Formula 4 and Formula Regional put on a show at the first round in Abu Dhabi

Columns: From Kart to F1
With the first weekend completed in Abu Dhabi, F4 and F.Regional uncover the first cards of 2022 in the sign of the former karters.

F4 UAE
The sixth edition of the series kicked off from the track that only last month decided the Formula 1 World Championship with Verstappen's victory. 
A first approach for many, a way to already start warming up the engines for the national series for others. The new homologation of the Tatuus T-421 cars made an excellent debut in the first of the five rounds scheduled between Abu Dhabi and Dubai with four pulse-pounding races. After his debut last year, Andrea Kimi Antonelli started his first real season in F4 with a bang making himself the absolute protagonist. Two victories in the first two races for the Italian driver, immediately at ease with the Prema Team and also author of the daring victory in full Mini Kart style for just +0.003sec on teammates Aiden Neate and rookie James Wharton. 

It would have even been a hat-trick for Antonelli in the third race of the weekend, cancelled only by a penalty at the end of the grand prix for crossing the line delimiting the exit of the pit-lane. Victory therefore inherited by Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak (MP Motorsport), second Charlie Wurz (Prema), third Antonelli relegated. 



In the last race of the weekend, another well-known name in current karting, that of Taylor Barnard (PHM Racing). A textbook start for the Englishman who went from fifth to first at the end of the first lap, a move sufficient to win and also to keep Antonelli at bay, recovering from 12th place and second at the end. Jamie Day was third. 



Antonelli leads the overall standings but will have to skip the second race weekend, following his seasonal schedule (present in Abu Dhabi after Camara's stop for reasons related to Covid-19) and returning to the track in round three in Dubai. 

Formula Regional Asian Championship 
Formula Regional also makes its debut this season, taking place over the same weekend as F4. Three exciting races, also in this case, featuring three former acquaintances of recent karting. 

The first race of the weekend went into the hands of Sebastian Montoya (Mumbai Falcons Racing Limited) in his first career victory. Success built from pole position for the Colombian, who was also good at managing the two safety cars that, in fact, determined the final result. After the first restart, hard fight between Isack Hadjar (Hitech), Arthur Leclerc (Mumbai Falcons Racing Limited) and Gabriele Minì (Hitech) with the latter getting the better of the last SC a few minutes from the end. Victory in parade for Montoya under the eyes of his father Juan-Pablo, podium closed by Minì and Leclerc. Fourth Hadjar, fifth place for Dino Beganovic (Mumbai Falcons Racing Limited). 

With the reversal of the order of arrival of Race 1, pole position for Gabriel Bortoleto (3Y Technology UAE). The Brazilian didn't let the opportunity pass him by and managed to firmly hold the pace and run away to a capital victory. The twelve retirements and the numerous interventions of the safety car have outlined the podium with Lorenzo Fluxa (3Y Technology UAE) in second place, Leclerc still on the podium in third place. Fourth Montoya and fifth Leonardo Fornaroli (Hitech). 



Third and last race of the weekend with bated breath for the terrible accident at the start. Frightening crash triggered by the stall of Salih Yoloc on the starting grid, violently hit by the cars of Cem Bolukbasi and Amna Al Qubaisi, fortunately without consequences for both if not the big scare. Gabriele Minì after the restart has firmly held the pole position obtained on Friday, managing to escape after the first laps. The close fight for the podium between Jak Crawford (Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema) and Hadjar has then allowed the Sicilian driver to make the final gap to the success. Fourth place went to Pepe Marti (Pinnacle Motorsport), fifth to Arthur Leclerc. 

First place in the standings for Gabriele Minì with only three points of margin on Leclerc, third Montoya. Next race at the weekend on the Dubai circuit. 

S.C.
Photo: F4 UAE/FRegional Press 

Created by: scorradengo - 24/01/22

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