Nannini crowned F4UAE Champion
Matteo Nannini has taken his maiden open-wheeler title after winning the third season of the F4UAE Championship powered by Abarth in Dubai.
Coming into the final round 55 points ahead of title rival Joshua Dürksen from Mücke Motorsport, the 15-year-old Italian driver only needed to finish the second race of the weekend on Friday to claim the title, but went on to win Race 3 on Saturday as well which was his seventh of the season and the highest tally of any drivers competing.
In the process, Nannini also sealed the Rookie Championship for Dubai-based team Xcel Motorsport, which also took honours as the Teams Champions and sealed third outright with Omani driver Shihab Alhabsi. In the battle of the teams, Xcel Motorsport finished well ahead of last year’s victors, Dragon Racing, to secure a triple crown of victories. Taking all three main titles was the team’s best effort in F4UAE competition since joining in 2016.
“Congratulations to Matteo and Xcel Motorsport after their strong success this year in F4UAE“, said Mohamed Ben Sulayem, President of the ATCUAE, Chairman of the Emirates Motor Sport Federation and FIA Vice President for Sport, “The fight for the championship has been very competitive all year between all of the drivers who have won races, and I congratulate them for all of their success while here in the UAE. F4UAE always aims to provide the best training platform to help these young drivers become racing stars of the future and we are very happy to see them being rewarded. Also, congratulations to everyone at Xcel Motorsport. Kevin [Day] and his team have been very big supporters of F4UAE over the last three years and it is a wonderful achievement for them as a Dubai team to dominate all three titles after putting in so much hard work.”
Championship runner-up Dürksen from Paraguay has been Nannini’s main rival all season, sitting second on the points leaderboard since the first round. Winning a total of five races and appearing on the podium 10 times over 20 races, the rookie racer won the final race of the championship to secure his second place standing in the rookie championship as well.
Thirteen different drivers from 11 countries competed in F4UAE this season, with five different race winners since the championship began back in January at the Dubai Autodrome.