FIA and top US university launch research study to reduce carbon footprint of UAE motorsport events

FIA and top US university launch research study to reduce carbon footprint of UAE motorsport events
The FIA and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology study aims to reduce the carbon footprint of major UAE events including the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. (FIA)
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Updated 07 December 2023
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FIA and top US university launch research study to reduce carbon footprint of UAE motorsport events

FIA and top US university launch research study to reduce carbon footprint of UAE motorsport events
  • World governing body and Massachusetts Institute of Technology to analyze urban mobility patterns in the UAE, focusing on events such as the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

DUBAI: World motorsport’s governing body, the FIA, is working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Senseable Dubai Lab to help reduce the carbon footprint of major UAE events including the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

While contributing to tourism and the local economy, major events have a significant impact on their host cities, challenging public transportation and increasing congestion. Improving access to these major events has become an important challenge, according to a press release issued by the FIA on Thursday.

As part of the MIT Senseable Dubai Lab — an initiative with the Dubai Future Foundation — researchers will gather data to build a picture of city-wide mobility patterns around major UAE motorsport events.

This data could then be used to suggest improvements to local mobility planning, including traffic management and public transport, ultimately reducing congestion and carbon emissions during these events.

The FIA and MIT will work with stakeholders including Formula One Management, the Yas Marina Circuit, and local governments, which will play a pivotal role in data collection efforts and future implementation.

“We are delighted to support this exciting new research project, in collaboration with MIT Senseable City Lab,” FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem said. “This comes at a moment of enormous growth for the UAE, and we look forward to joining forces with our stakeholders to make major events more eco-friendly, efficient, and enjoyable for attendees through enhanced mobility solutions.”

In the future, the FIA and MIT will share their findings and lessons learned with other cities, event organizers, and FIA members.

Umberto Fugiglando, research manager and partnerships lead at MIT Senseable City Lab, said: “We are proud to welcome the FIA to join our MIT Senseable Dubai Lab, where together with their stakeholders they will support our research on urban sustainable mobility in the UAE.

“In a region where cities are evolving very fast, we have the possibility to study urban mobility at large, and scientifically explore and anticipate future paradigms that need to be more socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable.”


3rd annual Rally Jameel gets underway in Hail, with 110 women taking part

3rd annual Rally Jameel gets underway in Hail, with 110 women taking part
Updated 4 min 18 sec ago
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3rd annual Rally Jameel gets underway in Hail, with 110 women taking part

3rd annual Rally Jameel gets underway in Hail, with 110 women taking part
  • 55 teams of racers, each comprising a driver and co-driver, from 36 nations will tackle 5 stages over the course of 5 days, covering a total distance of 1,600 km

 

HAIL: The third annual Rally Jameel began in Hail on Monday, with 110 leading female racers from Saudi Arabia, the region and the rest of the world competing in an event that will pass through Hail, AlUla, Umluj, Yanbu and King Abdullah Economic City during five days of racing.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Saad, the governor of Hail Region, flagged off the competitors at the start of opening stage, which began at Al-Maghwah Amusement Park, to officially get the world-class navigational rally underway.

Fifty-five teams of racers, each comprising a driver and co-driver, from 36 nations will tackle five stages covering a total distance of 1,600 kilometers before crossing the finish line at KAEC on Friday.

Munir Khoja, the managing director of marketing communications at Abdul Latif Jameel Motors, told Arab News at the event on Monday: “We are all ready for the challenge. Since its inception in 2022, the importance of Rally Jameel has grown with its participation.

“It was the first motor sports event for women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the region. Since then it has been present in the motor-sporting calendar ever since and gained international interest and official attention after the rise in popularity of rallying, locally, regionally and internationally.

“Today we have over 100 participants from 36 nationalities, exceeding our expectations. More importantly, it is an inspiring testament to our efforts aimed at supporting Saudi Arabia’s vision to empower women.”

