F4 Italy: Hamda Al Qubaisi retires from Monza race 2
Young Emirati driver Hamda Al Qubaisi was making up positions in Italian F4 second race in Monza, before a contact put her out of the race.
After her best qualifying session in Formula 4, Hamda Al Qubaisi had a scary end to the first race in Monza when she saw a competitor’s car jumping over her #88 Abu Dhabi Racing by Iron Lynx Tatuus. Hamda was luckily unhurt, in a crash that once again proves the necessity of the HALO device on every formula car.
“I’ll now focus on race 2 and 3.” - she told us yesterday.
“In race 2 I’ll start at the back unfortunately, but I guess that it might be safer than in the middle and I’ll focus on making up positions.”
Following a typical-Monza messy Q2, Al Qubaisi couldn’t complete any clean qualifying lap and thus lined up P21 on the grid for the morning’s race at the iconic home fo the Italian GP.
After a highly spectacular first race, there was also drama early on in the Italian F4 Race 2: pole-sitter Andrea Rosso could not take the start of the race due to an electrical issue and his Cram Motorsport single-seater came to a stop into the pitlane during the formation lap - leaving the first grid slot empty.
Gabriele Mini and Francesco Pizzi could thus resume their battle for victory, with Filip Ugran (Jenzer Motorsport) ready to pick up more points behind the two Italian drivers.
It was Mini (Prema Powerteam) to take the lead into Turn 1, but Pizzi moved up into first place before the end of the first lap. Just as yesterday, Pizzi and Mini swapped places several times and alternated at the lead of the race.
Hamda Al Qubaisi had a good start and advanced to P16 in the hectic midfield battles. She kept it clean in the first lap and avoided contacts. Chovanek went off at Lesmo 2 and retired, while Hamda’s position fluctuated between P16 and P18.
On lap 6, though, the 18-year old Emirati went slightly deep into the First Chicane and, as she came back on the racing line, her Abu Dhabi Racing car bounced on the high sausage kerb, pointing her front wing into the side of the Van Amersfoort car of Chinese driver Han Cenyu.
Unfortunately, both drivers were out - with Hamda’s car sustaining also front suspension damages.
The Safety Car was deployed for the incident at Turn 1, yet a big crash took out Filip Ugran and Pietro Delli Guanti at Lesmo 2, when the Italian driver was caught out by the Safety Car boards and almost spun in front of the Jenzer racer.
At the restart, Pizzi held on to first with five minutes to go, as Mini went wide into the gravel at the First Chicane and dropped behind Sebastian Montoya.
More contacts at the back sliminated Beganovic, Patterson and Patrese from the race. On the final lap, the Prema drivers banged wheels, resulting in Montoya going off in the gravel and Mini re-claiming second from the recovering Bortoleto.
Francesco Pizzi won again in Monza, but this time it’ll be the VAR driver to be investigated by the stewards for a Safety Car restart. Fornaroli was fourth for Iron Lynx, continuing a strong weekend in Monza.
With one more race left on today’s schedule for Italian F4, Hamda Al Qubaisi will take the start from P11 - her best starting position in her full-rookie campaign in the series.
Race will go green at 15:50 CEST.