British F4 graduates win big at Autosport Awards

  • British F4 graduate Dan Ticktum scoops McLaren Autosport BRDC Award to land prize F1 test with McLaren.
  • 2015 FIA British Formula 4 Champion Lando Norris wins National Driver of the Year.
  • 2015 Rookie Champion Enaam Ahmed awarded British Club Driver of the Year.

4 DECEMBER, 2017 – British F4 graduates were out in force at last night’s glittering Autosport Awards in London, with class of 2015 stars Lando Norris, Enaam Ahmed and Dan Ticktum receiving accolades. The latter scooped one of the most coveted prizes for young drivers in motorsport, the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award, and ensured that for the second consecutive year the prestigious Award was won by a British F4 graduate.

The Award gives Ticktum the chance to test a McLaren F1 car and play a simulator role with the team, as well as full BRDC membership and an Arai crash helmet.

Fresh from his thrilling Macau Grand Prix victory just a fortnight ago, Ticktum emerged triumphant having been up against fellow British F4 graduates Max Fewtrell (2016 FIA British Formula 4 Champion), Enaam Ahmed (2015 Rookie Champion), and Harrison Scott (2013 and 2014 vice-champion) in a comprehensive test which put them through their paces.

The quartet went head-to-head over two intensive days of assessments at Silverstone in October, featuring on-track tests on the Grand Prix circuit in Formula 2, Mercedes DTM and McLaren GT3 cars, plus fitness tests conducted by McLaren.

“I had an amazing weekend in Macau and this has exceeded that,” said Ticktum.

“I cannot put into words how proud I am right now to have won this award.

“It’s been an incredible experience right from the outset. The two days were incredibly difficult and having to wait six weeks to find out who the winner was was agonising to say the least.

“People know I had a tough career to start with and there have been some very important people who believed in me, particularly Red Bull, Christian Horner, Dr Helmut Marko – they’ve given me a chance and I hope I can do them proud.

“I fought back and learned from my mistakes and my immaturity and I’m stronger because of it.”

The judging panel was led by ex-F1 driver, 1992 world sportscar champion and outgoing BRDC president Derek Warwick, and comprised two-time British Touring Car champion Jason Plato, 1997 Award winner and GT boss Andrew Kirkaldy, ex-F1 designer and engineer Mark Williams, leading circuit commentator Ian Titchmarsh, Autosport magazine editor Kevin Turner and Autosport Plus editor Scott Mitchell.

Spa 24 Hours victor and 2008 Award winner Alexander Sims was the guest judge.

“It’s such a big challenge for these guys at this stage in their career to jump into these three different cars,” said Sims.

“Dan this year was outstanding.”

Sims was joined by McLaren’s Éric Boullier, Turner and BRDC chairman John Grant to present Ticktum with the Award.

Other previous Award winners include 13-time GP victor David Coulthard, 2009 F1 world champion and 1998 Formula Ford champion Jenson Button, triple Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti, as well as Ticktum’s 2015 British F4 rival Lando Norris.

Ticktum will look to further emulate Norris in 2018. He makes the step up the FIA single-seater pyramid to the FIA European Formula 3 Championship, in which Norris took the title in his first year in the series with Carlin.

2015 FIA British Formula 4 Champion and newly crowned FIA European Formula 3 Champion Norris had plenty of reason to celebrate at the star-studded ceremony, winning National Driver of the Year. It capped another sublime year for one of motorsport’s brightest young talents, in which he was announced as McLaren’s F1 test and reserve driver for 2018.

Enaam Ahmed made it a hat-trick of British F4 success by winning British Club Driver of the Year. Having clinched the Ford EcoBoost-powered Rookie title in 2015, the 17-year-old looked unstoppable for much of this season as he romped to 13 victories from 24 races on his way to the British F3 crown. 2017 FIA British Formula 4 Champion Jamie Caroline was also nominated for the Award which was won by Norris in 2016.

Images by LAT Photographic.

