Alex Connor ready to bounce back after ‘mixed’ season opener

Arden Motorsport’s Alex Connor is keen to move on quickly from a weekend of highs and lows as the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost returned to action at Donington Park.

Connor proved unstoppable in the season opener, storming through from fifth on the grid to seal victory by 1.6-seconds for the Red Arrows and bank his first win in Britain’s FIA Formula 4 series, building on his first podium at the 2019 season finale.

An unfortunate clash with Fortec Motorsport’s Roberto Faria on the exit of Coppice in the reverse grid contest left both drivers out on the spot, and despite an incident with Abbi Pulling (JHR) at the Roberts chicane in the ITV4-televised finale, Connor battled back well to score points in eighth.

The net result of all three races puts the sophomore driver in fifth overall, 23 points behind early leader Zak O’Sullivan (Carlin).

“I think it was a mixed weekend, in my opinion. I think there were good highs, and then obviously some lows like in race two,” explained Connor.

“Race one was really good, I felt like I was driving very well, which helped. And then race two, I just got caught in an incident with Faria, which ended my race.

“Race three, the first lap was good, I made up about three positions, and then had a tangle with someone. But then I feel like the recovery drive was quite good, so I think that’s a load of positives to take away from it, and hopefully going to Brands [we’re] even stronger.”

Connor was delighted win that first win – his second win in FIA F4 machinery after a triumph out in the UAE over the winter months – after wants to carry that momentum on through an intense schedule of races in the coming weeks.

“I feel like I was the ‘one to beat’ in that first race, and I feel like it was a very, very good first race to start the season, and I hope I can carry on with those races and keep on doing them, hopefully [we’ll] get some more wins at Brands as well.”

With the schedule so compressed, Connor agreed that ‘bouncing back’ mentally will play a huge role, and says the troubles of Sunday are already consigned to the past in his mind as he switches focus to the 2.4-mile Kent circuit this weekend.

“It’s pretty important,” he adds.

“I feel like I did that yesterday [Sunday], I was kind of like ‘oh, okay, it’s not been the best of days, but just put that behind me’, move on, do the same as we did on Saturday, in race one, in hopefully all three of the races at Brands.”

“I’m very confident going into Brands Hatch, it’s one of my favourite tracks, I really like it, I like the nature of the track and I feel like it’ll be even better than last year.”

The 16-year old claimed his first pole position – a double at that – at Brands GP in 2019. Any repeat of that form, and Connor will be well-placed to mount an immediate fightback.