Debut at Yas Marina for James Wharton as the FRMEC season begins

James Wharton completed the first round as a rookie in the Formula Regional Middle East Championship, securing 18 points and gaining valuable experience during an eventful weekend.


James' debut in the championship was promising, especially in Race 1. Racing for Prema in a Tatuus car by the Indian team Mumbai Falcons, he started the race from third position following the quali session. James engaged in duels with the R-Ace GP team cars and his former F4 teammate, Tuukka Taponen. However, he finished the first round in fourth place after a car behind him cut the track at Turn 15 and overtook the Aussie driver.

James started from the seventh position in the second race due to the reverse grid. Still, his race ended with 7 minutes remaining when he collided with his teammate Rafael Camara while fighting for position against Taponen's R-Ace GP, due to braking too late. He finished the race in 24th position.

During Race 3, the final round of the FRMEC's inaugural season, James Wharton maintained a low profile. Understanding the importance of avoiding mistakes and accumulating as many points as possible for a rookie, he focused on consistency. In Race 3, the Australian driver advanced two positions from the start, finishing in 7th place. This experience helped him become more acquainted with his new car, which is quite different from the F4 he was accustomed to and prepared him to be more competitive in subsequent races. Notably, James consistently demonstrated competitiveness throughout the weekend, finishing the fifth pre-season test session in second place and remaining among the top experienced drivers.

«The first weekend of the Formula Regional started a bit slow. The first day wasn't great, but we made a comeback in the free practices. Overall, the qualifying was quite good. Q1 was solid, but a mistake on my part in Q2 cost us a bit. Despite that, it was a solid weekend. We finished Race 1 with a good P4, and again, a mistake from me affected our final result in Race 2. We finished Race 3 on a solid note. So overall, there are positive takeaways for next week».

The Formula Regional Middle East Championship's second round is set to take place at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi from January 19th to 21st.