Starting 2023 well
Starting 2023 with a win and podium
2023 is starting early for MP Motorsport, as the team joins the winter championships in UAE. Like last year, we joined the Formula 4 UAE championship, but this year we also added Formula Regional Middle East to our portfolio. MP Motorsport collaborated with Hyderabad Blackbirds for the FRMEC season, in which we have four cars, with our lineup being MP’s F3 driver Mari Boya, Sami Meguetounif and Brad Benavides. The fourth car will be rotating, starting with Sebastian Ogaard. Our F4 UAE campaign will be used to offer drivers experience with the MP team, meaning we do not have a fixed driver lineup. Valerio Rinicella, Emely de Heus and Kirill Smal.
Formula 4 UAE
The weekend started on Friday with two qualifying sessions. Valerio qualified on P4 and 6, Kirill on P7 and P12, and Emely qualified on P39 and 38. The first race of the weekend, happening on the same day as qualifying, started great for Valerio. He took off from the fourth position but was quickly driving in third after the start. Kirill followed Valerio and stayed close behind him. Due to a penalty, Valerio was promoted to the second position after crossing the finish line. Kirill finished sixth. Emely had a decent race and gained 12 positions, finishing on P27.
During the second race, Kirill was very close to a podium finish but just lost out on it, finishing in fourth position. Valerio scored good points by finishing sixth, and Emely finished in P30. The final race of the F4 weekend was a tough race, Emely, unfortunately, couldn’t finish the race. Kirill and Valerio were fighting for positions but touched, Valerio was able to continue but ended up in the back of the grid. Due to a safety car, he had no chance to fight back. Kirill finished 9th.
Like Formula 4, FRMEC also started their race weekend on Friday. Sami and Sebastian qualified in sixth and seventh position, Mari in P13 and Brad in P20. The second qualifying session was better for Mari, as he set his car on the front row for the third race, starting second. Sebastian qualified in P11, Sami in P16 and Brad in P21. Sami was doing very well in the first race, but due to a collision he ended up in the wall and couldn’t continue the race. Fortunately, he was able to get out of the car by himself and was okay. Unfortunately, his car took quite a big hit and he remained to have issues in the second race where he had to retire the car. Sebastian finished both races in P8, Mari in P12 and P11, and Brad in P24 and 21.
Mari saved a clean, new tyre set for the third race. Soon after the lights went out, he took the lead for the race. He dominated as he quickly drove away from the other drivers. In the first FRMEC race of the weekend without a safety car, Mari crossed the line with a 1.5-second gap. Due to an early collision in the third race, Sami was not able to finish this race either, definitely not the start of the FRMEC season he was looking for. Brad finished the final race in P15 with Sebastian close behind him in P17.
The next F4 UAE / FRMEC race will be in two weeks when the championships move to Kuwait for the first time.