F4 UAE: Amna Al Qubaisi and Alex Connor share wins on F1 stage at F4 trophy round

F4 UAE: Amna Al Qubaisi and Alex Connor share wins on F1 stage at F4 trophy round

Sunday Dec 1st- 2019

First-time F4 race winners Amna Al Qubaisi and Alex Connor shared the spoils at the F4UAE Championship’s Trophy Round this weekend, as the category made its debut as a support to the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (November 28-December 1, 2019).

Having already made motorsport history for the region with four women competing at the season-opening round at Yas Marina Circuit – with drivers including Emirati sisters Amna and Hamda Al Qubaisi, Logan Hannah from Scotland and Reema Juffali from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – Abu Dhabi Racing’s Amna Al Qubaisi also added to the history books, not only claiming pole position on Friday but becoming the first Emirati woman to win an FIA single seater race as she claimed victory on Saturday.

Alex Connor – who finished runner-up in the British F4 Rookie Cup – claimed his first single-seater win on Sunday with Xcel Motorsport; the team he started his karting career with in Dubai as a junior.

Amna Al Qubaisi added to the history books, not only claiming pole position on Friday but becoming the first Emirati woman to win an FIA single seater race as she claimed victory on Saturday

“The F4UAE Championship has provided competitive and entertaining racing this weekend, showing those involved in global motorsport organisations that it is one of the best platforms for young drivers to prove their talent,” said Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the Emirates Motorsports Organization (EMSO), and FIA Vice President for Sport.

“Well done to Amna Al Qubaisi who has come a long way since karting and winning the first FIA GCC Young Drivers Academy to now win in F4. I’m proud of her achievements and for being very successful in front of everyone at the Formula 1 grand finale. We believe she is a future international champion in the making.”

Alex Connor claimed his first F4 race win in Race 2 for Xcel Motorsport

Thirteen drivers from 12 countries were entered for the Trophy Round, with Amna Al Qubaisi (#88) and her sister Hamda giving the local fans at Yas Marina Circuit plenty to cheer for. As the UAE’s first female racing driver, 19-year-old Amna claimed pole in qualifying, while also previously leading a curtailed morning practice session. Sister Hamda (#77) was second fastest in practice and fifth in qualifying.

As the more experienced of the pair, Amna posted a 2m12.717s lap to lead a trio of Xcel Motorsport drivers in Nicola Marinangeli (#14), Tijmen van der Helm (#13) – who was later relegated down to sixth place on the Race 1 grid after failing to follow the Race Director’s instructions post-qualifying – and Alex Connor (#27) third.

Amna Al Qubaisi led from pole position to the chequered flag in Race 1, holding off an early challenge from Marinangeli before pulling away to take victory in the first 25-minute race of the weekend.

Dutchman Tijmen van der Helm held off his rivals but on the final lap suffered a suspension failure, promoting Alex Connor onto the podium for Xcel Motorsport; the current reigning drivers, teams and rookie champions.

Jordan’s Manaf Hijjawi (#99) for Dragon Racing dropped down to eighth from sixth on the grid, but made a strong campaign of overtaking to eventually claim fourth, ahead of the younger Al Qubaisi sister Hamda in fifth place for Abu Dhabi Racing. Returning F4UAE racer Nico Göhler (#2) finished sixth for Mücke Motorsport, while Xcel Motorsport’s Ivan Peklin (#23) suffered a clutch failure on the start and did not join the race.

“I am very proud to be the first Emirati and Arab driver on podium of Formula 4,” said Al Qubaisi. “I thank my family and all the supporters. It’s an amazing feeling, to do it in my home town and at my home track. I have a lot of my local people watching. It was huge honour.”

Khaled Al Qubaisi, father of Amna and Hamda, said: “I am extremely proud of my daughters, they made the whole UAE proud today, and that’s all what we wanted — to raise the UAE flag up high in this extremely important event held in our beloved country.”

Amna Al Qubaisi’s chances of back-to-back victories in F4UAE came to a close on Sunday after a crash with fellow rival Marinangeli on the first lap of Race 2. The Abu Dhabi Racing driver initiated an overtaking move, resulting in a race-ending impact that tore off the right-rear wheel from the #88 Tatuus racer. Marinangeli continued, but the crash forced him out of contention, leaving him with a DNF.

