UAE Formula 4 Championship holds promise for ‘new generation’ of Emirati drivers
DUBAI // Mohammed ben Sulayem, president of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE, said the just-launched UAE Formula 4 Championship will help the country achieve their dream of having an Emirati driver on a Formula One grid.
The new FIA-accredited series, the first of its kind in the Middle East and African region, was launched yesterday at Burj Plaza by Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak.
“The UAE is a global leader in motorsport with an excellent reputation for organising and managing world championship events,” said Sheikh Nahyan as he unveiled the car, a Tatuus F.4 T 014 powered by Fiat Abarth engine.
“The UAE Formula 4 is yet another great achievement for our nation.
“Developing the talents of a new generation of drivers, especially young Emiratis, is the main objective for the future growth and sustainability of motorsport in the UAE.”
The championship, open to drivers aged 15 and above from the Middle East and North Africa region, will feature 18 races held over six events at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi and the Dubai Autodrome circuit. The opening event is scheduled for October and the final race will be in March 2017.
“The UAE is the first in the region to adopt the FIA’s new Formula 4 Championship model and this was made possible thanks to the excellent motorsport infrastructure we have developed here over the last decade,” Ben Sulayem said.
“I would like to thank His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan for his continuous support for all the efforts to develop motorsport in our country.”
The Formula 4 concept was launched by the FIA, the world governing body of motorsport, in 2014 with the objective of providing an entry level racing series at an affordable price.
Ben Sulayem is confident it will gain a prominent place in the UAE motorsport calendar that already boasts 140 events across various disciplines.
“The UAE Formula 4 Championship is a much anticipated addition to motorsport in the UAE and the wider region,” he said.
“It is the perfect opportunity for young drivers to graduate from karting and is the first step on the ladder to a career as a professional driver.
“It would be fantastic to see a driver progress all the way from the UAE Formula 4 Championship to the Formula One World Championship.”
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Updated: February 3, 2016 04:00 AM