James Wharton extended his Formula 4 United Arab Emirates points lead with a lights-to-flag in race one of the final round at Yas Marina Circuit.
Wharton immediately cut across Mumbai Falcons team-mate Tuukka Taponen at the start, with the field using the support paddock pits and grid on the straight between turns eight and nine, while Yas Heat Academy’s Keanu Al Azhari failed to get going from third place and was thankfully avoided by everyone behind.
Taponen managed to get alongside Wharton through the first few corners, but the Australian managed to hold his lead as they came out from under the W Hotel.
As they went into lap two the race was neutralised as Pinnacle VAR’s Jack Beeton had been involved in an incident at the turn five hairpin (which in this configuration was towards the end of the lap) with Bianca Bustamante and Matteo Quintarelli and after being spun around he could not get his car going again.
A recovery vehicle did not actually come to hoist away the car until lap four, and racing did not resume until lap six as Wharton made a great jump on the field. Arvid Lindblad ran in third and Pedro Clerot in fourth, while Prema’s title outsider Ugo Ugochukwu had passed Muhammad Ibrahim on lap one and then cleared Kanato Le on the restart to get into sixth from ninth on the grid.
He passed Federico Rifai on lap eight for fifth, but could not get close enough to the pair ahead before the race was put behind the safety car again due to team-mate Niko Lacorte crashing out under the W Hotel.
Taponen and Wharton had traded the fastest lap up until racing was neutralised, and the latter secured it to earn race two pole.
Late drama sent Theophile Nael down the order after he had made a great move on Noah Stromsted for ninth, while a timing issue had William Macintyre down in 28th place until after the chequered flag when he was reclassified 10th. That meant Al Azhari finished 12th after his charge back up the order.
Update: Post-race Clerot (double yelow), Le, Bohra, Barrichello, Kluss and Carrasquedo were all penalised 5s for setting a personal best sector split while double yellow flags were being waved, while Ugochukwu was penalised 5s for forcing Rifai off and gaining an advantage.
Race results (11 laps)
|1||James Wharton||Mumbai Falcons||25m23.578s|
|2||Tuukka Taponen||Mumbai Falcons||+1.209s|
|3||Arvid Lindblad||Hitech GP||+1.377s|
|4||Brando Badoer||Pinnacle VAR||+4.855s|
|5||Noah Stromsted||PHM Racing||+5.472s|
|6||Federico Rifai||Xcel Motorsport||+6.125s|
|7||William Macintyre||Hitech GP||+6.476d|
|8||Muhammad Ibrahim||Mumbai Falcons||+7.470s|
|9||Pedro Clerot||MP Motorsport||+7.887s|
|10||Keanu Al Azhari||Yas Heat||+7.958s|
|12||Kanato Le||Hitech GP||+8.671s|
|13||Noah Lisle||Xcel Motorsport||+11.678s|
|14||Nandhavud Bhirombhakdi||PHM Racing||+13.215s|
|15||Akshay Bohra||PHM Racing||+13.332s|
|17||Kai Daryanani||Pinnacle VAR||+14.642s|
|18||Theodor Jensen||Sainteloc Racing||+20.602s|
|19||George Zhuravskiy||Xcel Motorsport||+20.907s|
|20||Ismail Akhmed||MP Motorsport||+22.125s|
|21||Matteo Quintarelli||Yas Heat||+25.788s|
|23||Hamda Al Qubaisi||Yas Heat||+32.532s|
|25||James Piszcyk||Hitech GP||+1m02.470s|
|26||Alexander Bolduev||Xcel Motorsport||+1m24.510s|
|28||Theophile Nael||Sainteloc Racing||+1 lap|
|29||Niko Lacorte||Prema||+1 lap|
|30||Sebastian Murray||Cram Motorsport||+2 laps|
|31||Jesse Carrasquedo Jr||R-ace GP||+2 laps|
|32||Alexander Abkhazava||R-ace GP||+2 laps|
|33||Valerio Rinicella||MP Motorsport||+2 laps|
|34||Raphael Narac||R-ace GP||+2 laps|
|35||Valentin Kluss||PHM Racing||+2 laps|
|Ret||Flavio Olivieri||Cram Motorsport|
|Ret||Luciano Morano||MP Motorsport|
|Ret||Zachary David||R-ace GP|
|Ret||Jack Beeton||Pinnacle VAR|
|Fastest lap: Wharton, 1m56.914s