Freddie Slater Leads as F4 UAE Championship Resumes in Dubai

Published on Thursday, February 1, 2024

Freddie Slater Leads as F4 UAE Championship Resumes in Dubai

Freddie Slater tops the Formula 4 United Arab Emirates Championship (F4UAE) standings as the series returns at Dubai Autodrome on February 2-4 following a weekend off since the opening two events at Yas Marina. The 15-year-old English talent, representing Mumbai Falcons Racing, is 23 points clear prior to the final nine races over three weekends.

But with 25 points for a race win, the 2024 title remains wide open. Like Slater, 16-year-old Yas Heat Racing Academy star Keanu Al Azhari has scored two victories and will be looking forward to contesting the next two events just minutes away from his Dubai home. In third place overall, Kean Nakamura-Berta is also a race winner in his Mumbai Falcons Racing car; the London-born Japanese-Slovakian, who is part of the Alpine Formula 1 team’s Academy, is 38 points adrift of Slater and also leads the Rookie championship by the comfortable margin of 48 points.

It's a formidable line-up at the Prema Racing-operated Mumbai Falcons squad. Apart from Slater and Nakamura-Berta, the team has Jamaican-American Mercedes F1 protégé Alex Powell in its midst. Powell has taken a pole position and a podium and is seventh in the overall standings, runner-up in the Rookies. Indian Dion Gowda was in the top six in the opening race but has endured a run of bad luck since then, finishing one race and feeling unwell throughout the second race weekend.

Prema also has two cars running under its own banner. Abu Dhabi’s own Rashid Al Dhaheri scored a podium among four top-five finishes at his home track of Yas Marina and lies fifth in the points. Alongside him, Frenchwoman Doriane Pin had finished in the top six three times and has just moved under the wing of the Mercedes F1 team. She is eighth in the overall standings and fourth in the Rookies.

Alongside Al Azhari, Yas Heat has fielded another local talent in the form of Zack Scoular. He is another to have impressed. Scoular is on a run of four consecutive finishes in the overall points and is third in the Rookie standings, just a point behind runner-up Powell.

The other race winner at the opening two Yas Marina rounds was Nikita Bedrin. This experienced racer has led the charge of PHM AIX Racing and is fourth in the championship heading into Dubai. Two of Bedrin’s Rookie team-mates have narrowly failed to score points so far, with Maksimilian Popov taking a best result of 11th and Australian Kamal Mrad twice removed from top-10 positions by incidents. American Everett Stack is also improving in the team’s other car.

Hitech Pulse-Eight’s British duo of Deagen Fairclough and Gabriel Stilp have provided plenty of entertainment. Fairclough has taken one podium from three top-four finishes and is sixth in the standings, while Stilp is ninth with a best result of fifth. Their fellow Briton, Reza Seewooruthun, is knocking on the door of points, as is Scottish-Emirati driver Sebastian Murray.

The other team to have a driver in the overall top 10 is Saintéloc Racing, with Italian-Dubai racer Matteo Quintarelli finishing in the points three times so far. Alongside him, Sri Lankan Yevan David has a best result of 11th so far – just outside the scorers – and Colombian Maximiliano Restrepo is learning fast. The team has also gained French talent Jules Caranta, who is fifth in the Rookie classification after contesting the opening two events with R-ace GP.

The all-Australian combination of Jack Beeton and AGI Sport won the F4 South East Asia crown late in 2023, and picked up where they left off with a podium first time out at Yas Marina. But Beeton has frustratingly not scored points since, so he has something to prove. He continues to be partnered by fellow Aussie Nicolas Stati, while German Carrie Schreiner is absent for the Dubai events but returns for the Yas Marina finale.

Local team Xcel Motorsport’s fortunes have been upheld by Alvise Rodella, the Italian scoring points three times. He is back for Dubai, with Macau’s Tiago Rodrigues again representing the team alongside F1-backed talents China’s Cui Yuanpu (Mercedes) and Swiss Tina Hausmann (Aston Martin). The affiliated X GP team also joins for Dubai, with Luxembourg’s Chester Kieffer and Hong Kong driver Liu Kai Shun.

Saintéloc’s fellow French team R-ace GP is due a strong result. Exciting talent Enzo Deligny, who is part of the Red Bull Junior programme, joins the line-up for Dubai, while fellow Frenchman Raphaël Narac and Chinese Taipei’s Enzo Yeh have taken points already. Finn Luka Sammalisto remains in the other car.

Pinnacle Motorsport has also been on the points-scoring sheet with Indian Kai Daryanani, and he will be bidding for more alongside China’s Fu Yuhao.


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