British F4 champions crowned at BRSCC Awards as Monger wins Henry Ford Trophy

  • Billy Monger wins coveted Henry Ford Trophy for extraordinary human endeavour.
  • FIA British Formula 4 champion Jamie Caroline and vice-champion Oscar Piastri receive awards.

5 FEBRUARY, 2018 – Stars of the 2017 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost were out in force on Saturday 3 February for the BRSCC Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon. It was a night to remember for Billy Monger. His determination to recover from his life-changing accident and get back behind the wheel of a race car saw him presented with the prestigious Henry Ford Trophy for human endeavour in the field of motorsports by Ford Performance Europe senior manager Gerard Quinn.

Introduced in 2015 and previously awarded to FIA British Formula 4 champions Lando Norris and Max Fewtrell, the trophy was commissioned by Ford Motor Company to recognise the person who Ford believes has shown extraordinary endeavour throughout the year.

“It’s really special to win a trophy as prestigious as this. I’ve had so much support and encouragement from people to help me get back behind the wheel. I want to take this opportunity to thank all those people because I wouldn’t have won this award if it wasn’t for them.

“I’ve got a lot more to give in the world of motorsport as a driver so let’s see what I can achieve in the next few years. Hopefully I can make everyone proud.

“I’m still looking for a few more sponsors for 2018, but we’re nearly there and I’m really looking forward to announcing my plans for this year.

“I had an amazing time in British F4 even though it came to an end much sooner than I wanted it to. I learnt so much racing in the championship. I know I can take all that knowledge and experience with me to the other forms of motorsport I will compete in and showcase just what British F4 graduates are capable of.”

“Henry Ford founded his company on the back of his racing exploits and we are proud that his legacy means that Ford can maintain its enablement of grass roots entry level motorsports,” explained Quinn.

“The recipient of the Henry Ford trophy for 2017 is a young man who epitomises the famous quote that Henry himself said in 1923 and which is inscribed on the trophy: ‘If people really set their minds on anything it is impossible to prevent their getting what they want.’

“In 2017 Billy overcame life-changing injuries following his horrific accident at the F4 meeting at Donington Park. His strength of character, determination and professional attitude as a sports person has set him apart as an inspiration to everyone.

“He is determined to race as an able-bodied athlete and has ensured that our sport has benefitted positively out of his adversity. He is an extraordinary person who has won the hearts of so many and has become a positive influence for the next generation of racers.”

Monger was joined by fellow British F4 graduates Jamie Caroline and Oscar Piastri who received their respective FIA British Formula 4 champion and vice-champion trophies from BRSCC chairman Peter Daly.

Caroline dominated the headlines throughout 2017 for his record-breaking exploits. He achieved the highest number of wins in a season, most consecutive victories and became first driver to win all three races in a single race weekend.

Meanwhile, Piastri shone with his excellent qualifying record and relentless consistency. The Arden driver qualified on pole seven times – more than any other driver – and stood on the podium in half of all races, including the top step on six occasions.

Carlin British F4 team manager Martin Knapman and mechanic Calum Wooldridge took to the stage to accept the Teams Cup. 2017 was the third successive year in which Carlin scooped the award after a season which saw it record more wins than any other team with a tally of 12.

“It’s fantastic to celebrate my record-breaking 2017 season with all of the team that have supported me and made my success possible,” said Caroline.

“The F4 British Championship is run by mega people, who I very much consider part of my racing family. It’s the best and most popular FIA Formula 4 championship in the world, with extremely competitive grids and a huge number of fans. It’s excellent value for money and a brilliant series for sponsors to be part of with fantastic publicity and media exposure.

“The future is bright for British F4. I’ve written my chapter in its history and I’ll be watching closely to see if anyone can beat my records.”

Images by Gary Hawkins Photography.

British F4 2017 season review: Sweet Caroline

8 DECEMBER, 2017 – The 2017 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost had an abundance of young stars and talented protagonists, but in many ways it was dominated by two young men: Jamie Caroline and Billy Monger.

