FIA British Formula 4 Champion takes step closer to Formula 1

  • Ford EcoBoost-powered FIA F4 champion Max Fewtrell joins Renault F1 Academy.

21 FEBRUARY, 2017 – FIA British Formula 4 Champion Max Fewtrell has taken another step forward to becoming a Formula 1 driver following his successful campaign in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford. Fewtrell has been announced by Renault as one of its Junior Academy drivers for 2017.

Fewtrell, part of the same Infinity Sports Management stable that looks after new Mercedes F1 protege George Russell, won the British F4 title with Carlin in his first full season of car racing last year. He recorded a remarkable 16 podiums, including three race victories.

17-year-old Fewtrell will contest the Formula Renault Eurocup for Tech 1 Racing in 2017.

Max Fewtrell: FIA British Formula 4 Champion in profile

12 OCTOBER, 2016 – The 2016 instalment of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford saw no driver steal a march on a super-talented field. As unpredictability became the norm it was fitting that this year’s “Mr Consistent”, Max Fewtrell, was crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion.

The Carlin ace was consistency personified whilst his competitors’ form fluctuated throughout the season. A remarkable total of 16 podium finishes, more than any other driver, the foundation of his title triumph.

Three of those podiums saw him stand on the top step. His first victory coming at only the second meeting of the year at Donington Park. His last undoubtedly the most special and important. Winning the season finale and with it the title having been chased home by the formidable and more experienced Sennan Fielding.

Explained Fewtrell: “It was the icing on the cake to win the final race and clinch the title. A huge weight off my shoulders with everything going down to the last race. I’m really pleased for the team and everyone who has helped me.

“In British F4 there are so many great, fast drivers all competing at the front. To be battling with Sennan who is such a brilliant and experienced driver until the very end was incredible. It all makes winning the title feel even more special, having done it against such close competition.

“As a driver you always want to take as many wins as possible and I think I had the pace to do that, but with the way things played out this season I stayed consistent and tried to get as many points and podiums as I could. My level of consistency was very good throughout the year and that definitely helped me seal the title.

“Becoming FIA British Formula 4 Champion is the biggest achievement of my career. It’s been such a great year. Coming into the season there were so many quick drivers and it’s been so close throughout 2016. I really didn’t know who was going to take the title.

Fewtrell’s metronomic consistency also played a pivotal role in Carlin winning the Teams’ Cup for a second consecutive season, with team boss Trevor Carlin full of praise for the 17-year-old. “I’m very happy we have been able to do the double and I’m so pleased for Max. To get pole and lead every lap in the final race under a lot of pressure was a champion’s drive. Max is a great driver. He is his own man and the sky is the limit. He is an amazing and worthy champion.”

Look beyond the remarkable podium and points scoring statistics and you find what has really made Fewtrell so brilliant: composed, calm and calculated on track and an utter professional off it. Meticulous in his preparation, fiercely determined and more than capable of rising to the task under immense pressure.

His success in 2016 came as no surprise to those in the know, following his performance in pre-season testing where he was frequently found towards the very top of the timesheets.

Said Gerard Quinn, Senior Manager, Ford Performance Europe: “Congratulations to Max. It’s a huge achievement when you consider that there were six contenders going into the final meeting who could have taken the title.

“As a company Ford has been involved at this level of motorsport for almost 50 years. To be able to give people like Max and all the other drivers on the grid the opportunity to go racing, but also aspire to a future career in motor racing is so important.

“We have had previous champions like Ayrton Senna and Jenson Button and hopefully in the future we will see a name like Max Fewtrell in Formula 1.”

Fewtrell’s season has in a many ways embodied what the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford is all about; a series which nurtures and develops the talent of young drivers. A fact that championship manager David Lowe is all too aware of when giving his take on Fewtrell’s performance: “Max has shown that you don’t have to be up the front winning all the time. Strong placings can give you an advantage. Max has driven a steady year, gained the points and he’s capitalised on that in the end.

“This is a learning championship and Max’s season is a perfect example of how you should approach this series. He has moved forward and developed throughout the year on the back of a lot of hard work. To have put together the year he has and finish it off with a win is a shining example of how an FIA British Formula 4 Champion should perform.”

Commented Paul Fewtrell the father of the 2016 FIA British Formula 4 Champion: “For Max to win it the way he did with Sennan who was pushing him all the way was incredible for the series and for Max. He has done so well and we are really proud of him.

“The whole F4 British Championship: the community; all the championship staff; how the championship is promoted; the way drivers are looked after; it’s all amazing. I have brought a lot of friends and sponsors to race weekends and they are so impressed by the level of professionalism.

