In the penultimate round of F4 UAE, two usual faces took victories but a surprise pole position spiced up the weekend. There was no streaming of the weekend’s action due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’ so let’s go through the four takeaways from the weekend based on what we know.
By Charlie Parker
Ivan Domingues and Jamie Day lead Xcel’s best weekend
For the first time this season, an Xcel Motorsport car started a race from pole position. Portuguese driver Ivan Domingues claimed a shock pole position in qualifying two, a result he was over the moon with, leaping into the arms of his engineer.
Ivan wasn’t able to convert it into a victory, conceding first and second to Charlie Wurz and Luke Browning, but a third place will make Ivan and the Xcel team plenty happy as they pick up their second podium of the season.
Jamie Day then picked up their third podium, and his second, in the fourth race of the weekend by finishing second. Starting in reverse grid second, Day got comfortable behind Rafael Camara and followed him to the end and a great weekend for Xcel.
The title is now Wurz’s to lose
A massive points haul for the Austrian driver in round four means the championship is his to lose in the final round at Yas Marina.
A win in race three with two second-place finishes in race one and two saw his lead rise to 45 points after the race three victory. His rival, Aiden Neate could not use his four-place grid position advantage in race four as the two ended seventh and eighth, meaning the British driver only clawed two points back.
A championship and Prema bragging rights for Wurz doesn’t sound too bad does it.
Inthraphuvasak quietly slips away from contending races
Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak came out the blocks firing, claiming pole position in qualifying one and third in qualifying two in the opening weekend. This led to him inheriting the race three victory after a penalty to the on-track winner, Andrea Kimi Antonelli. Two podiums in weekend two at the Dubai Autodrome and Tern was on track for a championship battle.
However, going into the final round, Inthraphuvasak sits 69 points behind the championship leader. It hasn’t necessarily been bad for the Thai driver, but no podiums since race two of round two will be a big disappointment for him. Round four wasn’t much fun either, with a retirement and a 13th place finish adding insult to injury.
The biggest what if from this season of F4 UAE will be, what if Camara didn’t get ill. The Brazilian showed off his talent by claiming three victories. Camara now only sits five points behind Neate in the standings, having participated in one round less. It does make you wonder if Wurz would have more competition if Camara’s season went as planned.
Header photo credit: F4 UAE