Matteo Nannini, nephew of grand prix winner Alessandro, is among the drivers contesting their first single-seater races in this week’s opening round of the United Arab Emirates Formula 4 series in Dubai.
After competing in international karting, Nannini tested Formula 4 cars extensively during 2018 under the guidance of former Ferrari engineer and driver academy chief Luca Baldisseri.
He will race in UAE F4 for Xcel Motorsport, the new name for the former Energy Dubai team, as part of a four-car line-up.
The team will also field Spanish F4 racer Rafael Villanueva, Omani driver Shihab Al Habsi (who competed in the French series last season) and?Nicola Marinangeli, who contested the final round of the 2018 Italian F4 championship.
Dragon Racing, which ran Charles Weerts to the 2018 F4 UAE title, will enter Lucas Alecco Roy for a second campaign, together with Portugal’s Rui Andrade (who has Spanish F4 experience) and Lebanese karter?Rashed Ghanem.
Mucke Motorsport returns with a pair of rookies in German driver Nico Gohler and Paraguay’s Joshua Duerksen, while Italian outfit Cram completes a 10-car line-up for the opening round in Dubai with another Spanish F4 regular, Poland’s Filip Kaminiarz.
The opening races of the season will take place on Thursday and Friday ahead of the Dubai 24 Hours.
The series will alternate between Dubai and Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit over its five rounds to be held up until the beginning of March.