RASHID AL DHAHERI SCORES IMPORTANT F4 PODIUM IN MACAU
The 15-year-old driver from the UAE, Rashid Al Dhaheri scored an important podium when he finished third in the 2023 Macau Formula 4 race on Sunday, the Abu Dhabi teenager shining on a challenging weekend at the Guia Circuit.
The 70th Macau Grand Prix was weather-affected and thus the F4 race was one of high attrition, packed with challenges on a track that is tricky on the best of days, but treacherous and much more challenging in the wet. Driving for the Prema race team with backing from Yas Heat Al Dhaheri was the sole representant of Middle East and Africa in a mixed grid of 23 drivers coming from Formula Regional, F1 Academy, F4 Italia, as well as F4 SEA. This podium reinforce the challenging but rewarding path the young UAE made to train in the toughest level in F4 Italia with Prema enabling him to develop key skills and shine in Macau Grand Prix.
Expertly coached by Prema Racing at the track he has never driven on, Al Dhaheri ticked all the boxes according to his team, who reported on their website: “The 15-year-old Emirati mastered the tough weather conditions of the Qualifying Race on Sunday morning, and improved to P3 for the Final Race, even contending for second place on the high-speed Macanese street circuit.”
“Despite the proximity of walls and barriers, the high speeds, the narrow roads of Macau, and the fierce competition, Al Dhaheri maximized the performance without making a single mistake.”
On Rashid’s rookie season in F4, the Prema report added: “He completed an outstanding rookie season in perfect fashion, delivering his best result of the year by improving steadily and becoming a top-level contender for the coveted event.”
The annual pilgrimage to Macau for the famed Formula 3 race, is a well-trodden path with great racing names including Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher making appearances at the non-championship event over the years. Macau is a race weekend that captures the attention of the motorsport world. And good results are sure to register with whom it matters.
Reflecting on his best F4 weekend, Al Dhaheri said: “Macau is an amazing track and one of the most special ones where you can race, due to its configuration and the close walls making it even more challenging. We had variable conditions this week, dry, then damp, and fully wet, so there was a lot to manage.
“As the track is so different compared to others, there was a lot to adapt to. In the Final Race, we were able to gain one position and take a podium finish, which is great. The weekend was a constant improvement, learning to get closer and closer to the walls to be faster.
“Overall, we did quite a good job and we could have even got P2. Anyway, we learned a lot and we hope to come back soon!” added Rashid, after a fitting and timely result ahead of his first home race weekend, in support of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in a couple of weeks’ time.