Jamaican Alex Powell entered Round 5 of the F4 UAE Championship with a mathematical chance to win the title, but mechanical problems would hamper his weekend and ultimately scuttle his chances in the championship.

Powell started his quest on a strong note, securing P3 in both qualifying sessions on Saturday morning. However, during Race 1, his clutch started to slip, taking away any opportunity to challenge for the win and valuable points. With skillful management of the slipping clutch, he secured a 3rd place podium finish, although it wasn’t enough to keep him in contention for the overall championship.

In the reverse grid for Race 2, Powell started in P10, making his way through the field to 8th before half the distance of the race. An over-exuberant competitor forced Alex wide off track into a very sandy area; recovering from the excursion dropped Alex to 11th place, where he finished out of the points.

While any chance of a Top-3 finish in the championship was now gone, Alex could still finish in the Top-5 with a good result in Race 3. Unfortunately, disaster struck before the very start of the race. While waiting for the red lights to extinguish, signaling the start of the race, the clutch problems resurfaced, this time resulting in his car creeping forward before the actual start, then stalling completely. Powell was out of the race before it began and eventually finished 6th in the Driver’s championship.

Still, Powell's accumulated points proved to be crucial for the Team Championship, won by his Mumbai Falcons team. He also finished 2nd in the Rookie championship.

"Not the weekend we hoped for. Some mechanical circumstances were completely out of my control. A special thanks to Prema and the Mumbai Falcons team for all their hard work over the course of the championship! Let’s keep pushing, and I’m already looking forward to the F4 Italian Championship," Powell said after the event.

The 16-year-old Jamaican sensation will next compete in the F4 Italian Championship, beginning in May.

Jamaica's karting sensation Alex Powell is gearing up to write a new chapter in his racing career, as he recently inked a deal with Prema Racing to compete in its 2024 Formula 4 programme.

Powell, who displayed immense potential on the karting circuit where he secured numerous top three finishes in some of Europe's top-class championships, is now aiming to add to his karting successes, though he is well aware that Formula 4 presents much more formidable opponents.

“I’m happy to continue my journey with Prema Racing, since I started with them earlier in karting. We finished off to a great karting career and I look forward to continuing developing as a single seater driver with this incredible team. I’m grateful for this opportunity and I will continue to do my best with the amazing support of the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team Junior Programme," Powell declared.

Powell, a Mercedes-AMG F1 protege, whetted his appetite for Formula 4 competition late last year, and will on this occasion, enjoy his first full season in European and Italian Formula 4 championships.

Prema Racing's Team Principal Angelo Rosin welcomed Jamaican Powell to Prema’s Formula 4 team for 2024, noting that the 16-year-old is the first drive to transition from Prema’s karting team to its F4 team.

“Alex is a really promising driver. We followed him during his early years, and we were delighted to welcome him to our new karting team for 2023. When he made the step up to cars, he was impressive despite the steep learning curve and made solid improvements every time he went on track…we are looking forward to seeing what’s ahead for us," Rosin said.

Though the FIA Karting World Championships victory in the KZ2 (shifter kart) category slipped his grasp, young sensation Alex Powell still had much to celebrate, as he again etched his name in the annals of Jamaica’s sporting history.

Powell, who has been endured a series of mixed results throughout the season, placed second in the coveted championships in Wackersdorf, Germany on Sunday in what was another solid demonstration of his immense potential to rise to the occasion when it matters most.

While the American-born driver would have loved to top the podium and become the first Jamaican or Caribbean driver to win a World Championships title, the runner-up position sufficed for Powell, who knows that in a competitive category of this nature boasting over 125 drivers, the chances of winning fluctuate.

It was his first time finishing on the podium at the illustrious championships, as Germany’s Niels Troger finished tops, while Romania’s Daniel Vasile was third in the 26-lap final.

“The aim is always to ensure the Jamaican flag is displayed during the presentation ceremony and we made that happen. It's something that not many people are able to experience, but I am fortunate enough to have accomplished that and I am very grateful and proud that I am able to represent Jamaica and the Caribbean on this big stage,” Powell said as he reflected on the grueling weekend.

“I am just hoping that it inspires other kids coming up, not only from Jamaica, so they know, they too can do it because at the end of the day you know, I started from where they're starting now and I'm very proud of what I have been able to achieve. Sure, I still have a long way to go still, but I hope that I've been able to open a few doors for the kids coming up behind me,” he told Sportsmax.tv from his base in Italy.

