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10 different race winners, the championship leader changing after every race weekend bar one, and six drivers from four teams in title contention heading into a thrilling season finale which saw Max Fewtrell emerge triumphant. The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford has a lot to live up to following a captivating 2016.

We’re in luck however, with a rich crop of Ford EcoBoost-powered talent promising a superb year of action in what is Ford’s 50th consecutive year at the forefront of junior single-seater motor racing. No less than nine nationalities are represented this weekend. The world’s most exciting junior motor racing prospects are set to battle it out in the UK for coveted FIA Super Licence points in their bid to climb the FIA pyramid to F1, as well as a fully funded test with a leading FIA European F3 team courtesy of series partner and tyre supplier Hankook.

The only single-seater series in Britain open to 15-year-old drivers, British F4 boasts a quality field headed by a four-car entry from champion team Carlin. Series race winner Jamie Caroline joins them in his quest for the title. American karting prodigy Logan Sargeant topped two days of pre-season testing, having recently been crowned Rookie Champion in the UAE’s sister F4 series. Flying Finn Patrik Pasma and Lucas Alecco Roy complete the line-up.

TRS Arden have assembled a strong squad of international drivers. British F4 Rookie class vice-champion Ayrton Simmons is retained and joined by Australian karting ace Oscar Piastri. Like Sargeant, Piastri has competed in the sister UAE F4 series and is the only other driver to have been the pacesetter on more than one day of pre-season testing. New York City’s Yves Baltas arrives from across the pond while 2016 British F4 Rookie Champion Alex Quinn will contest the first four meetings, before Olli Caldwell jumps in the car at Croft once he has turned 15.

Double R’s cosmopolitan line-up has no shortage of speed. Swedish single-seater champion Linus Lundqvist has been a star of pre-season testing, in addition to Lebanese karting champion Karl Massaad and Daniel Cao from Shanghai.

JHR came tantalisingly close to the title with runner-up Sennan Fielding and want to go one better with Manuel Sulaimán from Puebla, Mexico. Podium finisher Billy Monger returns as a leading contender for the inaugural Ford F4 Challenge Cup, which sees drivers compete in a maximum of seven meetings.

International kart champion Oliver York is another Challenge Cup contender, graduating to car racing with Fortec Motorsports, as is Richardson Racing’s Harry Webb. Elsewhere, Falcon Motorsport will join the fray in the Challenge Cup with Irish karting champion Lucca Allen from the Snetterton meeting onwards.

Two new teams join the grid in 2017. Jamie Sharp steps up to British F4 with his father’s Sharp Motorsport outfit. Meanwhile Gary Ward’s GW Motorsport fields Jacky Liu who has an array of Chinese karting titles to his name.


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Two local Formula 4 UAE teams have joined the winners circle this weekend (10-12 February), after claiming maiden race wins during Round 4 of the championship at Yas Marina Circuit, preventing points leaders Team Motopark from securing a clean sweep for the first time this season.

Dubai-based Energy Dubai F4 Racing Team and Abu Dhabi-based Rasgaira Motorsports – both new to running Formula 4 race cars this season – earned their first race wins with star drivers Sean Babington (in Race 12) and Fabio Scherer (Race 14) respectively, sharing two of the four race victories on offer.

Babington (#4) – a four-time British karting champion – only made his circuit racing debut four months ago but had amassed six podium finishes prior to the weekend’s event in the UAE capital. While Swiss racer Scherer (#13), a former race winner in the ADAC Formel 4 Championship in Germany, won on debut in the Middle East this weekend while also claiming a second-place finish earlier in the day.

Championship leader and South African racer Jonathan Aberdein (#21) from Team Motopark dominated the remaining two races ahead of teammate Logan Sargeant (#23), both helping the Germany-based operation to seal the F4UAE Teams Championship one round early.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of ATCUAE and Emirates Motor Sports Foundation, congratulated the local teams on being able to claim victory during the inaugural season of the Middle East’s newest open-wheeler championship.

“Congratulations to everyone at Energy Dubai and Rasgaira for racing so strongly against the other very experienced drivers, and we are very proud to see the UAE teams on the top step of the podium this weekend,” said Ben Sulayem. “We have one more event at Yas Marina Circuit next month and we are sure that all the drivers will deliver the best racing of the year to finish our first F4UAE Championship.”

Sean Babington (England), Energy Dubai F4 Racing Team (#4) said: “It's a massive relief to get that win, especially after being hounded for the whole of the race; you can see the Motopark guys and Fabio [Scherer] all the time in the mirror behind. Into the very slow corners everyone closes up so much and the gap you think you have is suddenly gone, so the pressure to hold on at the front was hard to manage. And the level of competition is getting harder and harder so the whole team is ecstatic to get this win. We've worked really really hard all year so a massive thanks to the team for making the right setup changes to get me onto the top step.”

Fabio Scherer (Switzerland), Rasgaira Motorsports (#13) said: “We improved a lot from qualifying and I saw I had the pace so I was just relaxed and I think that was the key to the race. Towards the end I saw Jonathan [Aberdein] coming after me and I pushed a bit more but never I thought I was needing to go to the limit. I like the reverse grid races because you need to be good in the battles, not just with speed, so it's really nice to be at the end of the weekend in the best position.”

Richard Cregan, Team Principal of Rasgaira Motorsports said: “It's a great day for us as Rasgaira, we've been on the podium many times before but it was our first win and nothing is as sweet as a win. Fabio did a great job and was very professional, and you could see his experience coming through as well, having done the German championship last year.

