A stunning performance from Rafael Camara, with two wins and a pole position at Dubai’s Grand Prix circuit, on only his second time racing a single-seater.
“I’ve still got a lot to learn, but I’m really happy with the way the weekend went.” That was Rafael Camara’s succinct and pertinent summing-up of a weekend he won’t forget in a hurry. In his second race meeting in a single-seater, the 16 year old Brazilian took one pole position and two wins, scoring more points than the 30 other drivers. Camara showed, talent and maturity in some tricky racing situations, up against more experienced competitors. He did well in qualifying and during the hectic start of the races and also waited for the right moment to regain places in Race 4. Picking up 68 points, he has shot up to seventh in the championship on 85 points.
Race-1. Camara left the grid in second, behind poleman Charlie Wurz. Coming up to half-distance, Rafael went on the attack, pulling off an impeccable move on his team-mate to take the lead. The Safety Car then came out and returned to pit lane with five minutes of racing remaining. Camara managed the restart well, controlling the race over the last three laps to the chequered flag to record his maiden win in single-seaters.
Race-2. This was a long procession behind the Safety Car for all but three laps in the 30 minute timeframe from lights out to chequered flag, because of various incidents and crashes, which eventually required the race to be red flagged. Camara’s start was not the best and with hardly any time to make up places, he finished fourth.
Race-3. When the lights went out, Camara led the charge down to the first corner from pole position, fending off attacks from his rivals. He kept the lead when, with three laps remaining, Prema team-mate Aiden Neate overtook him. Camara dug deep and on the last lap, he made a decisive move going into the first corner, passing Neate under braking. The last lap was very exciting, but the Brazilian controlled the situation well, winning another thrilling race.
Race-4. Camara started the last race of the weekend from twelfth spot, the grid based on the reversed finishing order from Race 3. He made up two places in the opening laps, but then the race was red flagged following a crash. Eventually, the race resumed and Camara was soon up to eighth, before pulling off the final passing move of the day to take seventh place at the flag.