F1 Academy 2023: Round 4 Zandvoort Review

F1 Academy 2023: Round 4 Zandvoort Review

June 26, 2023

Hamda Al Qubaisi converted her double pole into two wins in round 4 of the F1 Academy 2023 season at Zandvoort. The Emirati driver’s double victory sees her cut down Marta García’s championship lead to just 5 points as the series heads to Monza in two week’s time. 

Race 1 

Hamda Al Qubaisi started on pole and the MP driver had a stellar start. After an early safety car, Hamda Al Qubaisi led comfortably. The pole sitter pulled away from Lena Bühler in P2 while further down the grid, Abbi Pulling and Jessica Edgar were making moves into the top 10. 

Up ahead the race leader kept increasing her lead as Hamda Al Qubaisi was driving a flawless race while Bühler maintained her gap from Nerea Martí and championship leader Marta García behind. Both the Spaniards were fighting it out for the final podium place but it was Martí who took the podium eventually after a late issue for the championship leader saw her retire from the race. Edgar tried to battle Martí for the third place, but the Spaniard held her own and held off the Rodin Carlin driver. 

Hamda Al Qubaisi took the flag, finishing a good five seconds ahead of Lena Bühler while Martí rounded out the podium places. Jessica Edgar was fourth ahead of Emely de Heus, Carrie Schreiner, Abbi Pulling, Amna Al Qubaisi, Lol Lovinfosse and Bianca Bustamante.

Race 2

Amna Al Qubaisi led off the line for race 2 and tried to build a gap to Carrie Schreiner in second place. Soon enough, the pole sitter was well clear of the rest of the pack. Below them, championship leader Marta García was making up places as she was quickly up into the podium places. Amna Al Qubaisi’s race came apart on lap two as the Emirati driver went into the gravel and hit the wall at Turn 8. That brought out the Safety Car.

Once racing resumed, it was Shreiner who led and managed to keep García at bay while further down Lena Bühler was also charging through the field, moving up the field. Bühler overtook Edgar to get into the top three and was closing in on the Spaniard. García, though, managed to hold her own while Amna Al Qubaisi took the chequered flag, winning her first race of the season. Bühler was third, which helped her keep her title fight alive. 

Race 3

The final race of the weekend had Hamda Al Qubaisi on pole and the MP Motorsport driver drove another stellar race from the start to finish. The Emirati driver was quick off the line and sped away from Lena Buhler while Megan Gilkes and Lola Lovinfosse had an early coming together, which brought out the Safety Car.

Once racing resumed, Hamda Al Qubaisi once again led and had built a substantial gap behind her. Further down the grid Abbi Pulling was fighting Carrie Schriener while Lovinfosse was trying to keep up with Pulling. Lovinfosse was once again engaged in a coming together, this time with Pulling and this time it ended both their races while bringing out the Safety Car again. Hamda Al Qubaisi was once again perfect on the restart with Emely de Heus charging past Lena Bühler for second as the home hero made a daring move on the inside of Turn 1. 

Up ahead Hamda Al Qubaisi led from start to finish as she won her second race of the weekend while de Heus was second ahead of Bühler, who made sure she was on the podium on every race of the weekend. 

Hamda Al Qubaisi’s double win means MP Motorsport now have a 66 point lead over PREMA Racing in the Constructors’ championship while ART Grand Prix lie third with 187 points. Hamda Al Qubaisi’s wins also sees her cut down  García’s championship lead to just five points while Lena Bühler’s triple podium sees her stay in the championship battle, in third place with 122 points.

Aditya Chaudhuri

Hailing from the City of Joy, the things that bring me joy are cricket, a good non-tilt CS:GO session, F1 and movies.

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