F4 UAE: Title contenders emerge in Abu Dhabi as multiple race winners crowned

F4 UAE: Title contenders emerge in Abu Dhabi as multiple race winners crowned

Abu Dhabi, UAE, February 3, 2019 – Two early title contenders have emerged at the second round of the 2019 F4UAE Championship powered by Abarth, as rookies Matteo Nannini from Italy and Joshua Dürksen from Paraguay became the only multiple-race winners of the season after winning at Yas Marina Circuit.

Now with three race wins each, Nannini (#15) and Dürksen (#27) arrived at and left the weekend leading the championship standings respectively, but now have extended their margin over nearest rival Lucas Roy (#8) from Dragon Racing in third outright.

Having already won a race each at the opening round in Dubai last month, both frontrunners shared the four race victories at the famed F1 circuit, with Dürksen also claiming pole position on Friday – his first in single-seaters.

“It is wonderful to see these rookies being very strong competitors so early in the season and I hope they will very much be fighting at the end,” said Mohamed Ben Sulayem, President of ATCUAE and Emirates Motor Sport Federation, and FIA Vice President for Sport. “It is impressive to see every driver making great learnings in our UAE championship and we look forward to seeing more of the other drivers being successful too when we return to Dubai Autodrome in two weeks.”

Six hours of sanctioned testing and official practice was held during the lead-up to racing, with Roy the only driver with experience racing in F4UAE on the International Circuit configuration. Xcel Motorsport expanded to a five-car team with the addition of Tijmen van der Helm from the Netherlands making his single-seater debut, bringing the field up to 11 cars.

While Nannini claimed pole at Round 1, he was beaten by 1/10th of a second by Dürksen with a time of 2m13.381s, giving he and the Mücke Motorsport team their first pole position in F4UAE.

Race 1 was dominated by Nannini who capitalised on Dürksen’s misfortune of stalling on the startline. While making up positions on the opening lap, the polesitter was lucky to miss his teammate Nico Göhler who spun near the West Grandstand and caused a Safety Car for two laps. On the restart, the championship leader remained out front but not without being pressured by Roy and Rui Andrade (#88) who finished second and third, giving a double podium result to Dragon Racing. Rookie Filip Kaminiarz (#55) from Poland finished a commendable fourth place, just half a second off a podium result and his best result this season.

Saturday morning’s reverse grid Race 2 saw newcomer Tijmen van der Helm (#13) start off pole position, with Dürksen alongside and hungry for redemption after the race one dramas. While the Paraguay driver raced away from the field and finished more than eight seconds in front, a battle ensued behind between Roy, van der Helm and Nannini who all crossed the finishline in order. However, Roy was given a post-race five second penalty for shortcutting the circuit, resulting in van der Helm receiving second place and Nannini third.

Race 3 had Nannini and Dürksen again on the front row; their starting positions were determined by their second fastest lap in qualifying. However, this time it was Nannini who faltered on the start, falling back to ninth on the opening lap and having to work to finish a credible fifth outright by race’s end. Roy and Omani driver Shihab Al Habsi (#34) rounded out the podium behind Dürksen who claimed this third race victory this season.

A field of 11 cars made the grid for the return to Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi

The final reverse grid race start was delayed due to Roy being stuck on track on the warmup lap. Once rejoined, van der Helm and Nannini started off the front row for the revised 23-minute race distance, with the Italian taking the lead by turn one and the newcomer being swamped by the rest of the field. Dürksen moved from sixth to third on lap one and another place forward by lap two. Al Habsi also closely chased the frontrunning duo but couldn’t catch them to finish third. A post-race five-second penalty was applied to Dürksen, however, for shortcutting the track which resulted in his final position falling one behind the Omani 15-year-old, who was promoted to runner-up for Race 4.


Matteo Nannini, Xcel Motorsport (#15): “We are so happy for this result because we did some practice before the race weekend and it gave me more confidence. We didn’t do P1 in qualifying because I did a mistake but I want to be a better driver and if we are winning this way it is the better way to learn. Yas Marina Circuit is very beautiful, it is always one of my goals to race here at night and so I’m very happy I could win here.”

