F4 Italy: Al Qubaisi P15 on Friday, Weug in the top-20 in tightly packed field
Hamda Al Qubaisi and Maya Weug completed the two practice sessions of Italian F4 at Red Bull Ring in the midfield, with good room for improvements in a tightly-packed grid.
A sunny and warm day opened the fifth round of the Italian F4 season at Red Bull Ring. At the Austrian track, Al Qubaisi made her single seater debut in 2019 and has claimed her first ever point in the series in 2020 – then topped by outstanding results in Monza and Misano in 2021.
Maya Weug – the first ever female driver selected in the Ferrari Driver Academy and competing under the Iron Dames’ banner – has also previously shown serious pace on the Styrian hills: Maya clinched her first top 10 in the ADAC German Formula 4 season opener – even though she was ineligible to score points due to her guest status.
Weug was 26th and 20th fastest in the two free practice sessions that launched the Austrian race meeting – even though the Dutch-Belgian-Spanish driver had spent most of FP2 higher up the order, only to drop in the final minutes.
Emirati racing star Hamda Al Qubaisi was P26 in the morning – but as the track conditions improved in the warm afternoon, she significantly improved and slotted into P15 out of a strong 32-car grid.
The sessions were topped by US Racing’s Tim Tramnitz and Oliver Bearman for Van Amersfoort Racing, with most of the top-5 changing from one session to the other: Durksen and Dufek – second and third – preceded Montoya in FP1, ahead of Kimi Andrea Antonelli (Prema Powerteam), the karting sensation making his official debut in formula cars.
Montoya was up into second place in the afternoon, ahead of Nikita Bedrin and Tramnitz. Antonelli was again a convincing ninth.
Gaps continue to be really tight, with Al Qubaisi merely a second off the pace-setter Bearman.
This, together with her strong records in race conditions, always make Al Qubaisi a contender for the Top-10.
Weug – ninth among the rookies – was also just 1.1 seconds adrift of the overall leader and will target a strong qualifying tomorrow, at 08:30 CEST.