Double victory tightens grip on F4 UAE title
South Africa’s Jonathan Aberdein tightened his grip of the 2016-17 Formula 4 UAE title with a double win at the Dubai Autodrome Saturday. Capetonian Aberdein had been unbeaten in United Arab Emirates Formula 4 so far this year, but a scrappy reverse-grid caught Jonathan out as he fought back to third.
“Two more race wins — I’ll take them!” Jonathan admitted. “It’s a pity our winning streak came to an end at eleven in a row, but that now makes it a little easier I suppose. “Still we bounced back to win Race 3, even though it was quite a fight — there were some pretty quick drivers here this weekend, so I had to work a little harder.”
The weekend started well with Jonathan taking pole position by three tenths of a second over series newcomer, Venezuelan Sebastian Wahbeh, regular Motopark teammate Logan Sargeant and Belgian newcomer Charles Weerts. Aberdein romped home to an easy 3 second win over Wahbeh — a winner in Italian F4 last year — and Sargeant.
That earned Jonathaa n sixth on the reverse-grid Race 2 grid, but he was up to second by lap 3 when an accident brought the safety car out for 5 laps. Aberdein opted for the outside at the restart, but the race leader then out-braked himself pushing Jono wide as he slipped back down to fifth.
Jono fought back to third but there were not enough laps left, although the position consolidated his iron grip on the championship, as closest rival Sargeant crashed out, leaving Wahbeh to win on debut from series regular Malukah and Aberdein. “You can’t win them all,” Jono admitted. “But I was quickest in that race so I’m on pole for the last one.”
Race 3 saw Jono take his 12th win in 13 races started in the UAE series this season but he had to beat teammate Sargeant off. “Logan was all over me throughout this one,” Aberdein admitted. “It was a close race and a great weekend — huge thanks to my Team Motopark and congratulations to the team on a brilliant 1-2-3 clean sweep this weekend!”
Aberdein returns to action in the penultimate round of the Formula 4 UAE championship at the Yas Marina Grand Prix Circuit in Abu Dhabi 10-11 February with a fair chance of wrapping the title up that weekend.