David [Malukas] also did well with two fourth places, and I think the partnership again with US Racing from Germany works exceptionally well so for us. As a whole, it shows we have the right resources to help these young drivers improve their racing experience and that this is the championship for young drivers who want to go to Europe and do well.”

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South African Jonathan Aberdein has officially claimed the inaugural FIA Formula 4 UAE Championship title for Team Motopark, while the action-filled final round at Yas Marina Circuit also welcomed new faces to the podium.

Amassing 14 race wins and two other podium finishes, Aberdein (#21) had been the standout driver of the season and lead the championship standings from the get-go, but not without strong competition from teammate Logan Sargeant (#23). Sargeant finished second outright in the championship thanks to his 15 race podiums, took home Rookie Champion honours, and also helped Team Motopark seal the Teams Champion title for the 2016/17 season.

Having been a rookie in last year’s ADAC Formel 4 Championship in Germany, Aberdein says that winning his first open-wheeler title in the UAE has been the perfect preparation to chase his first European title this coming season.

“F4UAE has been a really successful championship for me and all the experience I’ve gained in the last six months has definitely made me a better driver,” said Aberdein, who also won a limited edition BRM Chronographes watch for his title win, thanks to series partner BRM Middle East.

“I’ve had some good competition from Logan especially, but overall the competitiveness of the championship has been really strong in the last few events and it’s been more challenging to get the wins. I’m going to be racing a few of the other drivers again in Europe but there’s no reason why I can’t be up the front fighting for the German F4 title this year after all the success I’ve had here in the Middle East.”

Dubai-based Sean Babington (#4) from Energy Dubai F4 Racing Team – a race winner last event – took third place honours in the title fight and was the highest-finishing local driver this season. While the QMMF F4 Team’s Ahmad Al Muhannadi (#22) won the Best Performing GCC Driver of the season while also finishing an impressive fourth place outright in the championship points.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of ATCUAE and Emirates Motor Sports Foundation, congratulated the championship’s inaugural winners.

“Congratulations to Jonathan for a very strong performance this year and winning the first F4UAE Championship,” said Ben Sulayem. “All of our teams and drivers have improved more than we could expect and they have contributed to making F4UAE the championship that we hope all of the future champions will come to race. We are very proud of all of the winners but I also would like to congratulate the QMMF for being the champion GCC team. We look forward to another great season starting at the end of the year.”

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Team Motopark’s Jonathan Aberdein won two out of three races at Round 3 of the 2016/17 Formula 4 UAE Championship this weekend, but it was his Venezuelan teammate Sebastian Wahbeh who became the first new driver to claim victory in the inaugural season of the Middle East’s newest open-wheeler championship.

For the first two championship rounds, the experienced German F4 team had claimed victory in all seven previous races thanks to South African, Aberdein (#21), but Motopark’s expansion from a two-car to four-car operation at the Dubai Autodrome round saw added competition among the field.

Wahbeh – who competed fulltime in the Italian F4 Championship last year with one race win and pole position to his credit – finished second in his first race on Friday evening before the 16-year-old claimed honours in the reverse grid Race 9 on Saturday morning.

“Sebastian showed good results, strong pace, he had two front-row qualifying results, a second place finish and one win, so it’s all positive for his development as a racing driver,” said Team Motopark principal Timo Rumpfkeil.

“He has already done his winter testing in Europe but this was the first time he has driven the German F4-spec car. With his plans to race again in Italy in a few months’ time, it was really important for him to get back into racing mode and we’re happy with how he has competed against everyone and also worked with the team.
“For Jonathan, there has been a lot of pressure on him this year, especially with his teammate Logan [Sargeant] pushing him the whole season. He was unlucky not to get that win but it is unrealistic to win everything. These results are still good preparation for European racing which starts very soon,” concluded Rumpfkeil.

Races Summary

Aberdein lead from pole position to his eighth race win of the championship, while his full-season teammate and leading rookie Sargeant stalled off the startline. Wahbeh benefitted, moving from third to second place, where he remained until the end of the 20mins session.

Australian Oscar Piastri (88) from Dragon F4 and Babington maintained third and fourth positions respectively for most of the first race, until Sargeant carved through the field to overtake both by the chequered flag, and taking the final step on the podium.

An eventful reverse grid Race 9 on Saturday morning saw Rasgaira Motorsport’s David Malukas (#79) from the USA take the lead on lap one, holding off the majority of the field until Wahbeh charged from the last row to first place by the completion of the race. Holding out the remaining hungry Team Motopark drivers, Malukas claimed second outright, his second podium finish for the season, ahead of Aberdein in third.

First lap incidents in Saturday morning’s Race 9 saw Sargeant and Weerts both suffering front-end damage; Sargeant by out-braking himself at turn one and meeting the tyre barriers, while Weerts collided with Qatar’s Ahmad Al Muhannadi.

Piastri and Babington again finished fourth and fifth in Race 9, with Piastri’s results being his highest to date after only having made his circuit-racing debut at the last round in Abu Dhabi.

With Race 10’s starting grid decided by each driver’s second-fastest qualifying lap, Team Motopark had the advantage from the get-go with Aberdein and Sargeant back on the top two steps of the podium, Babington claimed his sixth third-place finish for the season, while Wahbeh finished seventh after being given a drive-through penalty for a starting infringement.