Uzbek racing driver Ismail Akhmed joins VAR’s F4 squad

Uzbek racing driver Ismail Akhmed joins VAR’s F4 squad


Zeewolde, March 11, 2023 – Van Amersfoort Racing is excited to announce that Ismail Akhmed will be joining the team for the ’23 Italian Formula 4 Championship. Going into his second Italian F4 season, Ismail completes VAR’s F4 driver line-up and will be racing alongside his recently announced teammates Brando Badoer, Jack Beeton, Matheus Ferreira, and Ivan Domingues.

A little different to what is commonly seen in motorsports, Ismail started karting at the later age of 13. One of the reasons being is that karting, and motorsport in general, has not yet reached the same levels of popularity in Uzbekistan as seen in other countries. Despite this challenge and due to strong determination, Ismail was able to break through the standard and quickly ranked himself amongst the best in his home country, winning both the Uzbek Junior Championship and the National Cup in 2019.

With the successes in his home country, Ismail thought to be ready to take his talent abroad when the COVID pandemic put a stop to it all. After not being able to further pursue his dream for over a year, Ismail finally made his European debut at the FIA Karting European Championship in 2021. Only shortly after the then 16-year-old Uzbek decided to take the big leap into Formula racing, signing up for the ’22 F4 UAE Championship. 

As he entered the series with fairly little karting experience and no time behind the wheel of an F4 car, the championship’s sole purpose was to gather much needed experience. Racing a variety of tracks and facing fierce competition put Ismail on a fast track to becoming a better driver. Akhmed continued shaping his career as he entered the ’22 Italian F4 series, one of the toughest F4 competitions out there. Still on a learning curve, Ismail was able to get to know the major European tracks and further developed his knowledge of racing a Formula 4 car.

For the 2023 season, Ismail Akhmed makes the switch to Van Amersfoort Racing. Together with the Dutch team he returns to the Italian F4 Championship for his second campaign. 

“Every day is a learning day!” says the youngster from Uzbekistan. “It has been quite a journey to get where I am right now, and I am very thankful to all who played a part in it. Coming from a place where motorsport had no real base made it a big challenge to even get started, let alone trying to move up the ladder. However, I am extremely dedicated to make it to the next level, and joining VAR for my second Italian F4 season is one the biggest steps in my career so far! I spent time with the team in the Netherlands and I felt at home from the very start. Both the team’s and my own experience in the championship will surely help me to further progress and I can’t wait to get started. As we speak, we are on our way to start pre-season testing at Mugello, so the wait is finally over!”

Rob Niessink, VAR’s CEO comments on adding Ismail to their F4 driver line-up: “Ismail has had no ordinary career path so far. If you know the full story, you can have nothing but respect for the determination coming from Ismail and the people around him. He is an extremely eager young man with only one goal, which is becoming a better driver every time he hits the track. For sure the upcoming season will bring along challenges, but Ismail thrives on that. As he still has plenty to learn, we will provide him with all the tools needed in order to further develop his race craft. It will be very interesting to see him grow, and we can’t wait for the lights to go off at Imola next month.”  

Van Amersfoort Racing is a professional racing team based in the Netherlands. It was founded by Frits van Amersfoort in 1975. Since then, VAR has built a long tradition of supporting up-and-coming drivers on their way to higher levels. Drivers like Max and Jos Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, Mick Schumacher, Kevin Magnussen and Giedo van der Garde all raced for Frits van Amersfoort’s eponymous team in the early stages of their careers before making it into Formula 1.