Josh Skelton says strength of 2018 grid helped speed up his development

  • F4 British Championship returnee highlights strength of last season’s grid as instrumental to his speedy development.
  • JHR Developments racer aiming for first overall podium and race victory in 2019, but underlines the importance of consistency.
  • Ford’s winning formula returns to the biggest stage in Britain on 6th-7th

Josh Skelton says the quality of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost grid in 2018 forced him to speed up his learning process.

Britain’s FIA-sanctioned Formula 4 series has earnt a reputation for being among the most competitive of its kind worldwide, evidenced last year as eight different drivers took race victories and the battle just to score points at each event was raised to it’s toughest level yet.

Skelton – who returns to Ford’s winning formula as a title contender with JHR Developments this season – admits it was less than ideal to complete the majority of testing on the Friday prior to race events but says the strength in depth of last year’s field played a big role in developing him as a driver.

“Last year the championship was full of really good drivers, it was very close and pushing me to the limit all the time, which helps speed up the process of learning, especially when you consider we didn’t do much testing so most of our learning happened at the tracks on the actual race weekends – you had to be straight on it, straight away,” explained Skelton.

The 18-year old also re-affirmed his belief in the championship as a two-year programme, stating that whilst he looked at other categories during the winter, returning to the Ford EcoBoost-powered series was never in any real doubt.

“It was always in our minds when we confirmed the first season that we might do two years in the series. We had a look at different series, but there was never a question in our minds of coming back.”

Skelton will team up with American rising star Carter Williams at the Derbyshire-based JHR squad in 2019 and says, despite only a couple of days in the simulator at the Media Day test at Brands Hatch together, the partnership between the two is already starting to pay dividends.

“I haven’t spent much time with Carter yet because it was only recently that he signed with the team,” said Skelton.

“Since he’s been over in the UK we’ve spent a couple of days on the simulator together, learning each other’s styles of driving and putting it into place, it’s definitely helping.”

He also echoed several of his peers in underlining the importance of consistency to be successful in the F4 British Championship, setting his sights first on a maiden overall podium, then a race victory, and then hopefully the FIA British Formula 4 crown thereafter.

“Consistency throughout the year is the main thing, we’ll start with the aim of getting on the overall podium, then race win, then hopefully the big prize will come at the end of the year.”

Once again in 2019, the F4 British Championship occupies a unique role as the sole single-seater support category on the UK’s premier motorsport package – the British Touring Car Championship.

That guarantees a capacity trackside audience exceeding 30,000 spectators at most events, along with live, free-to-air television coverage nationwide through ITV4.

The new season gets underway at Brands Hatch on 6th-7th April.