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F4 UAE: Doriane Pin takes pole, victory and fastest lap in Abu Dhabi

There's no challenge big enough for Doriane Pin: four rounds into one of the most competitive F4 series globally, the Iron Dame and Mercedes junior claimed a pole position, a fastest lap and a race win. Here's the full summary of a breakthrough weekend.

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

Doriane Pin continues to impress in her single seater rookie year and claimed a breakthrough result in the fourth round of F4 UAE Championship in Abu Dhabi, where she took pole position, fastest lap, a race win and three top-tens.

The young Frenchwoman, part of the Mercedes junior programme and flag-bearer of the team in the upcoming F1 Academy championship, is collecting valuable experience with an extraordinarily-busy schedule that also included the 24 Hours of Daytona in the break weekend. Pin is in fact set to contest a stellar double program in endurance racing with Iron Dames alongside her formula commitments.

Her first outings in Formula 4 turned out to be successful straight away, with podiums and a first win in the two final rounds of the F4 South East Asian series that secured her second in the championship. The move to F4 UAE - which features a 30+ car field with some of the most talented young drivers in the world - was yet another challenge for the 20 year old, who turned heads with two point-scoring finishes in her first weekend. One round later - on a different layout of the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi - Doriane broke in the top-five.

While there was clearly potential also at the third round in Dubai, a more difficult qualifying resulted in tricky races where she was stuck in traffic and had to deal with a few contacts during chaotic contests. But Pin was able to bounce back one week later, as she was back at the top throughout the weekend.

Third in the final testing session on Friday, Doriane was again in the top three in the official practice, one tenth behind Deagan Fairclough and Kean Nakamura-Berta - proving once again that on a track where she had previous references, she would contest for the podium.

This was ultimately confirmed in qualifying, where Pin took an outstanding pole position in Q1, having set a 1:55.284 on her fifth timed lap that remained unbeaten until the chequered flag.

Her maiden pole position on such a field made headlines, as the Mercedes junior established herself as a potential race winner in the UAE-based category. She would share the front row with Kean Nakamura-Berta, while Freddie Slater and Keanu Al Azhari followed on row two.

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

Race 1

When the #28 Prema Tatuus lined up on the grid ahead of everyone, Pin knew that with her pace she had an important opportunity in sight. While it wasn't her first start from pole - she had in fact led the pack in a F4 SEA reverse grid race as well as in last year's 6H of Portimao in WEC - nerves would still play a part.

And she managed them well: while Pin went defensive at lights out, she had a good run towards the first corner and fought wheel to wheel with Nakamura-Berta, who eventually snatched the lead - while championship contenders Slater and Al Azhari collided on the start finish straight, bringing out the safety car.

In a clean restart, Nakamura-Berta led from Pin and Al Dhaheri - and the top three slightly pulled away as Deligny and Powell traded positions behind, leading the rest of the 34 car pack. Powell and Gowda forced Deligny to a mistake on lap 2 and the Mumbai Falcons teammates went past the Red Bull junior.

Pin ran on the same pace as the race leader; on lap 5 she set the fastest lap and gained a couple of tenths, keeping Nakamura-Berta under pressure. After contact between Restrepo and Stack nearly ended with the Colombian driver upside down and the safety car was deployed.

Doriane had found a great rhythm and was eating up hundredths of a second per lap; the neutralization brought the field back together and, while that could have caused problems at the restart, she reacted well at the green flag, with now a little over 2 minutes left on the clock to try and claim back the first place.

Pin was all over the back of the leading Mumbai Falcons car and she started the final lap with winning chances, having also opened a 1.7 second margin to Al Dhaheri in third. After an incredibly tense first race, Doriane crossed the finish line just 6 tenths behind her competitor, thus securing her first podium in the series.

The extraordinary result, though, was even topped several hours after the end of the race, as Nakamura-Berta was handed a five second penalty for having jumped the start: this promoted Pin to the race lead and she grabbed a deserved first win in the series.

Just four rounds in, Pin was on top of the world of F4 competitions - and she shows no signs of holding back.

