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F4 UAE: Doriane Pin reaches top-five in Abu Dhabi, improvements for Nobels

With her new personal best result in F4 UAE, Doriane Pin is now consistently fighting for the top-five in a stellar 35-car field. At the second round, Aurelia Nobels made significant progress and secured her first top-20; Carrie Schreiner and Tina Hausmann both gained 18 places across the weekend, in a highly competitive midfield.


Doriane Pin, Prema Racing, F4 UAE, 2024 Abu Dhabi
Photo credits: F4UAE

The second round of the 2024 F4 UAE championship continued to highlight the outstanding development of Doriane Pin, who secured a top five finish among a 35 car field of the world's top F4 drivers at her fourth weekend in single seaters.


But there was significant progress also for Aurelia Nobels (Saintéloc Racing) - who is starting to understand the tyres better and adapting to the new team and track. While overall unlucky in some of the races, Carrie Schreiner (AGI Sport) kept her trademark recovery skills and made up several positions in the races; making her first appearance among the field at the second round was also Aston Martin-junior Tina Hausmann, who joined the ranks of Xcel Motorsport and showed enough speed to compete for the top-20 but couldn't capitalize in race 1 and 2.


Eight female drivers have in fact now entered at least one race in this year's edition of the F4 UAE championship, although Amna and Hamda Al Qubaisi, Jessica Edgar and Laura Villars only contested the non-championship Trophy Round.


The first points-paying event was a full display of talent for single-seater rookie Doriane Pin, who was coming off podiums and a win in her first ever outings in F4 machinery in the F4 South East Asia. In Abu Dhabi, at her first contact with the uber-competitive field of the UAE championship, she did not disappoint and immediately scored points in two out of the three races. Already confirmed for the F1 Academy season, Carrie Schreiner had battled with the aftermath of a Covid infection - but the German fought through and completed stellar recoveries, especially at the starts.


The opening round was a bit challenging also for Aurelia Nobels; the Ferrari Driver Academy driver in fact had to familiarize with a new team, on new tyres - the Giti Tire, which significantly differs from the Pirelli she used in Italian F4 and Euro4 - on a track where she had never driven on before. But, just one week later, the progression was already noticeable and Nobels started to close in on the top-15.


The testing sessions on Thursday already offered a glimpse of what was to come, as Doriane Pin was a consistent presence in the top five also on the track layout used on the second round - the GP layout with start on the back straight. Pin was fourth and fifth fastest at the end of the two sessions, three and four tenths away from the top of the leaderboard.

New entry Tina Hausmann also showed promising speed, ending the day in P25.


On Friday morning, Pin made a statement and finished third fastest, one tenths from pace-setter Keanu Al Azhari. This set the stage for qualifying later in the day, when Pin topped her previous best efforts and was sixth fastest in both Q1 and Q2, having set a 1:56.137 and a 1:55.825 respectively, proving that she would be fighting for a maiden top five.


Aurelia Nobels' improvements on Friday continued and the Brazilian was P27 and P23, with an especially convincing Q2, 1.2 seconds off pole. As she learnt the track, Tina Hausmann also closed the gap and qualified P28 and P31. Schreiner would have to make up positions in the races, as she unfortunately couldn't qualify higher than P33 and P31, albeit finishing both sessions within 2 seconds to the top.

Alex Powell (Mumbai Falcons) and Keanu Al Azhari (Yas Heat Racing Academy) shared pole positions.


Aurelia Nobels, Saintéloc Racing, F4 UAE, 2024 Abu Dhabi
Photo credits: F4UAE
Race 1

At the start of race one on Saturday morning, Alex Powell retained the lead from teammate Freddie Slater, followed closely by Nikita Bedrin and Keanu Al Azhari. Doriane Pin had a good start - and a contact between Al Azhari and Nakamura Berta allowed the Frenchwoman to move up to fourth over the first lap. Several incidents resulted in the deployment of the safety car; unfortunately, Tina Hausmann was also involved and retired on the first lap.