The 15-year-old, who started his driving career in a parking lot in Trinidad and Tobago and his now a Mercedes-Benz AMG F1 protégé, also took into account the fact that this was his first, and possibly, only season competing in the shifter karts category.

As such, he welcomed the lessons as part of his growth process in a budding career that could see him transition to the Formula 4 ranks next year.

“This was my third FIA event in KZ2 this year and I was on the podium twice, so it is great that I was always a contender, challenging for victories in highly competitive category. Because at the end of the day, I'm racing experienced guys that are double my age, so even being around them, you know, I learnt a lot and I'm able to take away so much you know, sort of nibbling at their experience,” Powell shared.

“So, to finish runner-up in the World Championship was nice as you can imagine, it's probably a bit sour as well because you're so close, but then you know start to put it into perspective. So, I'm proud of the way that we were able to progress, not only from the weekend, but also from the beginning of this year, so like I said, hopefully next time, we can go one step higher,” he added.

This performance coupled with his third-place finish overall in the FIA European Championships, has boosted Powell’s confidence significantly, as he heads into the business end of the season in pole position in the five-race Champions of the Future (COTF) series, and still has the World Championships OK category to contest.

On that European Championships standing, Powell 191 points, behind Dutch driver Rene Lammers (278 points) and Italy’s Gabriel Gomez (213 points).

Meanwhile, he heads the COTF standings on 196 points heading into the final round in France. Great Britain’s Kean Nakamura-Berta (184 points) and Gomez (155 points) are his closest pursuers.

“I think that for the upcoming two races, we're in much better shape than we were before, so I'm quite confident, I have proven to myself that I can deal with the pressure and also produce strong results. So, to be honest, I think mentally, I'm in a strong place going into these last two events. So hopefully everything goes as well as it did this past weekend, but I'll be I'll be fighting hard,” Powell declared.

“Especially given the fact that this might be the last season in go-karts for me, so I would like to finish on the high and I'll be giving it my all. After so many years of trying and failing, to finally get on the podium of a FIA World Championship has taken off a lot of pressure and shows that we're moving in the right direction,” the cousin to former 100m World record holder and sub-10 sprint king Asafa Powell, ended.

Starting a race weekend as championship-leading driver is never a bad thing, but doing so carries extra weight. However, there is also added pressure when a driver, who holds himself to high regard, has to make up grounds to deliver a championship win.

That's the situation Jamaica's karting sensation Alex Powell is in, as he heads into the business end of the season in pole position in the five-race Champions of the Future (COTF) series, but at the same time, is someway off the lead in the more illustrious four-round FIA Karting European Championship.

Still, Powell welcomes the challenge that both events present as part of his growth process in a budding career that could see him transition to the Formula 4 ranks next year.

"I want to win both the Champions of the Future and the European Championships, so I will do everything I possibly can to achieve that feat. I have been a little lacking in some cases, particularly where race pace is concerned, but I am confident with the direction that we are working in and we will be working very hard over these next few weeks," Powell told SportsMax.tv from his base in Italy.

The American-born driver's declaration came while he reflected on the second and third place finishes in the third round of both events, in the OK category, on separate weekends in Rodby, Denmark.

In the COTF series, Powell was beaten by Italian Gabriel Gomez, with Great Britain's Kean Nakamura-Berta in third. Despite placing second, Powell moved to the top of the series standings 24 points ahead of rivals with two more rounds to come at Cremona and Franciacorta, both in Italy on July 12-15 and September 13-16, respectively.

"Champions of the Future was quite a successful event in terms of consistency, as I was in the top five from the qualifying heats all the way through to the final. Unfortunately, in the final, we missed out as we were lacking a bit in pace. 

"But it is good to be atop the overall standings with a fairly good lead and so the aim is to maintain that over the next two rounds. It comes with some amount of pressure because you have to ensure that you drive the best race possible for those two rounds," Powell said.

Just this past weekend, the 15-year-old Mercedes-Benz AMG F1 protégé, again showed good speed through the rounds, but faltered at the backend of the 21-lap final in European Championship action. He placed behind Dutchman Rene Lammers and Gomez.