Doriane Pin, Prema Racing, F4 UAE 2024, Abu Dhabi
Photo credits: F4 UAE
Race 2

On Sunday morning, F4 UAE held its first wet race of the year - and the Safety Car was understandably in charge of leading the pack at the green lights.

Doriane Pin started from P12 due to the reverse grid format and would have to charge through the field in very tricky conditions and navigate through lots of water spray. With very limited previous knowledge of the wet Giti tyre, the drivers followed the safety car for 4 laps, before Enzo Yeh accelerated away and battled through turn 1 with Reza Seewooruthun, who eventually got past in a chaotic restart.

Pin was squeezed at turn 16 and lost a position to Yevan David but she closed up on an 8-car group. From the scraps, Pin overtook Deligny and picked up another position when Nakamura-Berta ended up with a puncture on lap 7. Just a few corners later, Pin made a spectacular move to overtake David, Powell and Gowda in one corner - and she made the move stick, although she was shuffled back to tenth at the hotel section.

Ahead, the two Hitech cars of Seewooruthun and Stilp pulled away with unmatched pace; Gabriel Stilp attacked and took the lead on lap 9. Once ahead, he set the new fastest lap of the race in 2:15.412 and never looked back.

Faster than Dion Gowda, Pin battled with the Mumbai Falcons driver in the closing minutes; an accident in the final corner between David and Gowda cost Pin a position to Deligny, but she could cross the finish line in P10, therefore scoring a point in an action-packed wet reverse grid race. Gabriel Stilp took his first win and preceded teammate Seewooruthun, Yeh, Quintarelli and Murrey.

Doriane Pin, Prema Racing, F4 UAE 2024, Abu Dhabi
Photo credits: F4 UAE
Race 3

The track dried up for race 3 in the early afternoon and drivers took to the track for the final contest of the weekend with Rashid Al Dhaheri leading Kean Nakamura-Berta on the front row. Following her eighth fastest time in Q2, Doriane Pin would take the start form the fourth row.

Pin had a difficult start and fell to P11, but avoided the chaos unfolding all across the field, as Popov and Narac spun on the still wet kerbs and eventually triggered the safety car.

Al Dhaheri had retained the lead, but it would be Al Azhari and Stilp to make up positions and climb to second and fifth respectively.

Under the safety car, a new rain shower would eventually force a red flag, with all cars out on slicks.

Rain slowed down during the interruption, and half the field went for wets while several drivers gambled and stayed on the slick tyre. The race resumed behind the safety car with 20 minutes to go; the pace car pulled out after two laps and while everyone struggled for grip, the slick tyre emerged as the correct choice. After a 3-wide battle, Al Dhaheri kept the lead and Stilp navigated his way up to second after Al Azhari and Deligny made mistakes.

Pin dropped to P13 but was then able to carve her way up to eleventh again; she set a purple second sector and was one tenth from the fastest lap of the race, as she closed in again on the top-ten. Pin clinched P10 when Nakamura-Berta slowed down - and the Prema Racing driver continued to make up ground on Enzo Yeh. After another fastest second sector, Pin completed a great pass on Yeh and, taking advantage from the big battles ahead, she caught Seewooruthun and Sammalisto, she brought herself right in the fight for the rookie win.

On the penultimate lap, Pin made a daring double pass at turn 6 but couldn't make it stick and had to slot back behind her rivals.

After 13 spectacular laps around Yas Marina, Yas Heats teammates Rashid Al Dhaheri and Keanu Al Azhari crossed the finish line 4 tenths apart and led Enzo Deligny, Gabriel Stilp and Dion Gowda. Having shown once again her front-running pace, Doriane Pin was ninth - in a good performance in tricky mixed weather conditions. Multiple time penalties for Luka Sammalisto promoted Doriane to eighth at the end of the race.

Al Dhaheri's first win was a big step in his championship points - as it was for Al Azhari, who took the top spot in the standings with now one round to go, despite being demoted to third post-race. Doriane Pin sits eighth in the drivers' standings, with 66 points to her name - 7 points behind Gabriel Stilp.

Dubai Autodrome will host the fifth and final round of the 2024 F4 UAE Championship in a week's time, where Doriane Pin will aim to wrap up her Emirati season on a high. 

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



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