MP Motorsport’s Hamda Al Qubaisi claimed a lights-to-flag victory in a shorter second F1 Academy race at the Circuit of the Americas.
ART Grand Prix’s Lena Buhler and Rodin Carlin’s Jessica Edgar completed the podium, while newly crowned champion Marta Garcia retired halfway through the race as a result of lap one contact.
Al Qubaisi led the way at the end of the first lap, having started from reversed-grid pole position after concluding qualifying in eighth place.
Prema’s Bianca Bustamante and MP’s Amna Al Qubaisi stalled on the grid when the lights went out, but both of them eventually got going and no safety car was needed.
Buhler enjoyed a strong opening lap as she went from fifth up to second place. The Sauber junior ran within one second of race leader Al Qubaisi in the first half of the race, but was never a threat for her.
Prema’s Garcia didn’t have the same luck from eighth on the grid, as she locked her front-left tyre at turn eleven and touched Edgar, who was ahead of her at that point, damaging her front wing.
Despite that, Garcia was able to keep up with her rivals’ pace. However, the stewards showed her the black and orange flag on lap four of eight. Running in sixth place, she came into the pit-lane the following lap and never returned to the track.
A late charge with overtakes on Campos Racing’s Nerea Marti and Prema’s Chloe Chong on lap six and seven of eight respectively at the back straight rewarded Carlin’s Abbi Pulling with fourth place at the chequered flag.
Marti, who had been stuck behind Chong for most of the race, benefitted from Pulling’s move on the Prema driver and drove around her outside at turn 13 to finally complete the overtake for fifth place at the left-handed turn 15.
In spite of early struggles, Bustamante fought back to finish seventh, meanwhile Campos’ Lola Lovinfosse claimed the last point in eighth place.
Race result (8 laps)
|1||Hamda Al Qubaisi||MP Motorsport||17m13.796s|
|2||Lena Buhler||ART Grand Prix||+1.733s|
|5||Nerea Marti||Campos Racing||+12.086s|
|8||Lola Lovinfosse||Campos Racing||+16.872s|
|9||Chloe Grant||ART Grand Prix||+17.382s|
|10||Emely de Heus||MP Motorsport||+17.785s|
|11||Carrie Schreiner||ART Grand Prix||+19.860s|
|12||Maite Caceres||Campos Racing||+21.561s|
|14||Amna Al Qubaisi||MP Motorsport||+49.134s|
1 Garcia 260 2 Buhler 210 3 H Al Qubaisi 195 4 Marti 173 5 Pulling 166 6 A Al Qubaisi 114 7 Bustamante 114 9 Edgar 84 9 de Heus 81 10 Lovinfosse 65