Tom Chiappe took a lights to flag victory in the first of two F4-s races in Abu Dhabi this weekend, Sam Whittle’s second place puts him in equal third in the championship with the Frenchman.
Chiappe made a good start to lead from the pontoon, but the green flag was an unmitigated disaster for the Victory Team and both Ahmed Al-Fahim and Ali Allanawi ground to a halt, Al-Fahim got going again, Allanawi retired.
The main beneficiary was Britain’s Sam Whittle and he passed Mohammed Al-Mehairbi and settled into second place, ahead of Hungarian Rudolf Mihaldinecz, Al-Mehairbi and Rashed Al-Remeithi were sixth and eighth.
Al-Mehairbi’s title rival Max Stilz held fifth, as Al-Fahim eventually got going four laps down.
Chiappe continued to lead through 10 of the 20 laps, but Mihaldinecz had hit trouble and slipped out of the running after seven laps and promoted Alexander Lindholm to third and Stilz and Al-Mehairbi to fourth and fifth.
The leading Frenchman edged further away from his rivals as the race progressed and crossed the finish line 16.25 seconds ahead of Whittle, as both drivers closed the gap on Stilz and Al-Mehairbi at the top of the rankings.
GRAND PRIX OF ABU DHABI 2018 – F4-s RACE 1
1st) 7 Tom Chiappe 20 + 0:00 20
2nd) 30 Sam Whittle 20 + 16.25 15
3rd) 41 Alexander Lindholm 20 + 18.31 12
4th) 46 Max Stilz 20 + 35.14 9
5th) 5 Mohammed Al Mehairbi 20 + 44.83 7
6th) 88 Bingchen Wu 19 + L1 5
7th) 6 Rashed Al Remeithi 18 + L2 4
8th) 3 Ahmad Al Fahim 17 + L3 3
9th) 29 Rudolf Mihaldinecz 7 RET 0
10th) 4 Ali Allanjawi DNS 0
11th) 73 Camille Broutechoux DNS 0
2018 F4 Trophy – positions after race 9:
1. Max Stilz (DEU) Blaze Performance 96pts
2. Mohammed Al-Mehairbi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 93pts
3. Sam Whittle (GBR) F1 Atlantic Team 85pts
4. Tom Chiappe (FRA) Emirates Racing Team 85pts
5. Ahmed Al-Fahim (UAE) Victory Team 66pts
6. Wu Bingchen (CHN) CTIC F1 China Team 45pts
7. Alexander Lindholm (FIN) Team Amaravati 41pts
8. Pedro Fortuna (PRT) Team Sweden 35pts
9. Ben Jelf (GBR) Team Amaravati 27pts
10. Rudolf Mihaldinecz (HUN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 22pts
11. Xavier Autard (FRA) Maverick Racing 21pts
12. Quentin Dailly (FRA) Maverick Racing 17pts
13. Camille Broutechoux (FRA) Maverick Racing 8pts
14. Joris Colleret (FRA) Maverick Racing 7pts
15. Louise Vella (AUS) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 5pts
16. Rashed Al-Remeithi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 4pts
17. Ian Gonsalves (GUY) Maverick Racing 3pts