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  • Writer's pictureRACERS

F1 Academy: Pin dominates Jeddah opening round

Amidst safety car restarts and a battle for the fastest lap, Doriane Pin secured her second race win of the weekend, where she led every single race lap despite a good challenge from Abbi Pulling.

Doriane Pin, Prema Racing, F1 Academy
Photo credits: Mercedes AMG

Doriane Pin completed a perfect weekend at Jeddah, taking two pole positions, two race victories, one fastest lap and leading every single lap around the 6,174 km track, known as the fastest street circuit in the world.

Pin had held off the pressure from Abbi Pulling in an action-packed race 1, which eventually saw the expert British racer and Alpine junior snatching the fastest lap and taking the chequered flag less than a second behind her rival. In Saturday's second race, the battle at the top was replicated - and Pulling was the only driver able to keep up with the Mercedes AMG junior. Throughout a series of safety car restarts, Pin never cracked under pressure and set the fastest lap on the final lap to grab 28 points - the maximum on offer for each race - wrapping up a stellar debut.

The sole 30 minute qualifying session this year will set the grid for both races and the second-best lap classification shaped the starting order for Race 2. It was a significantly different grid compared to race 1 - albeit the top three remained unchanged and Pin shared again the front row with Abbi Pulling. Weug was also third, but behind them Lola Lovinfosse had the chance for redemption after a mistake in the closing stages in race 1 had cost her a top five. Fourth from eighth on the grid in race 1, Chambers was also looking strong on the third row, ahead of Hausmann and Nobels. Bustamante on the other hand would have to recover from tenth - as well as the Al Qubaisi sisters from 12th and 14th and Lia Block from P13.

At lights out, Pulling had a better start but Pin was quick to close the door, as Lovinfosse and Marti battled elbows out for fourth. Both Marti and Chambers went through, with Edgar also joining this train of cars.

Lovinfosse switched back, but Chambers was back ahead at turn 2. A difficult first lap saw Hausmann losing out a couple of positions, while Amna Al Qubaisi was on a mission and she made great passes to close in on the top ten from 14th on the grid.

On lap 3, Chambers and Lovinfosse made contact into turn 1 - and the Charlotte Tilbury-sponsored car went around. Unfortunately the French driver rejoined on the path of Lia Block, whose car was damaged and brought out the safety car.

Having struggled on the first couple of laps, Hausmann pitted and retired with mechanical issues.

Both Edgar, Nobels and Bustamante had avoided the spun Lovinfosse's car and climbed to fifth, seventh and eighth. Amna Al Qubaisi and Carrie Schreiner also made into the top ten as the safety car picked up the leader.

The restart proved to be tricky for Pin, who was under pressure from Pulling. While Doriane eventually held on, behind the leaders it was frantic action throughout the field: Amna Al Qubaisi had great pace and overtook Bustamante; Nobels ran wide and went airborne over a kerb, and Schreiner was tagged and spun around by Emely de Heus. Trying to avoid the spun Sauber car, Reema Juffali hit the wall and the safety car was therefore again required to clear the Saudi-liveried Prema.

Lia Block, who had meanwhile rejoined with a new front wing, was handed a 5 second penalty for speeding in the pitlane. Chambers received the same penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage.

Pin waited until the last corner to accelerate away and held off Pulling, but more contacts behind saw Amna Al Qubaisi jumping on a kerb and displacing Nobels' rear wing. Lia Block went from 11th to 8th by avoiding these skirmishes, but Amna was back ahead soon after, with her sister Hamda also trying to make progress just behind.

Nerea Marti had attacked Maya Weug for the final podium position, but the Spaniard had to back off. Pin, meanwhile, stretched her legs and set the fastest lap of the race in 2:04.829 - but Pulling soon attempted to claim the extra point one lap later, although Pin wasn't done yet: a 2:04.259 on the final lap settled the extra point for the fastest lap and Pin took a second convincing victory, almost 2 seconds clear of Abbi Pulling and Maya Weug.


After being denied on Friday, Nerea Marti was fourth and preceded Jessica Edgar and Chloe Chambers. The American - protagonist of another great recovery - was then handed a second 10 second penalty for the collision with Lovinfosse. This promoted Amna Al Qubaisi to sixth - after Bianca Bustamante also had a penalty to serve for leaving the track and gaining an advantage - and her sister Hamda Al Qubaisi, seventh after a strong recovery from 12th.

Eighth, Bustamante still made up places from her starting position and now sits fourth in the drivers' standings, just behind the three unchanged podium finishers.

Despite being spun midway through the race, Carrie Schreiner recovered to ninth and collected two points, with Haas' Chloe Chambers completing the top-10 after penalties were applied.

Lia Block had a very impressive rookie weekend but was unfortunately unable to score points. She was nevertheless 11th, ahead of Emely de Heus - who was handed a penalty for the contact with Schreiner. Tina Hausmann had tried to rejoin and took the chequered flag in P13 albeit a lap down, ahead of Nobels, Juffali and Lovinfosse. The French racer is also set to serve a 10 place grid drop at the next round for the unsafe rejoin.

The result remains provisional, as Pin was placed under investigation for having taken the chequered flag twice. A late flag wave at the end of the 13 laps and a radio malfunction resulted in a further lap which is currently being investigated by the stewards. 



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