Looking ahead to Round 4

The fourth round of the F1 Academy season kicks off in Zandvoort this week as the drivers take the series past the halfway mark. After a busy two days of testing in Aragon, the grid are preparing to take on an iconic Formula 1 track.

Marta García has led the series since her win in the inaugural race of the season and now heads to Zandvoort with a 41-point lead. The Spaniard’s triple podium last time out in Barcelona increased her advantage by 15 points to second place Hamda Al Qubaisi.

After a standout performance in Barcelona, MP Motorsport leapfrogged PREMA Racing at the top of Team’s Standings as they prepared for their home race this weekend. The Dutch outfit is the only team whose drivers have all won a race so far this season.

H. Al Qubaisi will feel confident going into Zandvoort after topping the timesheets on both days of testing in Aragon, the Emirati driver will be looking to close the gap to García and secure her second race win of the season in the Netherlands.

Léna Bühler is also looking to narrow the gap at the top of the standings, after securing her and her team’s first win last time out in Barcelona. Meanwhile, after several excellent overtakes at the Spanish circuit, Lola Lovinfosse will hope to get back on the podium for the first time since Spielberg.

On the Grid – Léna Bühler, ART Grand Prix

“After my first win last time out, I am feeling quite good. As always, I will give my best with the team to continue the progression we made in Barcelona.

“Heading into Zandvoort, as many drivers have said, it’s a technical and physical track, but I like it. You have different corners at high speed and low speed, so I’m looking forward to driving on Friday.”

“Going into the second half of the season, the ambition is to continue on this upwards progression and to bring as many points as possible for the title.”

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From the Paddock – Sander Dorsman, MP Motorsport Team Principal

“Obviously we are excited for this weekend’s F1 Academy event in Zandvoort. It is just an hour away from our workshop and since our team started in 1995, we have competed in many Formula Ford and Formula Renault races at Circuit Zandvoort, so it feels like going back to our roots.

“Zandvoort is an old school track, without much run-off and thus not much room for mistakes. The track has a good flow and some banked corners to make it even more special, but it’s also quite physically demanding for the drivers. The location within the dunes and next to the beach makes it quite unique.

“So far, we are happy with the results of our three drivers. Hamda started the season with an injured arm, but luckily, she had a quick recovery. Both Amna and Emely have shown a good learning curve as well and progressed during the season so far. Of course, we must keep working hard and push for more good results during the second half of the season.”

Mario Isola, Pirelli Motorsport Director

“The Zandvoort circuit, where the fourth round of the F1 Academy will take place, is 4.259 km long and consists of nine left-hand and four right-hand turns. The track's asphalt between the sand dunes is particularly abrasive and can therefore cause more wear than other circuits.

“The most demanding corners for tyres on such a fast track are 3 and 14, where the banking is around 18 degrees, and the single-seaters are subject to lateral forces and increased downforce. The tyres in those two points are loaded way more compared to the other corners of the Dutch track.

“The weather can be variable, and the possibility of a sudden change in temperature must be taken into account by the teams in terms of tyre management. From this round Pirelli, in agreement with F1 Academy, will supply two extra tyres per car, bringing the total to 16 dry tyres per weekend.”

Stat Pack

  • 1:59: Hamda Al Qubaisi topped the timesheets in both days of testing in Aragon, being the only driver to set a time in the 1:59s.
  • 4.259km: Zandvoort, the site of Round 4 of the first F1 Academy season, is a 4.259km track with a capacity of nearly 105,000.
  • 2: Only two drivers have scored points in every race this season, Amna Al Qubaisi and Championship leader, Marta García.
  • 6: García has scored the most podiums in the series so far with six rostrum finishes out of a possible nine.
  • 4: Prior to her biggest points-scoring finish of the season in Barcelona, MP Motorsport’s Emely de Heus was in 14th position. She now sits in eighth with 41 points.
  • 170.23kph: The fastest time set by a driver in a race weekend so far was by Abbi Pulling in Round 1 in Austria, setting a 170.23kph.