As Yas Marina Circuit prepares to put on a motorsport spectacular this weekend, there’s one event on the bill you might not know much about: F4UAE.
This is the first time the category has accompanied the Formula 1® Grand Prix weekend and will showcase one of the most important steps on the motorsport ladder in Abu Dhabi.
Formula 4 is a relatively new addition, only starting in 2014, and sees championships in individual countries as opposed to a world championship. As of right now, 15 individual F4-spec series’ have been created with Brazil set to make that 16 in 2020.
For many of the next generation of drivers, their career in open-wheel racing starts in F4 after breaking out of the karting scene.
The cars are identical in each championship but four chassis and four engine manufacturers are homologated by the FIA. Those engines are limited to four cylinders and a maximum output of 160 horsepower.
Despite only running for five years, F4 already boasts its first F1® graduate in McLaren’s Lando Norris, who won the first British F4 title back in 2015 and the 20-year-old is likely to be the first of many to follow a similar path to F1 in the future.
In the case of the F4UAE championship, the first edition took place in 2016-17 and next season will see a total of 20 races take place across five rounds on different layouts at Yas Marina Circuit and Dubai Autodrome.
Current DTM driver Jonathon Aberdein became the first champion back in 2017, doing so in dominant style winning 14 of 18 races.
The next year was a little closer with nine different winners before Belgian Charles Weerts won the final four races to secure the title.
Finally, Italian Matteo Nannini was crowned the current champion in 2018-19 as nine podiums in the final 10 races saw him finish 68 points clear of Dutchman Joshua Duerksen.
This weekend’s races at Yas Marina Circuit are considered part of a Trophy Round with no championship points available, but that means action is guaranteed as the youngsters go all out for victory!