Home News Al Rifai reclaims Saudi Arabian F4 points lead with two wins in Qatar

Al Rifai reclaims Saudi Arabian F4 points lead with two wins in Qatar

by Ida Wood

Photo: Saudi Arabian F4

Saudi Arabian Formula 4 made it three rounds out of three held outside of Saudi Arabia with a trip to Losail in Qatar.

The championship was supposed to visit Losail in January but cancelled that trip without explanation, and did little to publicise the rescheduling of the event. All of the competitive sessions at Losail were held at night.

Federico Al Rifai set a 1m56.925s in qualifying to take race one pole by 0.448 seconds over Hamda Al Qubaisi, with Suleiman Zanfari 0.544s behind and just 0.005s covering himself, Oscar Wurz and Andrej Petrovic in third to fifth. Nobody else was within a second of pole.

Al Rifai converted pole into victory and the points lead later on Friday night. Al Qubaisi just about held onto second place into the first corner of the race, while her sister Amna went off, but was passed by Wurz later in the lap.

The lead trio broke away, however by lap four the top seven had bunched back up and on lap six Petrovic dived down the inside of Al Qubaisi at turn one and Zanfari followed him through at turn four.

Zanfari spent the rest of the 10-lap race attacking Petrovic without success, as Al Rifai managed the pace up front. Omar Aldereyaane finished sixth after passing Kirill Kutskov on lap seven.

Jabor Al-Thani had reversed-grid pole for race two on Saturday but started slowly and immediately fell behind Laura Villars and Faisal Al-Kabbani, who dived down the inside of Villars at turn one for the lead.

That helped Amna Al Qubaisi rush past into second, with Aldereyaane also passing Villars. Zanfari retired in the pits at the end of the lap, and Petrovic did the same on lap four.

After losing further ground, Villars collided with Abdulaziz Abuzenadah at turn one on lap five and the safety car was required until lap nine.

Aldereyaane dived down the inside of Al Qubaisi at turn four on the restart and it enabled Wurz to squeeze between them. Al Qubaisi reclaimed second at turn six, but a slow exit meant Wurz passed both. At turn seven Al Qubaisi got back ahead, but Wurz then ran alongside her and had the inside for turn 10. Al Qubaisi ran off and when they went three-wide into turn 12 she once again returned to second place. Al Rifai then attacked Aldereyaane, and passed him at the end of the pit straight.

There was drama in the battle for sixth as Kutskov locked up and crashed into Saqer Al-Maosherji, eliminating both and nullifying Al-Kabbani’s 3.4s lead (but securing him victory) as the last two laps ran behind the safety car.

Al-Thani was on reversed-grid pole again in race three, and made another slow start. Al-Kabbani swept into the lead ahead of Aldereyaane, and Villars spun down the order.

Aldereyaane stalked Al-Kabbani, and on the penultimate lap attacked at turn one then slipped down the inside of Al-Kabbani on the short run to turn five to steal the win.

Amna Al Qubaisi held third until the last lap, when a charging Petrovic and then Wurz got by.

Al Rifai started on race four pole and won again ahead of Hamda Al Qubaisi and Aurelia Nobels. Kutskov took fourth from Wurz on lap six.

Results round-up
Race 1 (10 laps)
1 Federico Al Rifai 20m05.719s
2 Oscar Wurz +0.768s
3 Andrej Petrovic +1.992s
4 Suleiman Zanfari +2.106s
5 Hamda Al Qubaisi +2.796s
6 Omar Aldereyaane +3.061s
7 Kirill Kutskov +5.228s
8 Aurelia Nobels +5.340s
9 Faisal Al-Kabbani +12.947s
10 Amna Al Qubaisi +14.984s
Pole: Al Rifai, 1m56.925s
Fastest lap: Petrovic, 1m59.348s

Race 2 (13 laps)
1 Al-Kabbani 33m51.799s
2 A Al Qubaisi +0.396s
3 Wurz +0.819s
4 Al Rifai +1.591s
5 Aldereyaane +1.783s
6 Nobels +2.017s
7 H Al Qubaisi +2.157s
8 Jabor Al-Thani +3.315s
9 Juancho Brobio +6.223s
10 Abdulaziz Abuzenadah +1 lap
FL: A Al Qubaisi, 2m00.614s

Race 3 (10 laps)
1 Aldereyaane 20m16.599s
2 Al-Kabbani +1.333s
3 Petrovic +6.376s
4 Wurz +7.382s
5 A Al Qubaisi +7.468s
6 Saqer Al-Maosherji +8.958s
7 Nobels +12.379s
8 Kutskov +12.792s
9 Al Rifai +13.204s
10 Zanfari +13.481s
FL: Petrovic, 2m00.034s

Race 4 (10 laps)
1 Al Rifai 20m00.143s
2 H Al Qubaisi +2.051s
3 Nobels +3.295s
4 Kutskov +4.371s
5 Wurz +10.346s
6 Al-Maosherji +11.117s
7 Zanfai +12.257s
8 Petrovic +13.136s
9 Aldereyaane +16.848s
10 A Al Qubaisi +30.354s
P: Al Rifai, 1m58.135s
FL: Al Rifai, 1m58.374s

Championship standings
1 Al Rifai 143   2 Petrovic 120.5   3 Zanfari 110.5   4 Al-Maosherji 88.5   5 H Al Qubaisi 85.5   6 Aldereyaane 79   7 Kutskov 79   8 Wurz 78.5   9 Al-Kabbani 45.5   10 Nobels 26