Morano, and Caron is confident that the pace shown by Naël in particular is no fluke – instead, the team are ready to fight at the sharp end of the field, even if overall they sit a little lower down the pecking order.

“I think today with Naël we are able to fight in each single race in the top five, top eight. Then, we have two drivers with less experiences, so with one car, we have the capacity to be on the top,” said Caron.

We are working hard to get the best results possible in order to be in the highest ranking possible

Morgan Caron on Saintéloc Racing’s goals for the 2023 season

“On the global picture for the whole team, for the moment I would say we are midfield in terms of team classification, but, once again, we are working hard to get the best results possible in order to be in the highest ranking possible,” Caron added.

Additional reporting by Anvith Reddy

Header image credit: F4 UAE


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