FIFTH SEASON OF F4UAE CONFIRMED TO BEGIN JANUARY 2021
A fifth season of the FIA Formula 4 UAE Championship powered by Abarth will go ahead in 2021, with a five-round calendar confirmed to start in mid-January at the 24 Hours of Dubai.
The F4UAE championship – which has had more than 60 drivers from 30 countries compete since the category started in 2016 – will begin for points in earnest on 13 January 2021 as a support to the famed 24-hour endurance race at the Dubai Autodrome. Running over a two-month period, the season will then see an additional four rounds split between the Dubai-based circuit and Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi before ending on the first weekend of March 2021.
While F4UAE is still in talks with circuit management and stakeholders regarding another appearance at the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in December, category technical director Craig Thompson believes that the current global challenges associated with Covid-19 may not make it possible.
“Like many other sports, and lots of other categories within motorsport, this year has been all about keeping everyone safe and making the championship as adaptable as possible to support members of our pitlane community wherever we can,” said Thompson.
“It has been a tough year for everyone globally and our thoughts are with those who have been affected by Covid-19, especially with many of our F4UAE teams and drivers based in some of the worst-hit countries overseas. But it gives us confidence seeing that racing is now starting to resume to some capacity already internationally.
“We’ve been working during the off-season with our local governing body of motorsport, the EMSO, our circuits and our teams, plus local government authorities when it comes to ensuring that we have the right health and safety protocols in place. We’re glad to announced a 2021 calendar so that we can also return to racing in the UAE next year, while also remaining flexible should circumstances change globally due to Covid-19,” concluded Thompson.
Over the last four seasons, F4UAE has continued to build a strong developmental racing platform for young drivers wanting to start their professional driving career. The category continuously provides approximately 40 hours of track time each season, practice start sessions at test days to help new drivers learn to start races safely, additional private testing opportunities, media coaching workshops, plus education sessions with officials to better understand the regulatory side of the sport; all aspects which hold young racers in good stead for future development up the racing ladder.
Governed by the Emirates Motorsport Organisation (EMSO) and promoted by AUH Motorsports, F4UAE has provided a footing for many young drivers who have gone onto bigger categories in Europe in recent years. Australian Oscar Piastri and American Logan Sargeant (both from F4UAE's inaugural season) currently sit first and second outright in the 2020 FIA Formula 3 Championship, while last year’s F4UAE champion Francesco Pizzi from Italy leads both the outright and rookie standings in the 2020 Italian F4 Championship.
Other former F4UAE champions include Italian Matteo Nannini (2018/2019) who last month scored his first F3 podium in Barcelona, Belgium racer Charles Weerts (2017/2018) who has won already in 2020 for Team WRT in GT World Challenge Europe, while South African Jonathan Aberdein (2016/2017) races for BMW in DTM.
F4UAE is open to drivers aged 15 years and above and was created by the world’s governing body of motorsport, the FIA, to help young drivers bridge the gap between existing regional racing series and karting, to European competition and potentially Formula 1.
Information about pre-season testing dates will be published in due course, as well as next year's sporting regulations which are in final stages of approval. Interested parties wanting to join the grid in 2021 can email firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2021 F4UAE Entry Form can be downloaded here.
2021 F4UAE CHAMPIONSHIP CALENDAR
Round 1: 13-15 January 2021, Dubai Autodrome
Round 2: 21-23 January 2021, Yas Marina Circuit
Round 3: 4-6 February 2021, Yas Marina Circuit
Round 4: 11-13 February 2021, Dubai Autodrome
Round 5: 4-6 March 2021, Dubai Autodrome