After passing mandatory vehicle checks on Monday morning, several of the leading competitors spoke to the media before the start of the race.

“I am so excited to repeat this experience with the rest of the female drivers,” Saudi driver Maha Al-Hamali, who has competed in the event before, told Arab News. “We really appreciate the support of Jameel Motor Sports and I am focusing on enjoying this rally and aiming to win it this time.”

Her co-driver, Eleanor Coker from the US, added: “We have done everything we could. We did our homework and reflected on our experience. We feel we are prepared and confident to win but you never know; there are amazing female drivers from all over the world taking part part but we will go ahead and enjoy it.”

Fawzia Bakhshab, who is taking part in the rally for the first time, said she expects it to be a tough challenge, especially as she and her co-driver are taking on some of the best in the world.

“I think we feel ready and are looking forward to finishing among the top positions,” she said.

Her co–driver, Calheine Taye Perry from Germany, said she was confident that they have the driving and navigation skills to challenge for the title.

Rally Jameel is supported by the FIA’s Women in Motorsport Commission and the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation, in keeping with the commitment of authorities in the Kingdom to fostering and encouraging participation in sport among women.


All you need to know about the all-female 2024 F1 Academy race

All you need to know about the all-female 2024 F1 Academy race
This season, all 10 Formula 1 teams will support one driver who will have the team’s livery on their car. (FILE/AFP)
Updated 04 March 2024
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All you need to know about the all-female 2024 F1 Academy race

All you need to know about the all-female 2024 F1 Academy race

Here is everything you need to know about the Kingdom’s inaugural F1 Academy race — opening the second season of the all-female racing series — taking place in Jeddah from March 6 to 8 ahead of the Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Created by Formula 1 in 2022, the F1 Academy is an all-female racing category featuring some of the world’s best drivers. It is designed to develop women racers aged 25 and under.

Susie Wolff, wife of Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff, holds the position of managing director at the F1 Academy.

This season, all 10 Formula 1 teams will support one driver who will have the team’s livery on their car. Brands including Tommy Hilfiger, Puma and Charlotte Tilbury have stepped in to sponsor the remaining drivers.

Teams and drivers

The five teams on the F1 Academy grid are Rodin Motorsport, Prema Racing, Campos Racing, ART Grand Prix and MP Motorsport.

Each team will have three drivers, compared to two in Formula One.

Nine of the 15 drivers from the inaugural season are set to return including Emirati sisters Hamda and Amna Al-Qubaisi, both backed by Red Bull.

The full 2024 lineup is below:

Full 2024 F1 Academy schedule

The 2024 season will see seven rounds across three continents over the course of 10 months.

The opener will be held at Saudi Arabia's Jeddah Corniche Circuit before it hits the US at the Miami International Autodrome in May and the iconic Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the third round.

  • Round 1: March 6-8  Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • Round 2: May 2-4  Miami, US
  • Round 3: June 20-22  Barcelona, Spain
  • Round 4: Aug. 22-24  Zandvoort, Netherlands (Circuit Zandvoort)
  • Round 5: Sept. 19-21  Marina Bay, Singapore (Marina Bay Street Circuit)
  • Round 6: Nov. 28-30  Lusail, Qatar (Lusail International Circuit)
  • Round 7: Dec. 5-7  Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina Circuit)

Points system

Each weekend there will be a qualifying round and two races. During qualifying, each driver’s fastest lap will set the order for race one. The drivers’ second fastest laps will set the grid for race two.

In both races, points will be awarded to the top 10 classified drivers as follows — from 25 to one — as they are in Formula 1. Each weekend, a driver is able to accumulate a total of 56 points; the teams are competing for 122 points.

