Home News Federico Al Rifai clinches Saudi Arabian F4 title with a race to spare

Federico Al Rifai clinches Saudi Arabian F4 title with a race to spare

by Ida Wood

Photo: Meritus GP

Federico Al Rifai became champion of the inaugural Saudi Arabian Formula 4 season with a race to spare in Jeddah.

He got the job done in the reversed-grid race, which he started from 11th place after Faisal Al-Kabbani failed to start. Abdulaziz Abuzenadah was on pole, ahead of Suleiman Zanfari, Jabor Al-Thani and Abdullah Al Qubaisi whose car failed to move off the line.

Al-Thani stalled but did get going after, and then lost further ground by ccutting turn two, while Abuzenadah jumped the start to earn himself a 10-second penalty.

Although Abuzenadah had a big gap to second place by turn one, he ended the opening lap a distant third as Zanfari raced away into the lead and Saqer Al-Maosherji got into second place.

Battles behind meant nobody challenged Zanfari thereon, and he won the 10-lap race by 2.833s.

Kirill Kutskov took third from Abuzenadah exiting turn two on lap two, and started pressuring Al-Maosherji on lap five. He made a very late move at turn one on lap six and it led to both missing turn two and holding their positions.

Al-Maosherji had to get defensive a few more times in the remaining laps and stayed ahead, but a 10s penalty for causing a collision dropped him down to eighth in the final results.

Title rivals Al Rifai and Andrej Petrovic went either side of Amna Al Qubaisi at the last corner on lap two to get into fourth and fifth, and did plenty of battling.

Petrovic utilised the inside line to lead Al Rifai into turn one on lap three, and did the same on lap five. Al Rifai cut turn two on lap seven and got ahead, but then tacked back in behind as Omar Aldereyaane got onto their tail.

He went off at turn two again on lap eight attempting a move, and now a pack of cars was behind. Settling in behind Petrovic proved safer thereon, and fourth place secured him the title. Oscar Wurz came from the back of the grid to finish fifth.

Al Rifai beat Petrovic to pole for the finale, but the latter immediately took the lead. Al-Maosherji and Abdullah Al Qubaisi both stalled and fell to the back.

Kutskov took third from Hamda Al Qubaisi at the last corner on lap two, and Aldereyaane passed Amna Al Qubaisi for fifth moments later.

There were no changes to the top nine after that, with Petrovic winning by 1.586s and Kutskov completing the podium 7.672s behind.

Results round-up
Race 2 (10 laps)
1 Suleiman Zanfari 21m31.230s
2 Kirill Kutskov +2.833s
3 Andrej Petrovic +4.655s
4 Federico Al Rifai +4.818s
5 Oscar Wurz +8.708s
6 Hamda Al Qubaisi +9.279s
7 Omar Aldereyaane +9.893s
8 Saqer Al-Maoshersji +12.554s
9 Abdulaziz Abuzenadah +46.239s
Ret Amna Al Qubaisi
Fastest lap: Al Rfai, 2m07.695s

Race 3 (10 laps)
1 Petrovic 21m18.381s
2 Al Rifai +1.586s
3 Kutskov +7.672s
4 H Al Qubaisi +8.753s
5 Aldereyaane +13.989s
6 Amna Al Qubaisi +14.780s
7 Zanfari +16.260s
8 Wurz +20.679s
9 Al-Maosherji +20.692s
10 Abdullah Al Qubaisi +32.903s
Pole: Al Rifai, 2m07.163s
FL: Petrovic, 2m07.549s

Championship standings
1 Al Rifai 269.5   2 Petrovic 245   3 Kutskov 199.5   4 Zanfari 149   5 Al-Maosherji 139.5   6 Wurz 137.5   7 Aldereyaane 136   8 H Al Qubaisi 132.5   9 Faisal Al-Kabbani 83.5   10 Amna Al Qubaisi 56