Oman motorsport: After tasting success in karting, Shihab Al Habsi set to start Formula 4 journey
October 9, 2017 | 10:49 PM
by Sports Reporter
Talented and ambitious: Shihab Al Habsi

Muscat: After making his mark at the international karting circuits, young Omani talent Shihab bin Ahmed Al Habsi is moving to Formula 4, taking another step towards realising his ultimate ambition of flying Oman’s flag in Formula One.

The Sultanate’s rising racing star, who had a great karting season this year which culminated in his superb performance in the CIK-FIA World Championships at Paul Fletcher International Circuit in the United Kingdom in September, has been encouraged by a globally-renowned team to move to Formula 4.

“My participation in the the CIK-FIA World Championships at PFi Circuit in the United Kingdom from September 22 to 26 was my last outing in the karting. Now I will moving to Formula 4 and will start my new journey with the official trials next month in Germany,” Shihab Al Habsi said.

Revealing that he has been encouraged by the interest shown by an international team to move to Formula 4, Shihab said: “I am delighted to move to the Formula 4, which will provide me with the opportunity to work hard and realise my ambition of becoming a Formula 1 driver in the future.”

Shihab, who will not be taking part in the next week’s X30 Championship in France as planned, thanked the officials of the Ministry of Sports Affairs, the Minister of Sports Affairs Sheikh Saad bin Mohammed Al Mardhouf Al Saadi, Sheikh Khalid bin Mohammed Al Zubair, chairman of the Omani Olympic Committee, Zubair Corporation, Dhofar Automotive Company and Oman Air for their support so far in his career.

Shihab also expressed the hope the support will continue so that he can achieve his dreams.

“I urge both the government and private sector to stand by me and support me in my new journey, especially since I will be the lone Omani representative in the Formula 4,” he said.

Giving the details of his Formula 4 programme for the coming season, he said: “I will start with the tests of next month in Germany. I will also continue with my regular preparations to be a good racing driver like maintaining fitness and other physical and mental training required to be ready for the competitions.”

Launched in 2014, FIA Formula 4 has been created to offer young racing drivers around the world the opportunity to take the first step from karting into the world of single-seater racing.

Designed to be a globally recognised yet affordable step between Karting and the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, FIA Formula 4 allows drivers to compare themselves to the best young talent, not only in their own country, but across other championships around the world. The recipe is undoubtedly a successful one, as present championships boast impressive grids, and new regions are in the process of creating their own F4 setups.

The real action for Shihab will start next year during which he will be taking part in as many as seven F4 competitions.

“Shihab will be taking part in seven events in 2018,” Shihab’s proud father Ahmed said.

“In total he will be racing in a total 21 races during these seven rounds,” he said.

“Shihab’s first F4 outing will at Monza circuit in Italy early next year,” he added.

Monza race will be followed by the second event at Circuit de Nogaro in France.

Shihab will also get an opportunity to race at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium in the third competition.

The remaining races are scheduled to take place at Circuit Paul Ricard in France, Magni Circuit in Germany and Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.

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