Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 junior Andrea Kimi Antonelli has claimed his first pole position in single-seater racing, having topped qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix’s Formula 4 support race.
Antonelli, son of sportscar racing team boss Marco, graduated from karting midway through this year by contesting the final three rounds of the Italian F4 championship with Prema and picking up three podiums from nine races.
He will contest F4 United Arab Emirates next year in the new Tatuus T-421 car, a second generation F4 car which is making its competition debut in the F1 support race this weekend.
Antonelli was fastest in both of Friday’s free practice sessions, and continued that form into Saturday morning by topping qualifying by a massive 0.816 seconds over Prema team-mate Charlie Wurz, son of former F1 racer Alex.
The gaps behind Wurz were far closer, with the fellow F4 rookie and sportscar racer securing a front row starting spot for Sunday by just 0.017s over Danish F4 champion Conrad Laursen in the third of Prema’s Abu Dhabi Racing-branded cars.
As in practice, reigning Spanish F4 champion Dilano van’t Hoff was best of the rest for MP Motorsport in fourth place and he was 0.992s slower than Antonelli.
Hamda Al Qubaisi was top of the local drivers in fifth but slowest of Prema’s quartet, ahead of MP’s Rik Koen and Global Racing Service’s Vladislav Ryabov whose car is being run by MP due to GRS’s being stuck in transit.
Local team Xcel Motorsport will start eighth and ninth for the race with its two drivers, Aiden Neate and Jamie Day, with the latter anticipated to contested the 2022 F4 UAE season with the team.
|1||Andrea Kimi Antonelli||Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema||1m55.574s||9|
|2||Charlie Wurz||Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema||1m56.390s||+0.816s||9|
|3||Conrad Laursen||Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema||1m56.407s||+0.833s||9|
|4||Dilano van’t Hoff||MP Motorsport||1m56.566s||+0.992s||10|
|5||Hamda Al Qubaisi||Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema||1m56.589s||+1.015s||9|
|6||Rik Koen||MP Motorsport||1m56.949s||+1.375s||10|
|8||Aiden Neate||Xcel Motorsport||1m57.326s||+1.752s||10|
|9||Jamie Day||Xcel Motorsport||1m57.418s||+1.844s||10|
|10||Miron Pingasov||MP Motorsport||1m57.909s||+2.335s||10|