14 SEPTEMBER, 2017 – Half a point. That’s all Carlin’s Jamie Caroline needs to have extended his championship lead of 74.5 points by at the conclusion of this weekend to be crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion at Silverstone, the home of the British Motor Racing.
It sounds easy, but five other drivers could steal the crown. Chief amongst those are Oscar Piastri (TRS Arden) and Logan Sargeant (Carlin). The two had vastly differing fortunes three weeks ago at Rockingham Motor Speedway.
Piastri, who had finished every race this season in the points, saw his run halted with two non-finishes and a solitary point for his efforts.
Sargeant has clawed his way into contention, scoring more points than any other driver since the summer break, finishing no lower than fifth and claiming his maiden victory last time out.
If official testing at Silverstone a week ago is anything to go by, we’re in for a titanic battle between the title protagonists. Caroline set the pace, but Piastri was his closest challenger and a mere 0.082s adrift. The rivals were the only men to lap below the 57 second mark.
Alex Quinn (TRS Arden) and Linus Lundqvist (Double R Racing) were the other victors at Rockingham, taking their second and fourth wins of the campaign respectively. Elsewhere, Fortec’s Oliver York followed up his maiden win at Knockhill with a brace of podiums. The trio will need to bring home big points to stand a chance of fighting for the title.
Ayrton Simmons (TRS Arden) and Patrik Pasma (Carlin) also starred on the podium several weeks ago, the latter coming tantalisingly close to his first British F4 win having led from pole.
Double R’s Karl Massaad was brought back down to earth following his podium exploits north of the border by scoring only two points.
Hampus Ericsson took a hat-trick of Ford F4 Challenge Cup wins at Rockingham. The Fortec driver will want to do the same at Silverstone in a bid to move to the top of the Class standings. Standing in his way this weekend will be TRS Arden’s Olli Caldwell and Falcon Motorsport’s Lucca Allen.
In the overall standings, Caldwell is defending a slender 2.5 point lead from fellow Young Racing Driver Academy product Jamie Sharp. The Sharp Motorsport racer put in an inspired performance at the Speedway to climb five places and into a points-paying position.
Manuel Sulaimán (JHR Developments) and Lucas Alecco Roy (Carlin) made welcome appearances in the points, meanwhile Sam Smelt and GW Motorsport maintained their top 10 form.
Fortec’s Johnathan Hoggard returns after a brief pause in his campaign, while Harry Dyson will aim to join the top 10 party for JHR Developments on his Ford EcoBoost-powered debut.