Points for Hamda Al Qubaisi in ADAC Formula 4 debut
Updated: Sep 21
Young Emirati driver Hamda Al Qubaisi made her debut in the ADAC Formula 4 Germany at Hockenheimring for Iron Lynx, where - despite some technical troubles - she again showed great pace and could claim her second top-10 in two weeks.
The ADAC Formula 4 Germany weekend at Hockenheimring saw some new drivers on the grid of what is one of the most competitive F4 series around Europe together with the Italian championship. Among the others, it was 18-year old Emirati girl Hamda Al Qubaisi, as Iron Lynx extended its participation from the Italian to the German series with their duo Leonardo Fornaroli and Al Qubaisi, both also competing in the Italian Formula 4 in 2020.
The first race of the weekend was a flag to flag win for Joshua Dürksen (ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e. V.) as he came out on top at the start from pole and didn't give up his position for the whole race. He then had to defend in the final laps from the return of Gabriele Mini (Prema Powerteam), with whom he had a thrilling duel which ended with a contact between the drivers. Mini tried to pass Dürksen, but there was simply not enough space for both and they collided. While Dürksen could continue the race, Mini had to retire with suspension damage.
Dürksen won ahead of Jak Crawford and Jonny Edgar (both Van Amersfoort Racing).
R-ACE GP driver Kirill Smal had a shocking moment when he ran wide over the kerbs exiting turn one and saw the front-end of his car bouncing up in the air and banging hard back on the track after several seconds or air-time.
Hamda Al Qubaisi scored her first point in her first ADAC Formula 4 race, coming home with an impressive P10. After the race she stated that she "had a technical issue in the last few laps" and "could’ve stayed P9 and maybe even catch for P8". A more than solid performance for her first appearance in this really competitive series, that marks her second weekend in a raw within the top-10 after her past weekend in the Italian F4 at the Red Bull Ring.
The second race was a bit more busy: Mini defended his first position after the start while Oliver Bearman (US Racing) couldn't hold his teammate Tim Tramnitz behind and lost second place.
But as soon as on lap 2, the first Safety Car was deployed as Sebastian Montoya (Prema Powerteam) and Josef Knopp (ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e. V.) made contact. Montoya was not able to stop his car and ended in the wall, luckily unhurt.
After the restart, Mini was still the lead, but went wide, ran on the kerb and got up into the air just like as Smal did in the previous race. When his car bounced back on track, he was able to drive until the end, but couldn't hold Tramitz and Bearman behind. Bearman passed Tramitz as well and went for the victory in front of Tramitz and Mini.
Hamda was in a fight in the midfield for points again, but received a drive through penalty for lining up in the wrong grid position at the start and consequently dropped back. Nevertheless, she showed again really competitive pace and flew on track clocking times not far off the leaders, but finished in 16th, outside the points-scoring positions.
Crawford started from pole in race 3 and led the field while he pulled away. Mini and Victor Bernier passed Finnish driver Elias Seppänen and chased Crawford for the lead.
Behind them, Pizzi (Van Amersfoort Racing) and Edgar made contact which caused tyre damage on Edgar's car. After a pit stop, he rejoined at the back-end of the field.
Up in the lead, Crawford defended his position for several laps from the attacks of his pursuers, but Bernier firstly passed Mini and then Crawford to advance into the lead. Seppänen also managed to find a way past Mini, as Dürksen was recovering from the back.
Dürksen, after missing the braking point, slipped through the corner and crashed into Crawford's car: both were not able to continue the race and the Safety Car was sent out. The red flag followed shortly afterwards, with just a over 2 minutes left on the clock.
Bernier took the victory ahead of Crawford and Seppänen.
Hamda finished the last race of the Hockenheimring weekend in P14.
"I had some technical problems. And also I should’ve stayed above the problem but I was over pushing a bit." - she commented.
The next round of the ADAC Formula 4 will take place next weekend at the Nürburgring, but it is not clear at the moment whether Iron Lynx will join this round with Fornaroli and Hamda Al Qubaisi as well.