Race 1 of the second round of the F4 UAE Championship got underway with the Mumbai Falcon’s duo Alex Powell on Pole and Freddie Slater in P2, both getting excellent starts as they led the pack into turn 1.

 

Several drivers went wide, shuffling the order of the pack. PHM AIX’s Nikita Bedrin maintained P3, with PREMA’s Doriane Pin finding an opportunity in the chaos to get up to P4 from P6.

An incident on lap 1 eventually brought out a safety car, with marshals attempting to do a quick recovery before being forced to issue a full safety car. XCEL Motorsport’s Tina Hausmann attempted a move down the inside of Sainteloc Racing’s Aurelia Nobels, but Hausmann didn’t get a good exit and clipped the front right tyre of Nobels, sending Hausmann airborne momentarily. Hausmann parked her car off, with the damages ending her race early. Nobels was able to continue her race, finishing in P19.

 

Yas Heat’s Keanu Al Azhari and Mumbai Falcon’s Kean Nakamura-Berta both found damage to their car after the opening lap’s drama, causing both drivers to head to the pitlane for a quick repair before rejoining the race from the back.

 

In T12, Hitech’s Deagen Fairclough collided with R-ace GP’s Enzo Yeh, causing Yeh to lose control of his car and spin out. The Stewards handed out a 10-second time penalty to Fairclough’s race time after they determined he caused the collision. Fairclough crossed the finish line in P7, but his penalty brought him down to P13 in the final classification.

The double retirement of Yeh and Hausmann brought out the safety car, but only when the pack was already in Sector 3, allowing several drivers to continue their fights for position.

 

Once the track had been cleared, just 19-minutes remained in the 28-minute +1 lap race, bringing a sense of desperation out of the drivers to make up positions before the end of the race. Finishing positions in Race 1 are arguably the most important of the weekend, with a driver’s position dictating their starting position for Race 2. The top-12 drivers in Race 1 will also benefit from a reverse grid, with P12 being a highly-coveted spot for the midfield.

 

A battle between XCEL Motorsport’s Alvise Rodella and R-ace GP’s Jules Caranta gave Fairclough an opportunity to dive down the inside of the two, making up two places in one corner to secure P7.

 

XCEL Motorsport’s Tiago Rodrigues got involved in the battle, with the chaos of three cars causing Rodrigues to collide with his teammate Rodella, clipping Caranta and sending him into a spin. The damage to Caranta’s car caused him to eventually retire a few laps later, with Rodella and Rodrigues able to continue their race, finishing P23 and P30, respectively.

Meanwhile, at the front of the pack, Slater took the lead from Powell when he dove down the inside at T1. Slater was defending his lead superbly when another safety car came out due to R-ace GP’s Luka Sammalisto crashing out after battling with Yas Heat’s Zack Scoular for P10.

 

With 9-minutes to go after the safety car pulled in, the midfield battle lit up with thrilling racing action. Pinnacle Motorsport’s Kai Daryanani put the work in against AGI Sport’s Jack Beeton. Daryanani pulled off a sensational double overtake on Nakamura-Berta and Beeton. Starting in P26, Daryanani made up a staggering 10 places to secure P16 by the chequered flag.

The final classification saw Slater cross the finish line with a 2.335 gap to his teammate Powell in P2. Bedrin rounded out the podium, with Al Dhaheri and Pin following in P4 and P5, respectively.

 

Nakamura-Berta finished P12, securing the reverse-grid pole for Race 2. Mumbai Falcon’s Dion Gowda secured P11, putting him on the front row for Race 2, followed by Al Azhari in P10 and Scoular in P9, locking out the second row for Race 2.

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