Hamda Al Qubaisi adds two second place finishes to her stunning 2020 season start
Two more podiums for 2020 F4 UAE revelation Hamda Al Qubaisi in Abu Dhabi, as the Emirati girl added another pole position to her resumé.
Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina Circuit hosted the second round of the 2020 F4 UAE season, in a back-to-back event following the first championship round of last weekend, where the Emirati series supported the Dubai 24H program.
After a convincing opening round in Dubai, where she was able to clinch her first podium of her young career, Hamda Al Qubaisi confirmed herself as one of the revelations of this 2020 edition, as the youngest of the Al Qubaisi sisters added two more top-three finishes to her racing resumé.
The Arab lady immediately proved her speed by scoring the fastest time in the qualifying session: she was the only driver able to complete a lap of the Yas Marina Circuit under the 2 minutes and 11 seconds mark, which earned her second consecutive pole position start, after the previous championship round.
Hamda started the first race on the right foot, as she led the field into turn one, but a contact caused by Spaniard Lorenzo Fluxa forced the #88 Abu Dhabi Racing's driver to return to the pitlane in an attempt to repair damages. Al Qubaisi resumed her race from the back of the pack.
Round one dominator, Italian Lorenzo Pizzi, started from second place and took advantage from the incident to win race 1, ahead of Xcel Motorsport teammate Nicola Marinangeli and BWT Mucke Motorsport driver Nico Gohler.
Hamda Al Qubaisi ended seventh, just ahead of the other lady on the grid, Saudi Reema Juffali.
Lorenzo Fluxa was again under the spotlight for another incident with the young Arab driver in the second race, which forced Hamda to rejoin again from the back and to end in tenth place.
After receiving a 10 seconds penalty for the first incident, Lorenzo Fluxa was disqualified from race 2 for "causing the avoidable collision and driving in a manner incompatible with general safety".
Lorenzo Pizzi crossed the finish line in first place after starting in sixth, as per the reverse grid rule, followed by Marinangeli and Erik Zuniga.
But Pizzi's winning streak was broken by race stewards, as both Xcel Motorsport drivers received post-race penalties: 10 seconds were added to Pizzi's race time for taking an avantage by exceeding track limits during his overtaking move on Gohler, while Marinangeli, protagonist of a spin in the warm up lap, was penalized for lining up in the wrong grid slot.
BWT Motorsport team thus benefitted from these decisions and inherited a 1-2 victory, with Erik Zuniga clinching his maiden win ahead of Nico Gohler.
Dragon Racing driver Reema Juffali ended race 2 in sixth, after taking the start from eighth.
The starting grid of the third race from the Yas Marina round was determinated by the drivers' second fastest time in qualifying: Hamda Al Qubaisi once again took pole, with Pizzi lining up in second.
The two young drivers competed for the victory from the green light up until the chequered flag: the Italian passed Al Qubaisi in the opening corner and then controlled a clean run, leaving no passing opportunities to the 17-year old lady to reclaim the lead.
Nonetheless, Hamda Al Qubaisi conquered her second podium position of her career, with Marinangeli finishing third.
Hamda added a second rostrum celebration to her Abu Dhabi weekend later in race 4, when starting from fifth, she was able to finish second behind German Nico Gohler, as she took advantage from Pizzi's retirement in the last lap of the race following a throttle issue.
After a ninth place finish in race 3, Reema Juffali ended her weekend with another very solid sixth final place in the last run.
At the end of the first two rounds of the 2020 F4 UAE season, Pizzi leads the championship standings with Hamda Al Qubaisi in fifth overall place.
Yas Marina Circuit will host again the third championship round of the UAE based Formula 4 on 13th-15th February.
Ph Credits: Adriano Coutinho for F4 UAE