For more information click here


Sharjah rookie grabs dramatic win as Team Abu Dhabi get top 10 finish

Sharjah rookie grabs dramatic win as Team Abu Dhabi get top 10 finish
Updated 03 March 2024
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Sharjah rookie grabs dramatic win as Team Abu Dhabi get top 10 finish

Sharjah rookie grabs dramatic win as Team Abu Dhabi get top 10 finish
  • Rusty Wyatt makes perfect start at Grand Prix of Indonesia, the opening race of the 2024 UIM F1H2O World Championship

ABU DHABI: Sharjah rookie Rusty Wyatt recorded a dramatic victory in the Grand Prix of Indonesia today as Team Abu Dhabi battled through a tough start to the 2024 UIM F1H2O World Championship.

Reigning world champion Jonas Andersson looked poised for a record fifth race win in a row but dropped to third place as Wyatt and Victory Team’s Erik Stark both passed him in a sensational finish.

Making his Team Abu Dhabi debut and starting down the field after a broken engine in qualifying, Alberto Comparato climbed seven places on the day to finish inside the top 10.

The young Italian will now be aiming for a big improvement on his ninth place when the second round at the end of this month introduces Vietnam as the latest new championship venue.

His Abu Dhabi teammate, Thani Al-Qemzi, will equally be looking for a change in fortunes next time out. Starting his 153rd Grand Prix in ninth spot following a disappointing qualifying run, the veteran Emirati driver reached the finish in seventh place. He later collected a one-lap penalty for a start infringement and dropped to 12th.

After a false start caused by a technical issue, Stark looked to have grabbed an important advantage over Andersson as he squeezed past his fellow Swede on the first lap before the race was halted when Ferdinand Zandbergen crashed out.

Andersson regained control from the re-start and shrugged off several attacks by Stark before the final lap saw them tussling for the win down the last straight, both boats slowing with technical issues.

As the Victory driver squeezed ahead, Wyatt powered his way through on the outside right at the finish to become the first rookie to win a Grand Prix. Sharjah’s Canadian driver takes an immediate lead in the championship from Stark, and Al-Qemzi and Comparato will be determined to ensure that the UAE has three teams challenging for honors as the season progresses.

Team Abu Dhabi have secured 17 world championship titles since Guido Cappellini took over as team manager in 2015, and the Italian racing legend is determined to deliver more success to Abu Dhabi Marine Sports Club.

His meticulous planning and attention to detail will be aimed at giving Al-Qemzi and Comparato a significant boost to see them challenging for podium places in Vietnam.


Max Verstappen cruises to ‘unbelievable’ Red Bull one-two in Bahrain Grand Prix

Max Verstappen cruises to ‘unbelievable’ Red Bull one-two in Bahrain Grand Prix
Updated 02 March 2024
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Max Verstappen cruises to ‘unbelievable’ Red Bull one-two in Bahrain Grand Prix

Max Verstappen cruises to ‘unbelievable’ Red Bull one-two in Bahrain Grand Prix
  • Verstappen delivered the 12th ‘hat-trick’ of his career leaving only the seven-time champions Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton ahead on 22 and 19 trebles respectively

