Matias Zagazeta feels confident that improvements over the winter will put him in a strong position to contend for the 2021 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost title ahead of the season opener.
Ford’s rising stars return to action at the high-speed Thruxton circuit in Hampshire over the weekend of 8-9 May, with Peruvian racer Zagazeta one of four returnees in the field, the others being Roman Bilinski, Abbi Pulling and James Hedley.
Zagazeta, who switches teams from Carlin to Argenti Motorsport for his second year in the category, has worked extensively over the winter period to use his experience from last season to continue developing as a driver.
“Yeah it feels amazing to be back,” said Zagazeta.
“I’ve been waiting for this for a while now and it’s been going great during testing. I think we’ve turned the tables around from last year which was a difficult year but that helped me a lot to improve as a driver and now we’re ready for this year.
“it was overall a very difficult year. I think the confidence with the car wasn’t there yet. But now, we’ve built that over the winter and it’s really paying off. We’ve been showing good pace, there’s still things to improve but yeah, it’s completely different to what it was last year.”
One advantage for second-year drivers is their circuit knowledge; British F4 races on the UK’s most iconic and challenging venues, and experience can pay dividends over a hard-fought 30-race schedule across 10 events.
“I think that’s a big advantage, especially being a second year driver,” explained Zagazeta.
“I think everyone that does a second year has a big advantage over the others. There’s a couple drivers doing a second year, so I’m looking forward to battling with them.
“I think I’m gonna try and gain as much advantage as possible in the first half of the season. Obviously the rookies are quite new to the championship so I’ll be looking to gain an advantage in that period, try and score the maximum points every single race and try and look for the championship.
“We’ve been working a lot with the race-craft as well [during the] off season. I think I’ve improved massively to where I was last year, like a different driver so I’m really looking forward to the green lights to get racing.”
Looking beyond 2021, Zagazeta’s ultimate goal mirrors that of his peers – Formula 1, but he’s also keeping an open mind to opportunities in other disciplines of the sport.
“Obviously, the dream for everyone is Formula 1. Everyone dreams as a kid to get to F1 and that’s my dream as well. But I would also love to be in IndyCar or NASCAR, maybe Formula E, GTs, I think in general doing what I love, I think that’s gonna be enough.”