Caroline sent records tumbling on his crusade to the title. The 18-year-old blitzed the field in the first half of the season. Having joined Carlin over the winter, he got off to a winning start in the opener at Brands Hatch and would never be headed in the standings, with win number two also coming that weekend.

Eight more victories followed in 2017, including another brace at the subsequent meeting and a historic hat-trick at Thruxton; becoming the first driver in series history to win all three races in a single weekend. This just a fortnight after an accident at Donington Park in which friend Billy Monger suffered life-changing injuries.

The top step of the podium beckoned for Caroline at Oulton Park, Snetterton and Knockhill, after which a more conservative approach saw him carefully manage his way to being crowned FIA British Formula 4 champion with two races to spare. His tally of 10 victories the most recorded in a British F4 season, as well as his points total which surpassed the record set by 2015 champion Lando Norris.

2017 will live long in the memory due to the events at Donington, but more so for what transpired afterwards: The motorsport community rallying in a touching display of solidarity and Monger’s determination which demonstrated his strength of character, resolve and professional attitude as a sportsperson. The 18-year-old set himself apart as an inspiration to everyone, winning hearts and becoming a positive influence for the next generation of racers.

Although Oscar Piastri had to settle for vice-champion, a stellar season saw the TRS Arden ace qualify on pole seven times – more than any other driver – and stand on the podium in half of all races, including the top step on six occasions. The Aussie took the title fight to the final meeting and while his efforts proved in vain, the 16-year-old established himself as one to watch in the coming years; deemed to have shown the most promise and improvement during the season to win the Joe Tandy Memorial Award and scooped the Drivers’ Choice Award, as voted by his peers.

Logan Sargeant played a pivotal role in Carlin winning its third successive Teams Cup. His form was particularly impressive after the summer break, outscoring Messrs Caroline and Piastri in second half of 2017. He followed up victory at Rockingham with another win at Silverstone, where he pulled off one of the best overtakes of the season by running around the outside of Caroline to snatch the lead.

2016 Rookie champion Alex Quinn (TRS Arden) had to wait until Croft to taste victory and hit his stride in the latter stages of the campaign with a win at each of the final three meetings. The Cornishman’s triumphs at Rockingham and the Brands Hatch finale the pick of the bunch. The latter a faultless drive from a talented teenager who has progressed leaps and bounds in his two years with the series.

Team-mate Ayrton Simmons got off to a flying start, winning the second race of the season, but had to wait until after the summer break for further podium visits. Patrik Pasma’s efforts merited a win. It proved elusive in a year that saw him consistently finish in the top 10, where fellow Carlin racer Lucas Alecco Roy joined him on several occasions.

A disastrous opening weekend for Linus Lundqvist saw him fail to score a point, but his prodigious pace was undeniable. His climb from the back of the field to fifth at Silverstone was particularly special. The 18-year-old doubled up with wins at Croft, another came at Rockingham and he signed off in style with his fourth win at Brands Hatch to banish the demons from six months earlier. Double R team-mate Karl Massaad also brought home plenty of points, with podiums at Thruxton and Knockhill.

Oliver York (Fortec Motorsports) ended the season as top rookie. Growing in confidence, a switch from the Ford F4 Challenge Cup to contest every race came as no surprise. He set his sights on a maiden win and he didn’t have to wait long, taking the chequered flag at Knockhill. A further three podiums over the Rockingham and Silverstone weekends added to his tally of five, while win number two came at Brands Hatch.

York looked a likely candidate to clinch the Ford F4 Challenge Cup, but team-mate Hampus Ericsson and Richardson Racing’s Harry Webb had other ideas. With York ineligible to score Challenge Cup points from the halfway stage of the season and Ericsson contesting the final six meetings, the young Swede came to the fore and overhauled Webb who had climbed to the top of the standings at Knockhill.

