Home News Wharton boosts F4 UAE title bid with race one win and race two pole

Wharton boosts F4 UAE title bid with race one win and race two pole

by Ida Wood

Photo: F4 UAE

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)

Pos Driver Team Time
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
11 Ugo Ugochukwu Prema +8.402s
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
16 Dion Gowda Carlin +13.958s
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
22 Victoria Blokhina R2Race +26.822s
23 Hamda Al Qubaisi Yas Heat +32.532s
24 Fernando Barrichello Carlin +36.845s
25 James Piszcyk Hitech GP +1m02.470s
26 Alexander Bolduev Xcel Motorsport +1m24.510s
27 Lena Buhler R2Race +1m27.238s
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 Bianca Bustamante Prema
Ret Jack Beeton Pinnacle VAR
Fastest lap: Wharton, 1m56.914s

Championship standings
1 Wharton 207   2 Taponen 194   3 Ugochukwu 145   4 Rinicella 145   5 Lindblad 97   6 David 59   7 Badoer 59   8 Stromsted 53   9 Kluss 50   10 Nael 39