James Wharton heads into the Formula 4 United Arab Emirates title decider with a 20-point lead after winning the penultimate race at Yas Marina Circuit.
As in race one, Wharton immediately swept to the inside line from pole to prevent Mumbai Falcons team-mate and sole title rival Tuukka Taponen from getting past, but Taponen was still able to briefly get alongside exiting turn one.
Behind them Ugo Ugochukwu and Arvid Lindblad fought over third, with Lindblad going off exiting the opening corner (which is Turn 9 of the track as F4 uses the support paddock pitlane and grid) but carrying enough speed to get alongside Ugochukwu into Turn 11.
However they made contact and Ugochukwu went off at the next corner, rejoining as they went under the W Hotel and causing a concertina effect of drivers behind trying not to run into each other. It allowed Sainteloc Racing’s Theophile Nael to get by Lindblad into fourth, but he then ran wide exiting the chicane at the end of the lap and lost several positions and Keanu Al Azhari inherited fourth place.
That corner provided further drama behind as Niko Lacorte drove into Brando Badoer and sent both out of the race, with the safety car being brought out as James Piszcyk also came to a stop at the chicane with a tyre issue.
Before the safety car boards were shown, Pedro Clerot had tried passing Lindblad around the outside of the opening corner on lap two but ran wide and instead fell behind MP Motorsport team-mate Valerio Rinicella. Hamda Al Qubaisi also broke her front wing in the midfield, requiring her to pit.
Racing resumed on lap six and Wharton sprinted away while Nael got into a lap-long battle with Akshay Bohra and Alexander Bolduev over eighth place. After several off-track moments he managed to only lose one place to Bohra, then their battle was paused as the safety car was summoned again.
Kai Daryanani and Alexander Abkhazava collided at Turn 9, Flavio Olivieri spun out, then Lena Buhler and Zachary David collided at Turn 1 and Sebastian Murray spun into them and ended his own race.
The race ran to a shortened distance and finished behind the safety car, with Wharton taking his fourth win of the season.
Race results (10 laps)
|1||James Wharton||Mumbai Falcons||27m48.192s|
|2||Tuukka Taponen||Mumbai Falcons||+0.321s|
|4||Keanu Al Azhari||Yas Heat||+1.407s|
|5||Arvid Lindblad||Hitech GP||+1.602s|
|6||Valerio Rinicella||MP Motorsport||+1.849s|
|7||Pedro Clerot||MP Motorsport||+2.068s|
|8||Akshay Bohra||PHM Racing||+2.334s|
|9||Theophile Nael||Sainteloc Racing||+2.828s|
|10||Alexander Bolduev||Xcel Motorsport||+3.215s|
|11||William Macintyre||Hitech GP||+3.502s|
|12||Jesse Carrasquedo Jr||R-ace GP||+3.658s|
|13||Federico Rifai||Xcel Motorsport||+3.987s|
|14||Valentin Kluss||PHM Racing||+4.151s|
|15||Kanato Le||Hitech GP||+4.341s|
|16||Nadhavud Bhirombhakdi||PHM Racing||+4.802s|
|18||Matteo Quintarelli||Yas Heat||+5.926s|
|19||Jack Beeton||Pinnacle VAR||+6.392s|
|21||Theodor Jensen||Sainteloc Racing||+9.242s|
|24||Noah Lisle||Xcel Motorsport||+11.332s|
|25||Ismail Akhmed||MP Motorsport||+11.415s|
|26||Zachary David||R-ace GP||+11.595s|
|27||George Zhuravskiy||Xcel Motorsport||+11.924s|
|28||Hamda Al Qubaisi||Yas Heat||+12.431s|
|29||Raphael Narac||R-ace GP||+13.242s|
|31||Muhammad Ibrahim||Mumbai Falcons||+14.687s|
|32||Noah Stromsted||PHM Racing||+15.322s|
|Ret||Alexander Abkhazava||R-ace GP|
|Ret||Flavio Olivieri||Cram Motorsport|
|Ret||Kai Daryanani||Pinnacle VAR|
|Ret||Sebastian Murray||Cram Motorsport|
|Ret||Luciano Morano||Sainteloc Racing|
|Ret||Brando Badoer||Pinnacle VAR|
|Ret||James Piszcyk||Hitech GP|
|Fastest lap: Wharton, 1m57.587s