Ericsson announced his arrival on the single-seater scene with some deft overtaking on his debut at Donington Park, scoring points in his first two races. More followed as the season progressed, with an overall podium at Knockhill. He saved his best until last with the Challenge Cup going down to the wire between himself and Webb; stamping his authority when it mattered with a record ninth Challenge Cup win, as well as an overall podium.

For Webb it was a case of what might have been during a year in which he recorded more Challenge Cup podiums than any other driver with a tally of 20 from 21 races. A start-line tangle robbed him of the chance to fight Ericsson in the finale, having outscored him in the first two races of the weekend.

Olli Caldwell (Arden) became the youngest FIA F4 driver in history when he contested his first race at Croft on his 15th birthday. At Snetterton he claimed two Challenge Cup victories in quick succession and had further visits to the top step of the podium at Silverstone and Brands Hatch.

Manuel Sulaimán scored his maiden podium on Finals Day, having a racked up a host of point scoring finishes for JHR Developments while dovetailing commitments in the sister Mexican F4 series. Sulaimán was joined on the grid by fellow Mexican Alexandra Mohnhaupt (Fortec Motorsports) at Snetterton, who returned to the series after making her debut in 2016.

Johnathan Hoggard (Fortec Motorsports) contested a handful of meetings with the aim of a full assault on the championship in 2018. He wasted no time in showcasing his talent, most notably on the way to a podium at Silverstone.

Sharp Motorsport’s Jamie Sharp laid the foundation for a stronger 2018, while Sam Smelt put GW Motorsport in the points paying positions, building on Jacky Liu’s breakthrough top 10 finish at Oulton Park. Daniel Cao (Double R) finished just two places higher than his Chinese compatriot in the standings courtesy of point scores at Donington Park, Thruxton and Oulton Park.

Yves Baltas’ campaign was curtailed for budgetary reasons, while Lucca Allen (Falcon Motorsport) and Harry Dyson (JHR Developments) gained valuable experience with a view to fighting for major honours in 2018.

Championship positions and prize winners
FIA British Formula 4 champion: Jamie Caroline
Runner-up: Oscar Piastri
Third overall: Logan Sargeant
Ford F4 Challenge Cup champion: Hampus Ericsson
Teams Cup: Carlin

DRIVER NEWS: British F4 vice-champion Oscar Piastri gets call-up for FR2.0 Rookie Test

Supplied by driver’s PR.

27 OCTOBER, 2017 – Oscar Piastri continues to make his next steps up the single-seater ladder after being crowned vice-champion in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost less than a month ago. The talented teenager has been invited to attend the Official FR2.0 Rookie Test in Barcelona, Spain on 31 October, 2017.

Every year Renault Sport invites a number of motorsport’s most promising and exciting junior talents to attend the Rookie Test with complimentary entry, tyres and team placement.

“It’s a great honour to get the official invite from Renault Sport for the Rookie Test. I’ve tested at Barcelona before in the British F4 car, it’s a great track and I’m really looking forward to running the Renault car there. The track should be really gripped up after the Eurocup race on the weekend so if the weather is clear I think we’ll see some fast lap times”, said Oscar.

The 16-year-old Aussie single-seater ace had a stellar debut season in the 2017 F4 British Championship with 6 wins, 15 podiums, 7 pole positions, the Joe Tandy Memorial trophy and the Driver’s Choice award to his name. He then stepped into the FR2.0 NEC series the following week at Hockenheim to achieve two top 10 finishes on his debut.

“I’ve been working hard in the simulator and on my strength and fitness since Hockenheim earlier this month. Also, I’ve spent a week back home in Australia catching up with family and friends over the school break so I feel recharged and relaxed.”

Piastri will attend the Barcelona test with a familiar team in Arden Motorsport, the same team that brought him through the 2017 F4 British Championship.

