Media covering the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost have praised Zane Maloney’s recent form, but warned the title fight may not be quite so straightforward when the series resumes at Snetterton.
The Carlin racer’s seven-race winning streak means he heads into the summer break with a healthy 54-point advantage, but with a maximum score of 400 still on the table over the remaining five meetings, plus a historic pattern for more varied race results over the second half of the season, the title is far from won.
We caught up with press from the likes of ITV Sport, Autosport, Motorsport News, The Checkered Flag and Momentum Social to tap into their knowledge and cast some predictions for what comes next.
“There’s no denying Zane Maloney is the form driver at the moment – winning seven races on the bounce is unprecedented,” admits Stephen Lickorish, Deputy Editor at Motorsport News.
“He’s got a healthy points lead and looks very tough to beat. But there’s still a long way to go and his 54-point advantage doesn’t sound quite so much when you consider there’s still 400 up for grabs.
“Louis Foster was the one to beat in the early stages of the season and he’s sure to bounce back after a difficult Oulton Park weekend and give Maloney something to think about.
“There will be plenty more twists and turns to come but, ultimately, I reckon Maloney has the edge now he’s fully up to speed after making the switch from karts. His Carlin squad has powered the champion every year it has competed in the series and Maloney looks like he can continue that record.”
ITV Sport’s lead commentator Richard John Neil agrees. Having provided the voice of the Ford EcoBoost-powered series to homes around the UK since it’s inception as MSA Formula in 2015, he believes there is still time for the dynamic of this year’s title battle to shift.
“Normally we see a change of complexion in the second half of the season,” he explained.
“I think we’ll see more first time winners as the remainder of the season unfolds with another five or six of the drivers capable of taking the chequer. Whatever happens we are in for a treat in the coming months.”
Unpredictability has certainly been the theme of 2019 so far. Five different drivers have graced the top step of the podium over the first fifteen rounds, with eight taking home silverware in total.
It is to this level of competition that lead British F4 Reporter for The Checkered Flag, Tom Jackson, points when discussing whether anybody can pose a threat to Maloney’s dominant run over the final fifteen races.
“The beauty of this series is that nothing is ever guaranteed,” said Jackson.
“Zane has been indomitable since Thruxton and is looking increasingly likely to take the crown with every race that goes by but something as freak as a single mechanical issue or a puncture and all that hard work can be undone.
“Louis [Foster] and Sebastian [Alvarez] will no doubt continue to give Zane a run for his money but keep an eye on Josh Skelton and Bart Horsten. Josh is well-versed with the car and had a good run of it at Oulton Park, so expect him to carry that strong form into the latter half of the season.
“Bart has a win amongst a hatful of podium finishes so far so clearly has the pace to challenge for the top. Between the two of them I’m sure they’ll latch on to the title battle.”
Momentum Social’s Alex Wood shares Jackson’s view, but believes the likes of Horsten and Foster will need to find another gear to deprive Maloney of the FIA British Formula 4 title come October.
“As I’m sure many others will say, the stand-out driver for me this season has to be Zane Maloney,” says Wood.
“His dominant performances in the past few meetings have made him a true force to be reckoned with. The rest of the field will have to push deeper to find those extra tenths if they want to beat him to the title.
“That being said, I’ve also been majorly impressed by the likes of Bart Horsten and Louis Foster, whose consistent results have ensured they are still within grasp of catching Maloney at the half-way stage.”
The F4 British Championship resumes at Snetterton, Norfolk, over the weekend of 3rd-4th August.