Paul Hardy, Team Manager of Xcel Motorsport: “Matteo is doing a great job, he’s done a lot of sim work ahead of the event and he’s just been improving all weekend to then come away with two wins. Even though he got a bit of an unfortunate start in one race, overall we’re really happy for him. We knew from the first test day back in December that he would be a good driver and a real contender for the title which we are really focused on winning.”

Joshua Dürksen, Mücke Motorsport (#27): “I didn’t think I could win two races in a row so it’s incredible. I was able to make a big distance from the other drivers and get in front. The car is very good and very fast and helped me to finish so far in front of everyone when I won. There are very good drivers here too so by winning it is the best way to get a lot of points for the championship.”

Wito van Kuijeren, F4UAE Team Manager of Mücke Motorsport: “Dubai last month was a new circuit for us in F4UAE so our speed and Joshua’s didn’t really show, even though he won a race. But we have raced at Yas Marina Circuit before with these cars so it wasn’t a surprise that we topped a lot of the timesheets. Joshua is doing better by the minute, he understands very well how to stop a car, and brake performance is one of his biggest strengths so job well done to him. It is unfortunate that there were some technical issues with Nico [Göhler]’s car but we’re going back to Dubai next time which is where he got a podium already, so we’re expecting a better weekend for him there.”

Round 3 of the 2019 F4UAE Championship will return to the Dubai Autodrome from February 14-16. Championship standings will be made available on  www.f4uae.com in the coming days once signed off by category management.

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1 hr ago


A mini-epic 🍿Alex Albon and Arthur Leclerc fight for P4 in the closing laps of Sunday's Virtual Monaco Grand Prix 👏 ... See Less

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Gutierrez ruined the race outcome. I expect that kinda bumper cars from nascar. I’d why I quit that series. Altho it sounds like it pleased some folks. Well, there’s always the real thing, and bikes. flat track, moto, and. Enduro’s. Something for everybody. Hope the next one is cleaner.

More exiting than real F1.. says enough!

Enough of this. Bring back the real deal

Glad they made titanium front wings and sidepods.

Good old Karting move 👍

I think they should have had damage on

Never seen such racing in Monaco.

Turn on damages. What a mess it look like kids driving today ...

He went through where Max couldn't get past Hamilton last season

It looks fake and it is...multiple collisions, no damage, no nothing. It’s just not interesting.

Super unrealistic...

In real life that's a 10 sec penalty God I love these virtual races

Turn on the damage

Gutierrez is the Pagenaud of F1

100% Prost v Senna

Súper real los golpes que se dan y siguen como si nada...👏🏼👏🏼

Isso pq vcs não viram o que fizeram em romrom17 .com hilariante!

Si los duelos en monaco fuera asi en vida real, no me quiero imaginar las demas carreras jaja

Kieron Carey


Mark Pinto this is mad

Guillaume Thonon

Kamran Abbasov


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2 hrs ago


Charles Leclerc was a bit GUTted! 😮 ... See Less

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Not watched this rubbish. They need to do a kind of battle royale style event where everyone has damage on, except kyviat and the last person to be torpedoed wins.

Bad luck for Charles on that point. Two years ago breaks failure and now this😂

No damage... It's just a laugh that you need the settings for 5 year olds...

Honestly what Esteban today did was dirty... unacceptable, was watching Marcel Kiefer's stream and he was raging and swearing!

Why are some people so angry on this thread because wheels didn't fly off a virtual car? Lockdown really hitting hard 😂

Just get to real racing already. This virtual racing wore out a month ago. NASCAR has started and IndyCar starts June 6th.

These clips only remind me how barren my life is without F1 lol. I can't find any enthusiasm for these Mario Kart races.

Can we get a full contact death match mode with weapons please? Please!

Alright, it's funny if everyone agrees to go full Mario Kart mode. Not if a couple decides to torpedoe everyone while the rest is actually trying ro race. Either implement some set of rules or just switch to Mario Kart for this series. It was funny, now it's just ridiculous.

What no damage. That the whole point of f1

Leclerc and Monaco is just not a good combination.

What a load of sh*te this is honest. May as well watch them all playing mario cart. Utterly pointless.

Gustavo Gradvohl, você é o único sobrinho de quem não tenho o número do celular Whatsapp e gostaria de ter o teu levando em consideração que o meu celular Whatsapp é 55 85 991058974 até porque terei o maior prazer.