Croft Round 15 race report: Collard awarded victory

  • Fortec driver Dan Ticktum slots ahead at the start and resists pressure race-long to claim the win, but is later excluded
  • Ricky Collard inherits win, ahead of Lando Norris, to maintain championship lead

CROFT 28 JUNE, 2015 – Daniel Ticktum drove what he described as his “hardest and best” race yet to win this afternoon’s Croft MSA Formula Championship finale. The Ford EcoBoost-powered Fortec driver took control at the start and held on in front to the end despite pressure all the way to the line, first from Carlin man Lando Norris and latterly from championship leader Ricky Collard’s TRS Arden machine. However a month after his win, Ticktum was excluded from the results by the Motor Sports Council National Court.

Sixteen-year-old Ticktum started second on the grid behind Norris and despite Lando making a good start, Dan’s was better and he pulled clear as they entered Clervaux for the first time. Ticktum pulled a car’s length advantage on the opening lap but was unable to edge further ahead of his pursuer who, when he wasn’t busy defending his second place from Collard’s attentions, was making frequent attempts to prise a gap from Ticktum through which to seize the lead.

Dan was able to fend off every move: “It was very, very difficult – probably my hardest race yet and the best I’ve ever driven in my career, including karting. The pressure was there the entire time and I couldn’t afford to make a single mistake, and I didn’t. I had to defend the whole time and without trying to sound cocky I surprised myself that I drove as well as I did. It’s a great way to end the weekend.”

Collard took second from Norris at the start of the 13th lap thanks to a better exit from the hairpin, pulling level with the Carlin man down the main straight before slotting ahead into Clervaux. “I was waiting for Lando to make a move on Dan, but it never came so I knew I had to pass Lando if I was to have any hope of winning the race. Dan slowed things down a bit through the chicane and I was able to get a good cut-back and slingshot past Lando.” Thanks to Ticktum’s eventual exclusion and his inherited win, Collard entered the mid-season break with a 25-point championship lead

Norris was disappointed with his result: “Our pace in general was quite good, just not down the straight and I couldn’t really do anything about Ricky coming past. Dan got a better start than me; mine was all right but his was better.”

Carlin’s Petru Florescu slotted ahead of his team-mate Colton Herta at the start to move into fourth, and defended the position well from the young American until the sixth lap, when Herta ran wide and off at Sunny to allow JHR Developments driver Sennan Fielding through to fifth spot. Two laps later Fielding moved in front of Florescu to secure what would become third, with Petru holding fourth to the end to score his best result of the season and take the Rookie class honours in addition.

Following her Saturday podium finish, Richardson Racing driver Louise Richardson was in strong form again and claimed fifth at the line, holding off the Double R car of Matheus Leist for the duration. Sandy Mitchell secured seventh , and second position on the Rookie podium, for TRS Arden after Herta ran wide once more, this time out of Clervaux, on the penultimate lap. Tarun Reddy (Double R) and Daniel Baybutt (JTR) completed the top nine, with Rafael Martins 10th for SWB Motorsport and Enaam Ahmed (TRS Arden) close behind.

Saturday winner Josh Smith found his luck reversed, the 16-year-old being forced to pull into the pits after one lap with a fuel pressure issue. Darius Karbaley (Falcon) joined him in retirement.

Provisional results Round 15 Croft 28 June 2015 amended
15 laps / 31.87 miles
1 Ricky COLLARD / GBR / TRS Arden 20m 54.376s / 91.48mph
2 Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin +0.469s
3 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +1.684s
4 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin +4.734s
5 Louise RICHARDSON / GBR / Richardson +5.243s
6 Matheus LEIST / BRA / Double R +7.149s
7 Sandy MITCHELL / GBR / TRS Arden +7.685s
8 Tarun REDDY / IND / Double R +8.393s
9 Daniel BAYBUTT / GBR / JTR +11.016s
10 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / SWB +12.005s etc

Fastest lap Norris 1m 22.725s / 92.47mph

Rookie class 1 Florescu, 2 Mitchell, 3 Baybutt, 4 Martins, 5 Enaam AHMED / GBR / TRS Arden, 6 Ameya VAIDYANATHAN / IND / JTR

Full results

Provisional championship standings
1 Collard 219 points; 2 Norris 194; 3 Leist 162; 4 Daniel Ticktum 149; 5 Fielding 139; 6 Mitchell 105; 7 Colton Herta 101; 8 James Pull 86; 9 Jack Barlow 66; 10 Martins 62 etc
Rookie class 1 Ticktum 238; 2 Mitchell 205; 3 Baybutt 204; 4 Florescu 173; 5 Martins 168 etc