- Eighth-place finish enough to put Caroline’s points tally out of reach with two races in hand.
- Carlin win Teams’ Cup for third consecutive year.
- Lundqvist makes it five wins for the season after superb start.
30 SEPTEMBER, 2017 – Jamie Caroline secured the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost title at Brands Hatch to cap a record-breaking season for the Pirtek Racing-backed Carlin star. An eighth-place finish enough to put him clear of title rival Oscar Piastri in the standings. Meanwhile, at the front of the field Linus Lundqvist took his fifth win of the campaign following a lightning start.
In typical Caroline fashion there was no shortage of drama. Starting fourth on the grid the championship leader found himself in the gravel trap at turn one after a tangle with Alex Quinn. The latter was left stranded while Caroline was able to escape.
The stage was set for a trademark Caroline comeback through the field and the 18-year-old did not disappoint, scything his way from last to eighth by the time the chequered flag fell.
Said the 2017 FIA British Formula 4 Champion: “It would have been nice to secure the title with another victory but I’m delighted to wrap it up with a few races to space.
“To become the British F4 champion is a good thing to add to my CV, and I’m proud to have taken my second title for Pirtek Racing.
“On top of that I’m proud to have made it a hat-trick of British F4 drivers’ titles for Carlin, as well as play a key role in bringing home a historic third consecutive Teams’ Cup for them.
“Going into this season, my aim was to fight for the title but I didn’t expect to enjoy the level of success I’ve had. To break the points record and to set a new record for wins in a season is fantastic, and hopefully before the weekend is over I can add to that win tally.
“So many people have supported me to get to this point and I have to thank all of my family, Phil Glew, Edge Sporting Management, Carlin, everyone at Pirtek UK and all my other sponsors, as I wouldn’t have been able to take this title without them.”
Despite Caroline and Quinn’s tangle promoting rival Piastri up to fourth, the Aussie was unable to make further inroads on the leading trio: Lundqvist, Sargeant and Simmons. It meant that even if Caroline had finished outside the points, he still would have been crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion because Piastri needed to take at least 18 points out of Caroline’s lead in the opening race of weekend to keep the title fight alive.
Out front, Double R Racing’s Linus Lundqvist was in complete control after a daring move around the outside of poleman Logan Sargeant into turn one. The Swede handled two Safety Car restarts impeccably, the first following the recovery of Quinn’s car, the second coming as a result of Lucas Alecco Roy beaching his car in the gravel on the exit of Clearways.
“The move at the start was decisive,” explained Lundqvist. “There was no doubt in my mind that I wasn’t going to come out of turn one in the lead.
“Double R have done an amazing job with the car and I feel like I’m extracting the maximum performance from myself.
“It was hard to find a rhythm out front because of the Safety Cars, but I think I handled them well. I kept the temperature in the tyres and brakes, and was able to perfect the restarts.
“I feel like I had the edge over the field in that race. We’ve had a very good car throughout the weekend. We almost put everything together for pole in qualifying and we did it when it mattered in the race.”
Lundqvist was kept honest throughout proceedings however by Sargeant. Although the American ace was unable to convert pole into his third Ford EcoBoost-powered win, his second place coupled with Caroline’s points score was enough to secure Carlin its third consecutive Teams’ Cup title in the series.
Ayrton Simmons completed the podium, avoiding the drama at the start and joined the stalemate at the front which saw the leading trio separated by just over a second at the fall of the chequer.
There was further drama lower down the order as Ford F4 Challenge Cup honours were fought for. Class leader Hampus Ericsson’s race came undone when a move on Karl Massaad for eighth failed to go his way and left him tumbling down the field. It saw Olli Cadlwell become leading Challenge Cup runner which he maintained until the race’s conclusion to secure his fourth win in the Class.
Ericsson was then faced with the prospect of making his way through the order. The Fortec Motorsports racer was halted by Challenge Cup rival Harry Webb (Richardson Racing), who fended the Swede off to take second and crucially the lead in the standings by three points with two races remaining.
F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost
Provisional results Round 28 Brands Hatch GP 30 September 2017
11 laps / 26.76 miles
1 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R 19m 15.303s / 83.40mph
2 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin +0.653s
3 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +1.582s
4 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden +2.368s
5 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec +4.449s
6 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Carlin +5.134s
7 Manuel SULAIMAN / MEX / JHR +6.993s
8 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin +8.737s
9 Olli CALDWELL / GBR / Arden +9.829s
10 Karl MASSAAD / LEB / Double R +10.240s etc.
Fastest lap: Linus Lundqvist 1m 26.808s / 100.91mph
Ford F4 Challenge Cup: 1 Caldwell; 2 Webb; 3 Ericsson; 4 Allen
Grid for Round 29: Sulaiman – Pasma – York – Piastri – Simmons – Sargeant – Lundqvist – Caroline – Caldwell – Massaad etc.