SAKHIR, Bahrain: Three-time world champion Max Verstappen began his title defense in flawless fashion on Saturday when he guided his Red Bull team to a crushing one-two triumph, ahead of team-mate Sergio Perez, at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
In a statement of emphatic superiority, the 26-year-old Dutchman came home 22.5 seconds clear of Perez, who started from fifth, to ease some of the pressure on team boss Christian Horner.
Pole sitter Verstappen held off the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc to lead into the first corner, and it was business as usual from there to the flag as he enjoyed the perfect start to his quest for a fourth consecutive title.
By claiming the 33rd pole of his career, fastest lap and race win, Verstappen delivered the 12th ‘hat-trick’ of his career leaving only the seven-time champions Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton ahead on 22 and 19 trebles respectively.
It was Verstappen’s eighth successive win, his 55th race victory and 99th podium finish as Red Bull dominated an uneventful race on a cold evening at Sakhir’s Bahrain International Circuit.
it also extended his run as championship leader to 40 races since the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix.
“Unbelievable!” said Verstappen.
“I think today went better than expected and we had a lot of pace. It was super-enjoyable to drive and we stayed out of trouble. It’s a good start to the year — it couldn’t be better.
“It was a lot of fun. And it’s very special to have days like today as it doesn’t happen often, when everything is all ok with the car. It felt great today.”
Team-mate Perez praised the team.
“The team definitely had good momentum. We’ve got to keep it up now for the coming weekends,” he said.
“It was the maximum we could achieve — a tricky race with the tire management and plenty to learn from the race.”
Carlos Sainz, whose seat at Ferrari is to be taken by Hamilton next year, finished a pugnacious third ahead of team-mate Charles Leclerc, who profited from a rare error by Mercedes George Russell in the closing laps.
“I felt really good today and had good pace. We had a clear plan and it worked well,” said Sainz.
“I managed my tires and then I could overtake a few cars on the way to the podium. A good step forward compared to last year.”
Russell finished fifth ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris, Hamilton in the second Mercedes, Oscar Piastri in the second McLaren and the Aston Martin duo two-time champion Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll.
After days of speculation, Red Bull boss Horner arrived hand in hand with his wife, former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell — a show of unity following the release on Thursday of a cache of alleged messages from him to a female member of staff.
That had come just 24 hours after he had been cleared by Red Bull’s internal investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior.
On track, the team showed no apparent distraction as Verstappen topped qualifying to secure his 33rd pole position — and lead the pack when the lights went out in cold, dry conditions in the desert.
The Dutchman made a clean start and led from lights to flag.
When he came in for his final set of new softs at the end of lap 37, he re-joined with a 17-second cushion ahead of Perez.
It was a commanding performance from the champion, decorated with a fastest lap of 1:32.608 as he cruised through the final 16 laps: a lap that was fully 1.5 seconds quicker than any other.
“Look, it’s been the best possible start to the season,” said Horner afterwards.
“Very clinical from the team and a well-executed race. The perfect start.”
Asked about his own position and the confidence that Red Bull’s owners have in him, Horner was bullish.
“Do I have their backing? Absolutely, yes,” he said. “Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here.”


FIA president to FT: Red Bull boss Christian Horner controversy is ‘damaging the sport’

FIA president to FT: Red Bull boss Christian Horner controversy is ‘damaging the sport’
Updated 02 March 2024
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FIA president to FT: Red Bull boss Christian Horner controversy is ‘damaging the sport’

FIA president to FT: Red Bull boss Christian Horner controversy is ‘damaging the sport’
  • Mohammed Ben Sulayem said any complaint lodged with its compliance officer would be investigated

SAKHIR, Bahrain: The president of Formula 1’s governing body told the Financial Times the controversy around Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is damaging the sport, but that the FIA won’t conduct its own inquiry unless it receives a complaint.
Ahead of Saturday’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, Horner arrived at the F1 paddock holding hands with his wife Geri Halliwell, who is better known as Ginger Spice of the pop group the Spice Girls.
FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem said any complaint lodged with its compliance officer would be investigated but it had not received one related to Horner’s situation and would not “jump the gun,” the Financial Times reported.
“It’s damaging the sport,” Ben Sulayem told the newspaper, which added that he was speaking Friday after a meeting with Horner. “This is damaging on a human level.”
On Wednesday, the team’s parent company dismissed a complaint of alleged misconduct by Horner toward a team employee. A day later during practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix, a file alleged to contain evidence against Horner was emailed to nearly 200 people in the F1 paddock, including Liberty Media, F1, the FIA, the other nine team principals and multiple media outlets.
The authenticity of the files has not been verified by The Associated Press; the file came from a generic email account.
Horner has denied wrongdoing and said in a statement issued Thursday that he would not “comment on anonymous speculation.”
Three-time defending champion Max Verstappen said after qualifying on pole position Friday that Horner was “fully committed to the team” but that his team principal was also “probably a little bit distracted.”