Another stellar launch for Carrie Schreiner saw the German gaining 7 places; the AGI Sport driver was up to P24, right behind Aurelia Nobels, who had carried momentum after good improvements in testing and practice.


The race resumed on lap 3 and positions at the top remained unchanged, with Pin starting to put pressure on Bedrin - but also with Rashid Al Dhaheri right in her mirrors. A clash between Xcel teammates Rodella and Rodrigues ended up with Caranta also being tagged into a spin; just ahead, Al Dhaheri found a way past Pin for fourth and Slater managed to snatch the lead from Powell. Nobels and Schreiner climbed to P19 and P20 - and were busy in the heated battles in the midfield that also included the recovering Nakamura-Berta, who had pitted on the first lap for a new front wing.


A puncture for Sammalisto triggered the second safety car with 8 minutes to go, but it was a quick recovery from the marshals and, when Slater accelerated away on lap 9, Pin held on to fifth, as Hitech teammates Stilp and Fairclough battled behind her. Schreiner and Nobels fought elbows out for a spot in the top 20 and Aurelia found a way past Bouzinelos for P19 on the penultimate lap.


Freddie Slater took victory in race 1, preceding Mumbai Falcons' teammate Alex Powell and F3 racer Nikita Bedrin. Doriane Pin secured her first top-five in the series with yet another superb performance which topped her personal best from round 1 by one position.


But the battles to watch were arguably in the midfield, as over 10 cars fought for the top-15. Aurelia Nobels maximised her pace and claimed a very solid P19, her first top 20 in the series; Carrie Schreiner gained 10 places over the course of the first race and was P21 across the finish line.


Carrie Schreiner, AGI Sport, F4 UAE, 2024 Abu Dhabi
Photo credits: F4UAE

Race 2

While the reverse grid race was supposed to see Dion Gowda starting from pole - having crossed the finish line in P12 - a post-race penalty for Deagan Fairclough promoted Kean Nakamura Berta to 12th from the back of the field and therefore to reverse grid pole for the second race of the weekend in the late afternoon.


From eighth on the grid, Doriane Pin had a brilliant launch but then went wide in the run-off of the first corner and lost the positions she had gained on the first lap, while Keanu Al Azhari managed move up from third to first, stripping Nakamura Berta of the race lead right at the end of the first lap.


Temporarily up to sixth, Pin was down to tenth after the opening 5,281 metres of racing; after a solid first race Schreiner had a first lap contact in race 2 and dropped down the order. Aurelia Nobels held P19, and it would be Hausmann to make the most out of the second start, as the Aston Martin junior made up 12 places and slotted into P23 from the very last grid slot. An accident between Everett Stack, Tiago Rodrigues and Peter Bouzinelos neutralized the action on the second lap and the very agitated field slowed down behind the pace car.


Al Azhari led the pace at the restart with 16 minutes to go - and in the midst of the bunched-up pack, Doriane Pin and Matteo Quintarelli came together, which cost the Frenchwoman the front wing and a trip to the pitlane. There was no luck also for Aurelia Nobels, who was also involved in contacts and was ultimately forced to retire on lap 5.


Ahead, Rashid Al Dhaheri was on a mission and overtook Slater for fifth, before the Emirati hunted down Stilp and Nakamura Berta. From these extremely chaotic stages, Carrie Schreiner made good use of her experience and was able to climb back to 20th place, recovering from the first lap contact.


Schreiner battled with teammate Beeton for the top-20 but was then shuffled back to 24th, in the extremely tight midfield. One place at a time, Hausmann had climbed to P18, then battled with Fairclough - who also had been involved in one of the contacts at the beginning of the race.


With 6 minutes to go, Hausmann battled with David and Fu - and the Swiss racer picked a debris that dropped her just outside the top-20. Unfortunately, she was shown the orange and black flag and had to pit to get rid of the debris stuck under her front wing on the penultimate lap. Schreiner was again making up positions and, by gaining more spots in the final laps, the German crossed the finish line in P21, in yet another solid recovery for the F1 Academy race winner and Sauber Academy driver.