“British F4 is a big stepping stone. It’s part of the journey. It’s been amazing for Max’s career and for him as a person. He has grown through this experience and we have as a family. I’m old and thought I had seen it all, but after this year I definitely haven’t!”

Just like his father, the magnitude of what he has achieved this season is certainly not lost on Fewtrell. The prize of a fully funded test with leading FIA F3 European Championship team Motopark courtesy of British F4 series partner and tyre supplier Hankook, 12 FIA Super Licence Points, as well as his newfound status as FIA British Formula 4 Champion are sure to propel him up the FIA single-seater pyramid.

“This is such a great championship to make the transition from karting to racing cars,” said Fewtrell. “Taking the title will increase my profile and will hopefully make more people take an interest in me. It opens doors which can usually be quite hard to open.

“I just want to enjoy this incredible feeling. There’s some hard work ahead for next year, but hopefully plenty more success too.”

DRIVER NEWS: Magnificent Max crowned 2016 FIA British Formula 4 Champion

Supplied by driver’s PR.

3 OCTOBER, 2016 – In sensational, nail-biting fashion, Max Fewtrell fired his way to become the 2016 FIA British Formula 4 Champion, with an electrifying lights-to-flag victory in the final race. The 16-year-old Carlin driver secured his first single-seater title, following an unbeatable maiden campaign.

With it all to fight for in the final round, fearless Fewtrell gave a supreme charge from pole position to clinch the title, just 0.8s clear of nearest rival Sennan Fielding. Wrapping up the constructor’s and driver’s title, for a superb second year in a row for the Carlin outfit.

Heading into the season finale, Fewtrell lay three points behind Fielding, following a difficult penultimate meeting at Silverstone. With the title on the line, Fewtrell harnessed every ounce of his talent and hunger, to give a champion performance throughout the final three races. Earning two podiums and a win, the formidable youngster proved his place as one of most promising young drivers in single-seaters.

Following the exclusion of Caroline’s provisional pole position times from qualifying, Fewtrell’s weekend got off to the perfect start, lining up in pole position for both race one & three. Struggling for grip off the line in race one, Fewtrell pushed hard to maintain the lead, losing out to teammate Pull as he cut across to take the position into Druids. Unflustered by the tricky conditions, the collected racer swept his way around the 2.4332-mile circuit, battling to keep the car on track and maintain his position. With more experienced racer Fielding hounding the back of his Ford Ecoboost charger in the dying minutes of the race, Fewtrell relented to the JHR driver’s late lunge on the final lap.

With his focus firmly on the long weekend ahead, Fewtrell reflected: “Sennan was two seconds quicker at the end and his experience definitely helps him in these kind of situations. I saw the rate he was coming at me and I felt there was no point in risking a shunt.”

Starting from 5th in race two, a four-way battle for second, gave a thrilling display of nose-to-tail racing. With Fewtrell firmly in the thick of it, he powered his fast-paced Carlin to challenge Florescu for the duration. Managing to hold off the chase of Martins & Fielding behind, the four separated by only less than a second. Fewtrell powered across the line, clinching third by a whisker.

On pole position for the title decider, Fewtrell launched from the start to a supremely executed lights-to-flag victory. Treated to tense 20 minute race, Fielding powered from sixth, but was unable to find a way passed Simmons in 2nd place. As the chequered flag dropped on the 2016 season, a jubilant Fewtrell punched the air as crossed the line to a superb race win and the championship title.

“I’m over the moon; I’m a bit shocked as it was so close and the fight went down to the wire, but to pull it off with a win is the icing on the cake, I couldn’t be happier.  Obviously it was a mega job by the team, who were always up there all year. It just feels fantastic.”

Speaking about the season, Carlin team principal Trevor Carlin added: “Once again we’ve seen how competitive the F4 British Championship is and the fight this year, with various drivers and teams has really proven what a great proving ground the series is for young drivers.  I’m incredibly proud of the guys for clinching  teams’ title once again, which has truly been down to the hard work of every individual team member and driver.  Max beat a number of very talented drivers and when it mattered, he drove like a champion and thoroughly deserved the title after a very consistent season.”

With 358 points across 30 races, Max Fewtrell was crowned champion of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford. Adding an illustrious 12 FIA super licence points to his name, Max looks ahead to a prize FIA European F3 test with Motopark courtesy of F4 British Championship partner and tyre supplier Hankook.

Fewtrell finishes in style to be crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion

  • Lights to flag victory for Fewtrell sees him claim title in thrilling season finale.
  • Fielding gives his all to come within touching distance of championship.
  • Ayrton Simmons rounds off best weekend of his British F4 career with second place.

BRANDS HATCH 2 OCTOBER, 2016 – Max Fewtrell won the final round of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford to be crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion in style, just hours after his Carlin team had become Teams Champion for the second consecutive year.