The secret life of… Oscar Piastri

24 OCTOBER, 2017 – A British F4 vice-champion after a stellar season with Arden which saw him qualify on pole seven times – more than any other driver – and stand on the podium in half of all races, including the top step on six occasions. This 16-year-old from down under was deemed to have shown the most promise and improvement during the season to win the Joe Tandy Memorial Award and scooped the Drivers’ Choice Award, as voted by his peers. We hear from the Aussie who has wasted no time making his mark in the world of single-seaters, Oscar Piastri.

Apart from driving a British F4 car, what is your favourite buzz?
I enjoy going to theme parks to ride rollercoasters. They get my adrenaline pumping. The Smiler at Alton Towers is my favourite.

Who is your favourite driver?
It’s got to be my fellow Aussie, Daniel Ricciardo. Hopefully we can share a ‘schoey’ on the podium in Formula 1 in the future!

What’s your favourite track?
Brands Hatch GP. The first sector is part of the Indy circuit, but out the back it’s the combination of high speed corners, the barriers being so close and not being able to test on it prior to the race weekend which makes it so special.

Define yourself as a driver in three words?
Consistent, determined and calculated.

What should everyone try once in their lifetime?
Other than driving a race car, it should be getting a good driver to drive you around a race track in a very fast car.

What are you afraid of?
Obviously not rollercoasters! When I’m back home in Australia, walking through the tall grass can be pretty scary, especially when you know what could be lurking in it. Snakes!

What do your teachers say about you in your school report?
Works well, but the common theme throughout all my reports is that I should be at school more often and slightly less at the race track!

What is the worst purchase you have ever made?
On a school trip we stopped at a service station and at the time fidget spinners were taking the world by storm. I decided to buy one because I was so bored, but it’s the worst three pounds I have ever spent because it broke about 10 minutes after I bought it.

If you could own one Ford road car what would it be?
The new Ford GT.

What’s your favourite film?
Talladega Nights.

If you could have a superpower what would it be?
Teleportation so that I don’t have to spend a whole day on an airplane to get back to Australia. I could celebrate winning trophies on the podium and then immediately take myself back home for a party.

What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
I had someone ask me at one of the rounds this year, do you have lucky underpants? I think they were an overexcited fan and to answer the question, no I don’t.

What’s the most important thing in life?
To enjoy whatever you do. You only get one life so you should make the most of it.

DRIVER NEWS: British F4 vice champion Oscar Piastri makes immediate step up the motorsport ladder to FR2.0

Supplied by driver’s PR. 

3 OCTOBER, 2017 – Just days after claiming second place in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost, young Aussie single-seater ace Oscar Piastri has announced he will race in the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC round at Hockenheim, Germany this weekend.

Piastri chalked up some impressive results in the F4 British Championship in his rookie year, including six wins, 15 podiums, seven pole positions and 21 consecutive points finishes. He also received the prestigious Joe Tandy Memorial Trophy and the Drivers’ Choice trophy.

“We didn’t quite get the championship win but I learned so much about the car, race craft and how a top level team operates. It was amazing to work with such capable engineers, mechanics and support staff during the year”, said Piastri.

“I’ve already done a few tests in the FR2.0 car with different teams and it’s awesome. There’s more power, more aero and is a lot more physical to drive. The engine sounds great too! I’ve been training hard to ensure I can perform at a high level throughout a race weekend, I guess I’ll find out where I’m at soon enough.”

Piastri will take to the track for this one race with a familiar team in Arden Motorsport, the same team he raced with during the British F4 season.

“I’m running with Arden for this race so there will be a lot of familiar faces there, especially my engineer. I’m expecting to learn a lot this weekend. To get a feel for the starts and racing the car wheel to wheel, much the same way I did a few F4 UAE races before this season in British F4.”, said Oscar.

Piastri expects to announce his final plans for the 2018 racing season later this year.

Title rivals Piastri and Caroline top the times in British F4 testing at Brands Hatch

  • Piastri posts quickest time of the day in dry afternoon session.
  • Caroline tops wet morning running.

