Home News Al Rifai gets Saudi Arabian F4 win after results taken back by a lap

Al Rifai gets Saudi Arabian F4 win after results taken back by a lap

by Ida Wood

Photo: Meritus GP

A race control decision denied Andrej Petrovic victory in the first race of Saudi Arabian Formula 4’s final round in Jeddah, with points leader Federico Al Rifai profiting.

Petrovic topped practice by 0.071 seconds over Kirill Kutskov, then led qualifying by 0.096s over Al Rifai. Kutskov, Hamda Al Qubaisi and Omar Aldereyaane were the only others within a second of the pace.

Kutskov stalled at the start of race one, with Petrovic immediately sweeping to the inside to defend the lead. Abdullah Al Qubaisi tried getting inside of Saqer Al-Maosherji at turn one but lost his front wing, and turn two was cut by Faisal Al-Kabbani and Suleiman Zanfari.

Hamda Al Qubaisi got into second at turn two but Al Rifai quickly reclaimed the position and then attacked Petrovic at the turn 13 hairpin. That failed, and soon Al Qubaisi was running side-by-side with Petrovic.

However Al Rifai was back into second again at the last corner, and began lap two fighting a late-braking Petrovic for the lead. Al-Kabbani came barreling down the inside at that corner and clattered into Al Qubaisi, and Al-Maosherji rode over the back of Jabor Al-Thani’s car and lost his frong wing before stopping in the run-off.

Aldereyaane got into third before the safety car was summoned, as Al Qubaisi retired and sister Amna did the same due to a deflated rear-right tyre.

Racing resumed on lap four and Al Rifai challenged Petrovic until he was passed by Aldereyaane, then by Kutskov too. Kutskov ended the lap in second, and soon the safety car was back out as Al-Kabbani hit the barriers exiting turn two.

His car was moved in time for a lap seven restart, and Al Rifai reclaimed third by going down the inside of Aldereyaane at the last corner. The top three broke away, and Al Rifai went around the outside of Kutskov at the final corner of lap 11. He then passed Petrovic there, with contact being made twice, on lap 12 to lead by 0.008 going into the last lap.

Kutskov was just 0.039s behind and they went three-wide into turn one for the last time. Petrovic regained the lead, and Al Rifai held second as he cut turn two. They finished 0.121s apart, with Kutskov 0.823s behind in third and Zanfari 2.106s back in fourth after he passed Aldereyaane.

However the results were taken back by a lap, without explanation from the series organisers, meaning Al Rifai won ahead of Petrovic, Kutskov, Aldereyaane, Zanfari and Oscar Wurz. There were only thre other finishers, and all ended the race alone on track.

Race results (12 laps)
Pos Driver Time
1 Federico Al Rifai 32m08.820s
2 Andrej Petrovic +0.008s
3 Kirill Kutskov +0.039s
4 Omar Aldereyaane +1.500s
5 Suleiman Zanfari +2.259s
6 Oscar Wurz +3.125s
7 Jabor Al-Thani +13.531s
8 Abdulaziz Abuzanadah +27.832s
9 Abdullah Al Qubaisi +42.850s
Ret Faisal Al-Kabbani
Ret Hamda Al Qubaisi
Ret Amna Al Qubaisi
Ret Saqer Al-Maosherji
DNS Laura Villars
Pole: Petrovic, 2m07.010s   Fastest lap: Al Rifai, 2m07.574s

Championship standings
1 Al Rifai 245.5   2 Petrovic 212.5   3 Kutskov 175.5   4 Al-Maosherji 135.5   5 Zanfari 130.5   6 Wurz 128.5   7 Aldereyaane 123   8 H Al Qubaisi 116.5   9 Al-Kabbani 83.5   10 Amna Al Qubaisi 48