Home News Shihab Al Habsi stars in sandstorm-hit F4 UAE round at Dubai

Shihab Al Habsi stars in sandstorm-hit F4 UAE round at Dubai

by Rachel Harris-Gardiner

Photo: F4 UAE/ Adriano Coutinho Photography

Matteo Nannini extended his Formula 4 UAE points lead at Dubai Autodrome, despite there being four different winners.

Nannini won the third race of the weekend from pole, which was a challenging affair due to an incoming sandstorm which left the track with little grip.

Joshua Durksen, Nannini’s chief title rival, won the reversed grid race two, but failed to make the podium in any of the other races, meaning he now sits 17 points behind Nannini.

The strongest driver of the weekend was Oman?s Shihab Al Habsi.

Al Habsi prevailed in the chaotic first race on Friday. A four-way crash at the start triggered a red flag, taking out all three Dragon Racing cars and Cram Motorsport’s Filip Kaminiarz. Nicola Marinangeli?s car was also damaged and unable to restart. With the retirement of Nico Gohler later on, the DNFs outnumbered the five finishers. Frantic overnight work by teams meant that all cars made the start on Saturday.

After victory, Al Habsi finished on the podium in all three of the remaining races, and is now third in the standings.

Tijmen van der Helm, who missed the opening round of the season, was the victor in race four, ahead of Al Habsi and Nannini. It was the Dutchman’s first car racing victory.

Results round-up
Race 1
1 Shihab Al Habsi Xcel Motorsport 13 laps
2 Matteo Nannini Xcel Motorsport +2.756s
3 Tijmen van der Helm Xcel Motorsport +9.406s
4 Joshua Durksen Mucke Motorsport +11.197s
5 Rafa Villanueva Xcel Motorsport +19.156s
Ret Nico Gohler Mucke Motorsport
Ret Rui Andrade Dragon Racing
Ret Lucas Alecco Roy Dragon Racing
Ret Rashed Ghanem Dragon Racing
Ret Nicola Marinangeli Xcel Motorsport
Pole: Nannini? ? ? Fastest lap: Al Habsi

Race 2
1 Durksen 15 laps
2 Gohler +0.381s
3 Al Habsi +1.191s
4 van der Helm +16.579s
5 Nannini +19.353s
6 Andrade +19.838s
7 Roy +20.183s
8 Marinangeli +20.722s
9 Filip Kaminiarz Cram Motorsport +33.727s
10 Ghanem +39.833s
FL: Durksen

Race 3
1 Nannini 15 laps
2 Al Habsi +3.918s
3 Roy +11.789s
4 Gohler +18.639s
5 van der Helm +21.306s
6 Durksen +21.642s
7 Ghanem +22.047s
8 Andrade +23.337s
9 Villanueva +26.511s
10 Marinangeli +31.166s
P: Nannini? ? ? FL: Nannini

Race 4
1 van der Helm 15 laps
2 Al Habsi +9.208s
3 Nannini +15.101s
4 Roy +16.931s
5 Durksen +19.027s
6 Villanueva +19.756s
7 Ghanem +20.852s
8 Andrade +21.553s
9 Kaminiarz +39.789s
10 Gohler +1m20.680s
FL: van der Helm

Championship standings
1 Nannini 214? ?2 Durksen 197? ?3 Al Habsi 164? ?4 Roy 152? ?5 Andrade 112? ?6 van der Helm 96? ?7 Gohler 73? ?8 Kaminiarz 60? ?9 Villanueva 52? ?10 Ghanem 43