Fewtrell refused to buckle under immense pressure for the duration of a nail-biting finale which saw Ayrton Simmons and Sennan Fielding chase him home.

The Carlin racer had to overcome a three point deficit to Fielding heading into the race and was in perfect position to do so starting from pole with Fielding in sixth.

He grasped the opportunity with both hands and put on an inspiring display at the front to hold onto the lead. Showcasing not only his mental strength, but exceptional talent behind the wheel.

A clean getaway ensured he led the field into turn one and although he was unable to break away from Simmons, he had enough in hand to remain just far enough ahead to prevent Simmons from making an attack.

“I cannot really put into words just how winning the title feels at the moment,” said Fewtrell. “It’s all a bit surreal and absolutely amazing. I’m really happy for the team too. It’s been such a long season, especially with it going down to the last race.

“I knew I couldn’t let Sennan past and I thought if he got past Ayrton it could get really tricky. I just stayed really consistent and in a good place.

“I’ve worked so hard with the team and it’s amazing to see it all pay off.

“Winning this championship with Ford involved and the FIA is amazing. I think it’s the best junior championship to win. I’m so happy to have won it in my first year of racing in cars. It’s definitely the highlight of my career so far.”

Simmons’ race proved to be more about defensive driving than attacking after Fielding climbed several places thanks to some jaw-dropping overtakes into Paddock Hill Bend where he bravely put everything on the line in his crusade for the title.

Simmons had other ideas though and the youngest driver on the grid rounded off a year in which he has progressed at a rapid rate for TRS Arden by keeping Fielding at bay. Simmons undoubtedly proving he has what it takes to race with the very best. A hard charging Fielding arguably one of the most formidable competitors any racer will come up against.

Explained Simmons whose performance this weekend ensured he finished second in the Rookie class – a feat made all the more impressive given that he missed the first two meetings of the year due to his age: “That race was so intense. I knew I had the pace. I started catching Max towards the very end and would have liked the race to go on a little longer.

“I’m really pleased with what we have achieved this season. The team have been amazing so huge thanks to them.

“It’s been a fantastic end to the season and I’m hungry for even more success now. Hopefully we will be even stronger next year.”

Added championship runner-up Fielding: “We made a few changes to the car which didn’t quite go to plan. I gave it my all from start to finish. I don’t think there was anything else I could have done. Every gap I could have gone for I did.

“It’s disappointing for myself and the team because we have put in so much hard work, but we’ve done so well to develop the car throughout the season.

“A massive thank you to everyone at JHR and Amigos for putting me on the grid. I’m looking forward to 2017 and hopefully I can get that lucky break I deserve. I have shown I can develop a car and bring a team on.

“The team have done a phenomenal job to compete against the likes of Carlin, Fortec and Arden which just shows that JHR are a top team.

“Without a doubt even if I had all the budget in the world I would still choose JHR and do it all over again.

“Thank you to everyone at British F4 as well. It really is one of the best championships in the world.”

Saturday race winner Pull finished just outside the podium places in fourth, but put in yet another assured drive which has been commonplace this year for the Hertfordshire racer.

Behind him Luis Leeds was able to round off the season with a solid points score, with fellow Aussie Goddard in sixth for Double R Racing.

Devlin DeFrancesco made a welcome return to the points after a frustrating weekend for the Canadian ace who has shone on so many occasions in 2016. He came out on top in an entertaining tussle with Carlin team-mate Petru Florescu.

British F4’s newest race winner Jamie Caroline put in a spirited drive to make his way from last on the grid to ninth by the time the chequered flag fell, whilst Rafael Martins finished in the final points paying position.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered Ford

Provisional results Round 30 Brands Hatch GP 2 October 2016
14 laps / 34.06 miles
1 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin 20m 37.529s / 99.09mph
2 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +0.339s
3 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +0.890s
4 James PULL / GBR / Carlin +1.961s
5 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden +2.520s
6 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R +3.006s
7 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin +6.229s
8 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin +6.772s
9 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Fortec +11.472s
10 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden +16.790s etc.

Fastest lap Sennan FIELDING / JHR / 1m 27.274s / 100.37mph

Rookie class 1 Simmons; 2 Quinn; 3 Kjaergaard; 4 Martin

Provisional championship standings 1 Fewtrell 358; 2 Fielding 351; 3 Leeds 300; 4 Pull 291; 5 DeFrancesco 265; 6 Florescu 260; 7 Quinn 248; 8 Goddard 239; 9 Martins 205; 10 Caroline 181 etc.

Rookie class 1 Quinn 589; 2 Simmons 430; 3 Kjaergaard 400; 4 J Martin 393; 5 R Martin 130

Full results