Home News Ferrari junior Wharton returns to F4 UAE for final two rounds

Ferrari junior Wharton returns to F4 UAE for final two rounds

by Ida Wood

Photo: F4 UAE

Ferrari junior James Wharton will see out the Formula 4 United Arab Emirates season, despite missing the most recent round having been down for a part-time campaign.

The single-seater rookie will race for Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema in the remaining two rounds over the next two weekends, and also contested the first two rounds but did not race last weekend. He will now lose rookie status in Italian F4 for this year.

He was replaced by Andrea Kimi Antonelli for the first of two rounds on Dubai Autodrome’s Grand Prix layout, and that seat is now taken by Danish F4 champion Conrad Laursen. But the team is adding a third car to field Wharton as well.

“Just want to get some more experience under my belt,” Wharton said to Formula Scout as he explained his return.

“Still so new [to F4] and have a lot to learn. I am not sure about cars [I’m in], and yes to both last rounds.”

Christian Ho is staying on the grid with MP Motorsport after making his debut last weekend, with Hitech GP retaining Luke Browning too. Ruhaan Alva makes his first appearance in one of Mumbai Falcons’ cars receiving technical support from Xcel Motorsport.

Alva, son of a rally driver, was Indian X30 Junior karting champion in 2019 and ’20 and contested the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals on a Rotax Junior kart last year. He transitioned into cars in Formula LGB 1300, and has been a winner in the 2021-22 season.

On Wednesday a private F4 UAE test took place at Dubai, and PHM Racing’s Nikita Bedrin set the pace by 0.007s over points leader and the third Abu Dhabi Racing driver Aiden Neate.

Prema duo Charlie Wurz and Rafael Camara were also within 0.020s of Bedrin’s fastest lap, and Xcel Motorsport’s Ivan Domingues was just 0.091s slower. JHR Developments’ Joseph Loake was absent.

Bedrin’s team-mate Taylor Barnard was on top at one point, but only set 14 laps.

Test results
Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1 Nikita Bedrin PHM Racing 2m01.266s 23
2 Aiden Neate Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema +0.007s 39
3 Charlie Wurz Prema +0.012s 36
4 Rafael Camara Prema +0.020s 41
5 Ivan Domingues Xcel Motorsport +0.091s 44
6 Luke Browning MP Motorsport +0.224s 37
7 Martinius Stenshorne 3Y by R-ace GP +0.453s 40
8 Brando Badoer AKM Motorsport +0.633s 39
9 Alex Dunne Hitech GP +0.644s 37
10 Christian Ho MP Motorsport +0.690s 36
11 Anshul Gandhi Cram-Hitech GP +0.746s 46
12 Nikhil Bohra 3Y by R-ace GP +0.753s 41
13 Miron Pingasov MP Motorsport +0.769s 36
14 James Wharton Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema +0.840s 40
15 Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak MP Motorsport +0.848s 35
16 Taylor Barnard PHM Racing +0.900s 14
17 Ricardo Escotto Cram-Hitech GP +0.946s 42
18 Conrad Laursen Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema +1.021s 41
19 Michael Shin JHR Developments +1.148s 37
20 Valerio Rinicella MP Motorsport +1.151s 37
21 Vladislav Ryabov GRS +1.156s 40
22 Nandhavud Bhirombhakdi Xcel Motorsport +1.189s 42
23 Jamie Day Xcel Motorsport +1.209s 28
24 Victoria Blokhina 3Y by R-ace GP +1.774s 37
25 Rober De Haan Pinnacle Motorsport +1.798s 38
26 Yash Aradhya Mumbai Falcons by Xcel +1.863s 41
27 Suleiman Zanfari MP Motorsport +1.890s 36
28 Ruhaan Alva Mumbai Falcons by Xcel +2.016s 43
29 Jonas Ried PHM Racing +2.481s 20
30 Jef Machiels Pinnacle Motorsport +3.159s 40
31 Ismoilkhuja Akhmedkhodjaev Xcel Motorsport +3.509s 39