United Arab Emirates racer Keanu Al Azhari will stay with MP Motorsport for a second stab at the Spanish Formula 4 Championship. In preparation, the 16-year-old will also compete in his local UAE F4 winter series.
The decision for Al Azhari to double up in Spanish F4 comes after a strong debut season with MP Motorsport and representing the Richard Mille Young Talent Academy in 2023 that saw him claim his first podium in his first-ever race in the series. Following a consistent poinst-scoring run throughout the season, Al Azhari claimed ninth in the final standings, as one of the best rookies in the 30-car field. The young Emirati driver is the sixth to sign up for MP’s 2024 Spanish F4 squad.
“Staying with MP Motorsport for a second attempt at the Spanish F4 championship will provide me with the best platform to move further up the single-seater ladder”, said Al Azhari. “2023 was a great learning season for me in which – with the support from the people around me and the team – I have made real progress on and off the circuit, proving this with a dominant performance in the F4 Trophy Race on the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix race weekend with a double pole position and back-to-back ‘lights-to-flag’ wins. The work we have done in 2023 will be a great foundation for 2024, providing the ideal stepping stone to challenge for podiums and ultimately the championship. I am hoping my personal development as a racing driver over the last 12 months and the coming UAE F4 Championship will be the best preparation possible for the upcoming Spanish F4 series which starts at Navarra in May.”
“It’s great news that Keanu will be back with us for more Formula 4”, said MP Motorsport’s team principal, Sander Dorsman. “He showed his natural pace when he stuck his car on the front row at Spa at his very first attempt to claim his first podium in the series. For 2024, it’s our aim to convert that speed into more podiums and to have Keanu challenge for wins. Our 2024 Spanish F4 line-up is now boasting a promising mix of youth and experience, so we are looking forward to what promises to be a great season!”
Before making his single-seater debut by claiming second in the UAE F4 Trophy race at the 2022 Abu Dhabi GP and taking two podiums in 2023 UAE F4 winter championship, Al Azhari built a strong career for himself in karting, competing in the FIA World and European Championships at OK Junior level in 2020 and 2021 and progressing to OK level in 2022. Highlights include ninth and tenth in the respective 2021 and 2022 Champions of the Future winter series, and competing in his national karting championships where he became a five-times UAE champion.