Al Azhari survived the pressure from Nakamura Berta and Slater to win his first race of the season, ahead of the Mumbai Falcons duo, Rashid Al Dhaheri and Nikita Bedrin.

The contact at the safety car restart cost Doriane Pin another top ten, but the French racer completed the race in P24, running on extremely competitive pace: with a fastest lap of 1:56.581, Pin was hundredths away from race winner Al Azhari, and showed enough speed for another top-five while in clear air after the pit stop.


Tina Hausmann was the protagonist of a very positive race up until the final laps; before being forced to pit, she had recovered almost 15 positions and was in the fight for a top-20 from the very back of the grid.


Tina Hausmann, Xcel Motorsport, F4 UAE, 2024 Abu Dhabi
Photo credits: F4UAE

Race 3

With pole position in race 3 on Sunday afternoon, Al Azhari had the chance to fully enter the championship fight. Doriane Pin was also aiming to bounce back after the unlucky race 2: the French driver would start from sixth.


Pin avoided Alex Powell who had stalled just ahead of her but she gave up a few places by going off around the outside of the first corner. Al Azhari defended from Slater - who passed Bedrin - Nakamura Berta and Fairclough. Eighth across the line after the first lap, Pin battled with Caranta and Scoular.


From P22, Aurelia Nobels gained two places and moved up into the top-20, as Hausmann and Schreiner were also making up ground by gaining 6 places each over the first lap, before the safety car was deployed for the accident involving Beeton and Gowda.


Al Azhari had a good restart and held the lead and plenty of battles erupted all the way through the pack. Pin found a way past Scoular for seventh - but the action was short-lived, as the safety car was deployed again for the PHM car of Mrad stuck in the TecPro barriers. Nobels had meanwhile gained two more places and climbed up to P18, with Hausmann and Schreiner respectively P23 and P25 - in equally strong recoveries.


With 8 minutes left on the clock, Al Azhari survived another restart - but behind him Slater, Bedrin and Nakamura Berta traded positions having almost made contact in the hotel section. Pin attacked Stilp but couldn't make a move stick. Doriane, though, was the protagonist of a stunning pass around the outside on FIA F3 driver Bedrin - just in time before the next neutralization, caused by a multiple car accident involving Restrepo, Fu and Murray. Daryanani and Nobels also picked up damage and the Brazilian unfortunately had to pit for a new front wing after a really strong recovery up to P17.


Hausmann had survived the madness and was knocking on the top-20; unfortunately she didn't get the chance to improve further, as the race ended behind the pace car. Al Azhari did bring home his second race win of the season, reducing the points' gap to Slater, second across the line, to 23. Nakamura Berta was third, with Fairclough and Stilp rounding out the top five. Doriane Pin was sixth and added 8 more points to her tally in a widely positive second round of the championship.


At her first weekend in F4 UAE, Tina Hausmann recorded a personal best of P21 from 31st on the grid in race 3; she preceded fellow F1 Academy driver Carrie Schreiner in P25 (who also gained 8 places) and the unlucky Aurelia Nobels in P26. Both Schreiner and Hausmann gained 18 places across the weekend, and the former has so far never finished a race lower than her starting position.


Pin now sits eighth in the championship, having totaled 30 points over the first two weekends. Both Nobels and Schreiner topped their personal best results of the F4 UAE season, with a P19 and two P21 finishes respectively. After a back-to-back in Abu Dhabi, the series will now enjoy a week break, before cars will hit the track at Dubai Autodrome on 2-4 February. It will definitely not be a relaxing break for Doriane Pin, though: the Iron Dame will in fact join teammates Michelle Gatting, Rahel Frey and Sarah Bovy for the 24 Hours of Daytona next weekend.  


Doriane Pin, Prema Racing, F4 UAE, 2024 Abu Dhabi
Photo credits: F4UAE

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