29 SEPTEMBER, 2017 – F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost title protagonists Jamie Caroline and Oscar Piastri came to the fore in testing ahead of this weekend’s season finale at Brands Hatch.

TRS Arden’s Piastri ended the day quickest having topped the majority of the dry afternoon session, and after winding up second in the rain hit morning session by a margin of 0.047s to championship leader Caroline.

“Today was my first time in a British F4 car around the Brands Hatch GP circuit so I’m particularly pleased with my performance, especially compared to Caroline who has much more experience around here,” said pacesetter Piastri.

“We were quick out of the box and less than half a tenth off in the wet which was pretty good. Then in the afternoon we were very quick on old tyres and were even quicker on new tyres. We’ve had the pace throughout.

“It was only testing so I wasn’t pushing to the absolute maximum, as was probably the case up and down the paddock. I know I’ve got plenty more pace to unleash.

“It’s quite an unforgiving track so one mistake can result in you paying quite a lot for it and I was wary of that at this early stage.

“Hopefully I can maintain my pace advantage into the rest of the weekend. Qualifying will be important because it’s quite hard to overtake around here.

“Winning the championship will be tough, but we’ll go out there to win as many races as we can this weekend. Even if we don’t pull it off, it would be nice to secure second place in the standings from the likes of Sargeant and Quinn.”

Throughout his Ford EcoBoost-powered career Caroline has excelled in the wet and today was no exception around the circuit where he took his maiden win in the series. Caroline ultimately had to settle for fifth on the combined classification after a trip to the barriers in free practice two left him with a wounded car.

“Today has been alright, apart from putting the car in the barriers very early on in the second session which meant the steering was out for the rest of it,” said Caroline.

“I came in with about five laps left on the clock as it wasn’t possible to improve with car the way it was. There is plenty of time up our sleeve.

“Even with damage we were fifth quickest. So without that we would have been P1 or P2.

“In the wet we would have been quicker because my best lap was done when the track was at its wettest. I didn’t really get a clear run towards the end of the session when the rain had eased off. If I had, my margin at the top would have been greater.”

Piastri was equally impressive and in the afternoon set a strong pace to put himself three tenths of a second clear of his nearest challengers, Logan Sargeant (Carlin) and Alex Quinn (TRS Arden), with a lap of 1m 26.497s.

“It’s been a solid Friday,” said Sargeant. “P3 in the wet and P2 in the dry. We improved by one position during today so hopefully we can do one more tomorrow.

“We’re still quite close to Oscar in the championship and beating him is essential for me to become vice champion, so I’ll be pushing 100 per cent as always to get wins and bring home one-two finishes for Carlin.”

Added Quinn: “Our pace is good. We’re not far off Oscar. There’s definitely an improvement to be made overnight. I had to contend with a couple of technical problems and that held me back a bit.

“Nevertheless, we were still pretty quick and we can get on top of all these little problems for the rest of the weekend to make a step forward and fight for big results.”

Sandwiching Caroline on the timesheet was Ayrton Simmons (TRS Arden) and Linus Lundqvist (Double R), both drivers making up the leading sextet all within four tenths of a second of each other.

Oliver York was quickest of the Fortec Motorsports runners having been fourth fastest in the morning and seventh fastest in the afternoon, ending up ahead of team-mate Hampus Ericsson.

With mixed conditions forecast during the weekend an already fascinating battle for the Ford F4 Challenge Cup between Ericsson and Harry Webb, who are tied on points, looks even more intriguing.

Richardson Racing’s Webb has made a habit of shining in the wet and was comfortably inside the top 10 in the morning, while Ericsson who has limited experience in the conditions could only manage 13th. However, the tables turned in the dry with Ericsson the Class pacesetter.