Here for all the ItS nOt ReAlIsTiC comments. No kidding, it's a video game.

it was the worst virtual gp please turn on damage

Look no damage 👏🏼👏🏼🙅🏼‍♂️

also Esteban seems to be like five years child who chrashing into everything

They really need to mount guns and oil slicks and mix things up. 😜

Sure it wasnt Sebastian driving for him?

Wow he even crash in virtual race.

N'importe quoi et croire que les gens regardent ça . Je suis très fan et je regarde autant de grand prix que possible mais a regarder des gamins joué Dsl

Black flag for Gutierrez, no wait, he has the car of Hamilton! It's all OK 😂

Mercedes involved in someone else crashing and no penalty where have we seen that before

It’s just a battering course. Pathetic. If that was a normal online game you’d be fuming

It's not only boring, it has nothing to do with Formula One... You can also watch the autoscooter

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6 hrs ago


An emotional day for all involved as Tatsuki Suzuki handed SIC 58 Squadra CORSE victory at the circuit named after the late Marco Simoncelli ❤️

Relive the highlights from the #SanMarinoGP! 🇸🇲
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What an emotional race. Amazing.


en ik ook

Dominik Leder

Fatima Benard segundo 35 cuando voy conduciendo y me envías un mensaje

Ricardo Blokzijl Nathalie Blokzijl, dat weekendje gaat jammer genoeg dit jaar niet door

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6 hrs ago

24H Series

Yesterday during the 12H MONZA, Munckhof Racing powered by No Fear Energy Drink and Ciceley Motorsport side by side during the race! 🏎️💥

#thisisendurance #24hseries #24hseries2020 #motorsport #12hmonza #racing #iracing #esports
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Yesterday during the 12H MONZA, Munckhof Racing powered by No Fear Energy Drink and Ciceley Motorsport side by side during the race! 🏎️💥

#thisisendurance #24HSERIES #24HSERIES2020 #motorsport #12HMONZA #racing #iracing #esports

6 hrs ago


How does Valentino Rossi VR46 Official describe himself? 🤔
Does he like pineapple on a pizza? 🍍🍕
What's his favourite #MotoMonster Energy Yamaha MotoGPhis and more about the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP rider in our Quick Fire questions ⁉️
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Pizza with mayonnaise makes perfect choices… l love it too😁 You look awesome👍 Good luck there.👊💯

Gotta love that guy! 🤣 what if your cat finds out about that dog mishap?? 🙈 Also: pineapple on pizza is THE BEST! I’m sorry but it’s true 😝

Looking forward to racing again . You look really good , relaxed & happy. You will always be No 1 . ❤ One kiss x

FFS!! Enough of the fan-boy shite MotoGP!! 🤬 Let's see something about other riders. You have 82 others to choose from!

Always smiling our Vale !! and of course optimistic. I love him 🥰. I hope to see you soon on the track. 😉

Optimistic in 2018 to enjoying my soft pizza from bridgestone with mayonaise in the beach at sunset with coffee and gain cardio of my dogs just to funny 😆😆✌️

Vale you are really Amazing!!!! Good luck!!! We Love ❤💛 YOU!!!!

rossi: mayo pizza cooks: WHAT A GENIUS he must be 200+ iq

My Boy, and no pineapple, I'm allergic. XX

Only you were allowed to switch the tyres from Michelin to Bridgestone.. What a shame!

Maybe they should do this for all the riders????

Mayonnaise on a pizza? In Italy? It must be an Uccio thing, there's no other explanation... 🤣🤣🤣

Hahahaha "forbidden." #pineappledoesnotbelongonpizza

T-shirt salesman

I love this guy...

Pizza with mayonnaise??????

Hello mester Rossi we miss you, Go go go

The God of motogp

Ah Vale!.. la pizza con la maionese proprio non si può sentire!!!!😱😱😱😱😱

Give it a rest.......... 💤💤💤💤

Legend. Forza

I love the guy

Holly Jasmine Rudd my absolute hero 👍👍👍👌 such a funny guy 👍👍

RETIRE already!!!!!!!!

Jamais de sous titre sur vos vidéos sa commence à être lourd

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