FRANCESCO PIZZI CROWNED 2020 F4UAE CHAMPION IN DUBAI
Italian rookie Francesco Pizzi sealed the 2020 F4UAE Championship powered by Abarth with one race to go at the final round held in Dubai over the weekend, while also clinching the Rookie Champion title and helping his team Xcel Motorsport claim Team Champion honours.
Fifteen year old Pizzi - who has lead the championship standings all year - somewhat struggled early on with tyres and pace, only able to finish fourth in the opening race and fifth in Saturday morning’s Race 2; a race which could have sealed him the title if his nearest rival had not taken victory. With 50 points up for grabs in the final two 30-minute races, and 31 points his margin, Pizzi’s second-place finish in Race 3 was enough to seal the title at the Dubai Autodrome; the same track where he started his open-wheeler campaign back in January.
Pizzi’s impressive season saw him make his open-wheeler debut at the opening round held as a support the famed Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai, and since has amassed eight race wins, one pole position, and 10 podiums, leading home his teammate Lorenzo Fluxa in both the outright and rooking standings by year’s end.
“It’s an emotional win for sure because of a lot of work that we’ve done in the last year with testing to prepare for my first championship,” said Pizzi. “I was expecting the other drivers to be faster than me but we had the pace in the first round, and with the support of my team we were able to keep going with more wins.
“It was a challenging weekend in the beginning, and even though we had a good qualifying the first two races were not so good for the results because we could have won the championship earlier. In Race 3 I started from pole but my teammate got in front and I stayed in P2 all race. We didn’t get a race win this weekend which is what I wanted, but to get the championship trophy is what we have been working hard all year for so I’m very happy and hopefully it is the beginning of more wins in Europe.”
The weekend saw three different drivers claim victory at the Dubai Autodrome, with Pizzi’s teammate Fluxa - who finished second outright in both the drivers and rookie championships - took victory in Race 3; his second career victory. BWT Mücke Motorsport’s Nico Göhler won Race 2 and finished third outright in the overall standings, while Abu Dhabi Racing’s Hamda Al Qubaisi won the first and last races of the round to take her season tally to three victories.
Dubai-based Xcel Motorsport were the team to beat all year, eventually winning the triple crown of titles for a second year in a row which included Teams Champion honours after scoring a total of 11 championship race victories among their drivers and 32 race podiums.
At the end-of-season Gala Awards dinner held in Dubai, the following drivers were congratulated by their teams, peers, officials and category management.
F4UAE Drivers Champions: Francesco Pizzi, Xcel Motorsport
F4UAE Runner-Up: Lorenzo Fluxa, Xcel Motorsport
F4UAE Third Place: Nico Göhler, BWT Mücke Motorsport
F4UAE Rookie Champion: Francesco Pizzi, Xcel Motorsport
F4UAE Teams Champions: Xcel Motorsport
F4UAE Sportsmanship Award: Hamda Al Qubaisi, Abu Dhabi Racing
Full weekend report to follow on www.f4uae.com