Leading the push for a strong Xcel Motorsport finish was Connor, who was pursued by Hijjawi; the Jordanian eventually denying Xcel Motorsport a one-two finish after he finished second in his first F4 race weekend. Tijmen Van Der Helm challenged for a third place and finished nearly five seconds behind Hijjawi.

Hamda Al Qubaisi also succumbed to front-end damage, breaking her front splitter when making close contact with a competitor, ending the race as the final qualified finsher in 11th. Göhler held on to finish fourth ahead of Rodrigo Almeida (#4) in fifth and Saudi Arabia’s Reema Juffali (#18) in sixth; her best ever result in single-seaters after campaigning a season already in British F4 for 2019.

Xcel Motorsport drivers Ivan Peklin and Mehrbod Shameli (#8) followed in seventh and eighth with Logan Hannah (#9) and rookie Constantin Reisch (52#) completing the top 10.

F4UAE has been instrumental in developing young driver talent over the last three seasons, with 46 different drivers from 32 countries competing since inception, and another nine new drivers being added to the list this weekend.

The F4UAE Championship powered by Abarth begins its point-scoring championship season in January, as a support to the Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai; the first event of a five-round season based within the United Arab Emirates. For more information head to www.f4uae.com

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56 minutes ago


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New look ✅ New features ✅ Bigger prizes ✅
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Americans and their daily fantasy sports 🙄. I sure do hope F1 gets bought by some other entity right about now. Heck, I’d welcome Bernie back with open arms

Fantasy for the most predictable of all Motorsports? $$ subscriptions must be behind it..

Ed Simbol. We getting in on this F1 fantasy or what?!! Lol

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3 hrs ago


The first red flag of week two 🚩 ... See Less

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I sincerely hope that they are holding something in the locker. Because if they don’t and this is all they have to show for. I predict a very very tough season ahead. Which would prompt me to say that Binotto’s position is unattainable. Time to find a clear leader. Maybe even a Flavio Briatore.. Who might be an idiot at times, but has enough to get Ferrari where they need to be.

I've never driven one but they must be really easy to spin with the amount of power they put through there rear wheels. Give the guy a brake I know for a fact any of us wouldn't be able to get past turn one.

The car bottomed out on the gravel and he spun. What’s the big news? Stop depicting Vettel as bad driver people.

If you aren't testing the limits of the car during testing, you may as well pack up and go home. Unfortunately he gave himself a bad rep for a habit of spinning so people will bash him for it. I actually hope he gets some confidence back and makes the season entertaining for the right reasons. But I still also think Ferrari got rid of the wrong driver.

I don't know about you. But I really believe in these red cars this year.

Total HILARIOUS meme to be had here.. Until you realise he's about the 10th driver to spin out so far this year and all that joyous meme humour fades away

Doesn't deserve to drive for Ferrari anymore. He definately had his best days. He's still a good driver, but that's about it.

Dunno if you can call this sandbagging anymore, prancing horses are looking worse and worse each year. Something needs to change for them and yesterday.

I mean, you have to practice to be as good at those spins as Vettel is. Might as well use testing as practice! 🙈

Best spin vettel had on his career

There goes Max Verstappen agai... oh no, it is another top driver.. see, little kids; more good drivers spin. It's part of the game. No go and contemplate the failures in your own life. (I did and I am far from perfect)

I wonder how vettel feels about all the critism of him spinning . I bet he wouldn't even attempt a spin move on the dance floor.

He has been in a habit of spinning the last few years, i dont know whats going on. Perhaps this cars design does not suit his driving style, but you gotta adapt.

Well one things for sure if you could be a world champion for spinning off the track with no other cars any where near you then Vettel would be a three time world champion in that category !!

This is literally so easy to do lmao it's called taking to much speed into a corner then hitting gravel with one side of the car causing those tyres to get dirty. This happens in any kind of motorsport to any driver chill out

He’s not going to be using that “lack of rear grip” excuse again this season surely? Any other top driver would work around that to suit their driving style

Certainly one of the grid's most consistent drivers.

Omfg 99% of people in comment section never drove a focking kart in their life but still talking about a 4-time world champion driving a Ferrari that is 1% of what it really was 20 years ago

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Unless you were sitting in the car, you have no idea what happened. It spun. End of story.

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Vettel taking the SF1000 for a spin. Literally.

Best advantage for Sebastian in 2020: starting by underestimated. I hope he will shut up every keyboard's "king-lion" here.

Exactly what testing is for. Testing the limits of the car.

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Wing Wednesday! 🏎️

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