Abu Dhabi, UAE, 16 February 2020: Ahead of Round Four action at Dubai Autodrome next weekend (21-22 February), UAE’s Hamda Al Qubaisi and Italian racer Nicola Marinangeli nabbed their first open wheeler victories in Abu Dhabi in the third round of the F4UAE Championship powered by Abarth (February 13-15).
Marinangeli made his single seater debut in F4UAE last season and has returned stronger in 2020 after a season in Europe; the Italian has achieved a total of seven podiums so far in 2020. While 17-year-old Al Qubaisi – who now boasts six podiums in 2020 – became the first Arab woman to win a point-scoring F4 championship race in history. Her sister Amna took a Trophy race victory in November last year as part of F4UAE’s support to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, however it was not part of the championship title.
BWT Mücke Motorsport’s Nico Göhler was victorious in Race One, taking his second career race victory and second this season. While current championship leader Francesco Pizzi of Xcel Motorsport pushed through for a Race 4 win after a challenging weekend of racing.
“The view up there on the top step of the podium is a different thing, it’s amazing that I’ve had three pole positions in a row this year but now I have the race win that I’ve been waiting for,” said Al Qubaisi. “It’s really hard to convert pole position to a race win because all the nerves, and the pressure of starting from pole is massive.”
“But to also have my family and my sister here watching me win is amazing. When I started the race I made sure I just focussed and saved my tyres and got the gap over the other drivers. Hopefully now that I’ve been able to make the switch in my mind of knowing what to do to win I’ll be able to keep going and get more.” Al Qubaisi added.
So far this season, Pizzi (#51) has lead the championship from the opening round in Dubai, and now boasts six wins to date. Other than the four drivers who were victorious this past weekend, Mexican racer Erick Zuniga (#23) is the only other driver to claim a race win during the 2020 F4UAE season, as he did last round at Yas Marina Circuit.
Twelve drivers contested Round Three of the F4UAE Championship including BWT Mücke Motorsport’s newest driver Josef Knopp (#4) who made his single seater debut, and French F4 race winner Isack Hadjar (#44) who joined 3y Technology.
After 11 races contested in three rounds, Franceso Pizzi still leads the drivers and rookie championship standings, with Nico Göhler closing the gap still behind in second outright. Nicola Marinangeli remains third, and Hamda Al Qubaisi moves up to fourth place. Xcel Motorsport maintains the lead of the Team standings.
Round Four of the F4UAE Championship powered by Abarth will return to the Dubai Autodrome on Friday and Saturday (21-22 February) with the grand finale also being held in Dubai two weeks later (6-7 March).
Report & Photos: Driven Productions (edited)