"The weekend started off poorly as qualifying didn't go to plan so we had to completely change the kart and it did work for us to an extent because I won all three of my heats, but that race speed was missing in the latter stages of the final. It was a bit frustrating, but we did the best we could, and we just have to try to improve going forward," the Prema Racing representative shared.

Though he is 43 points off Lammers, who heads the European Championships on 208 points, Powell on 165 points, admits overhauling the leader will be tough but is by no means impossible. Gomez (202 points) currently occupies second position.

"I'm not saying that it is over but I'm going to need a really big points haul or some mishap for the first two for me to win the overall championship. But it is important that we stay positive, there are 81 points available and I'm 43 behind so with a perfect weekend we can overturn it," Powell, a cousin to former 100m World record holder Asafa Powell, said.

"We were in a similar position last year and just missed out on it so I'm not giving up and I will be giving it my all. All or nothing for the last round," he added.

With that last round of the European Championship scheduled July 27-30 in Italy, Powell pointed out that he will be putting in the necessary work, physically, mentally and otherwise in an attempt to once again prove his class.

In last year's championships, Powell won the last round but just missed out on being crowned European champion by a mere two points.

"We basically have a month to prepare, I'm actually off to Sarno, Italy for a race in Kz2 (shifter karts) in preparation for the last round of the European champions for that category which is the first week of July. So though its two different categories, it will serve as a preparation race and could be a good indicator of what I need to work on in terms of race strategy," he explained.

"Because we are going to need a very good last round but until then, we will have to focus on ourselves and do the best that we can and then hopefully we will be in the best possible position to challenge," Powell ended.


Despite the disappointment of a penalty that robbed him a podium finish in Czech Republic at the weekend, Jamaica's young sensation Alex Powell left that second round of the FIA European Karting Championship feeling confident that he can truly take the fight to the leading lights in the hunt to create more history this year.

The American-born Powell, who just missed out on an historic top-three finish in last year's overall championship, has once again established himself as a main contender for those coveted top spot in the OK category, as he sits third in the current standing on 96 points with two more rounds to come.

Italian Gabriel Gomez holds pole position on 150 points ahead of Dutchman Rene Lammers (136 points). Latvia's Tomass Stolcermanis (86 points) and Nathaniel Tye (60 points) of Great Britain complete the latest top five.

This follows a riveting second round battle on the demanding 1223-metre Steel Ring track in Trinec, where the winding, hilly layout, offered challenges for the drivers and technicians, especially amid changeable conditions.

In the end it was Gomez who maintained his composure best and, finished tops ahead of Lammers and another Italian Sebastiano Pavan.

Powell initially placed second, but was later penalized and, as such, had to settle for fourth.

"It was a difficult weekend, but we were strong in the final once again which is always a positive because the aim always to challenge for the podium. Naturally, I was very disappointed about the five second penalty at first, but there are a number of positive takeaways and so we will just focus on those and make the necessary switch to take the next two rounds as they come," Powell said from his base in Italy.

With the next round of the European Championships set for June 15-18 in Rodby, Denmark, Powell is eyeing significant improvements to ensure he remains in contention to possibly pull off the historic feat of being the first Jamaican or Caribbean driver to be crowned overall European champion.

Before that, the 15-year-old will have the Champions of the Future event to navigate from May 31 to July 3, also in Denmark, which should assist in his preparation for the bigger event. He is currently second on the Champions of the Future standings.

"The European Championships is definitely not over yet for sure I will be looking to improve on those results over the next two rounds and try my hardest to keep up with those ahead of me," Powell, a cousin to former 100m World record holder, Asafa Powell, said.

"Being in third position at the moment really encourages me to put my best foot forward, like i said, we had good pace in the final and so I’m hoping we will be even faster in the races to come and I really want to take that next step up onto the podium," he added.

With this possibly being his final year in karting, Powell, a Mercedes-Benz AMG F1 protege, who was denied the overall honours by a mere two points last year, is determined to close this chapter of his career with a bang.

"There is a chance we can do something special this year and I obviously have more experience now too, which gives me the confidence to push harder.

“If things go well, I honestly believe we can compete with the top guys and cause them some trouble. It’s a really strong field and the leading four drivers in the championship will all be aiming to hold their positions, but my goal is to close the gap going int to the final round and from there, anything is possible," Powell noted.

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