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Segunda, 13 Fevereiro 2023 11:07 | Actualizado em Quarta, 22 Maio 2024 02:24

James Wharton continues to collect podiums in F4. He already has nine since the start of the 2023 season, including two victories. In Dubai, for the fourth round of the UAE F4 Championship, the Australian hopeful from the Ferrari Driver Academy finished successively P2, P2 and P3 in the three races. This competitiveness and consistency has allowed him to take the lead in the Championship. Everything will be decided on 18th and 19th February during the final meeting on the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi.

From 10th to 12th February, the 40 UAE F4 drivers returned to the Dubai Autodrome, which had hosted the opening round of the Championship in January. In this context, the two official Qualifying sessions represented quite a challenge, as the preliminary Free Practice sessions had revealed very close gaps between the competitors. "Once again, we worked in the right direction with the Mumbai Falcons Racing team," explained the Australia Motorsport-backed driver. "The performance was there, as I managed the second fastest time in the first Qualifying session. The second session was even more competitive. I finished 4th this time, but less than a tenth away from 2nd place on the front row."

Three races, three podiums

In Dubai, Races 1 and 2 proved to be straightforward for James, even though he had to deal with several safety car appearances on track. "In the first race I was instantly on the tail of the leader, but I soon realised that we were running similar times. As the Championship leader was further back in the order, I couldn't afford to take any unnecessary risks, as 2nd place was a great opportunity to become the new overall leader. In the end, the race ended behind the safety car due to an incident in the field and the positions did not change."

This procedure was repeated in Race 2. "Fortunately I managed to get a good start and move up from 4th to 3rd position. Because after that, due to the two safety car periods, I was unable to make up any positions." James eventually climbed to 2nd place on the podium, following a penalty to the leader. In Race 3, James Wharton once again demonstrated his attacking skills. "I didn't manage to gain any places at the start, but I was able to overtake an opponent a little later. I was really fast, as my best lap in the race shows. Unfortunately, my attempts to try and move up the rankings again were unsuccessful."

"In any case, this third podium in three races in Dubai was important in view of the Championship. I am now the overall leader. The last race will take place at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, which I really like. There, we will have to make the difference and everything will be important: performance optimisation, tyre management, strategy, etc."
James Wharton is a 16-year-old Australian racing driver, who is competing in his second international season in Formula 4 in 2023. Currently supported by the Ferrari Driver Academy, All Road Management and Motorsport Australia, James began karting in his native Australia at the age of seven. He has gone on to shine in some of the world's most important single-brand challenges.
A two-time winner of the prestigious SKUSA SuperNationals in Las Vegas in Junior, he went on to shine in FIA Karting competitions from 2018 to 2021, where he learned a great deal from top teams like RFM and Parolin Motorsport. Numerous podiums were achieved, culminating in a brilliant 5th position in the KZ2 International Super Cup, a de facto World Cup for the category.
James Wharton won his second F4 meeting in Dubai and finished 5th in the UAE Championship with a total of four wins, three pole positions and four fastest laps. During the 2022 season, the Australian followed up with two more 5th places in the Italian and German F4 Championships, with an impressive consistency: 20 top five finishes including eight podiums.
In 2023, the Australian will compete in his second F4 season with the Mumbai Falcons Racing Limited team.
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