TRS Arden’s Olli Caldwell will be a key player in the Challenge Cup this weekend too. Ninth quickest overall and only a couple of tenths slower than Ericsson suggesting that the top step of the rostrum is going to be intensely fought over by the trio. Meanwhile Falcon Motorsport’s Lucca Allen will look to get in the mix to take his first win.

The Ford EcoBoost-powered action gets underway at 0900 tomorrow. It will be lights out for Round 28 of the F4 British Championship at 1400 when Caroline will aim to wrap up the title. In what promises to be a blockbuster day of single-seater entertainment, a further race will follow at 1700. The season finale will commence at 1502 on Sunday and televised live on ITV4.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Leading testing times Brands Hatch GP, 29 September, 2017 (am/pm)
1 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden 1:42.311 / 1:26.497
2 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin 1:42.568 / 1:26.802
3 Alex QUINN / GBR / Arden 1:43.036 / 1:26.875
4 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden 1:43.550 / 1:26.885
5 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin 1:42.264 / 1:26.886
6 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R 1:43.085 / 1:26.897
7 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec 1:42.942 / 1:27.204
8 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec 1:45.281 / 1:27.544
9 Olli CALDWELL / GBR / Arden 1:44.873 / 1:27.772
10 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Carlin 1:44.446 / 1:27.808 etc.

Full times

Caroline and Piastri go head-to-head for British F4 title

28 SEPTEMBER, 2017 – Winningest driver, highest number of wins in a season, most consecutive victories, and first person to win all three races in one meeting in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost. Jamie Caroline has made a habit of breaking records in 2017. Yet for all he has achieved, one accolade eludes him. The title.

Nevertheless, he arrives at Brands Hatch this weekend with one hand firmly on the crown. A 67.5 point lead with a maximum of 75 available means Oscar Piastri must finish first or second to take the fight on to the penultimate race, and even then a sixth or 10th place respectively for Caroline would be enough to see the Carlin ace crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion.

Count Piastri out at your peril though. A remarkable run of 21 consecutive point scoring finishes, as well as three double pole positions and six victories (second only to Caroline’s 10) underlining the Aussie’s exceptional speed and consistency.

Time and time again the TRS Arden driver has done exactly what he has needed to do; performing under pressure, just as he did when winning last time out from Caroline to force a showdown this weekend.

Brands Hatch has been a happy hunting ground for Caroline; the scene of his breakthrough first win in the series on Finals Day last season. Fast forward six months to April at the Indy circuit, and Caroline and Piastri set the tone for their seasons. Caroline qualified on pole and raced to victory in the first and third races of the weekend. Piastri qualified alongside him on the front row and brought home a brace of podiums.

The fight to claim the inaugural Ford F4 Challenge Cup looks set to go down to the wire. Fortec Motorsports’ Hampus Ericsson and Richardson Racing’s Harry Webb arrive tied on 315.5 points, with Ericsson ahead by virtue of his eight Class wins to Webb’s four.

Ericsson’s Silverstone weekend was crucial. Two further Challenge Cup wins to make him winningest driver in the Class, coupled with a dogged effort to bring his wounded car home in the final race, has seen him claw his way to the top.

With not enough races remaining for Webb to equal Ericsson’s win tally, Webb must outscore Ericsson over the course of this weekend to take the title. Fail to do so and the Ford F4 Challenge Cup, as well as the lucrative prize of free entry to next year’s championship (worth £15,000), is Ericsson’s. Webb arguably faces the tougher task of the two, having last competed at Knockhill, while Ericsson arrives with the wind firmly in his sails.

The battle for the Teams’ Cup is finely poised too with heavyweights Carlin and TRS Arden in contention. Between them in 2017, the two squads have won 22 of the 27 races contested prior to this weekend.

Carlin are in pole position to take the title for the third year in a row with a 103 point lead. It means that if TRS Arden fail to reduce the gap to Carlin by at least 17 points in the opener, the boys and girls in blue will be celebrating a historic hat-trick.

Logan Sargeant has played a pivotal role in Carlin’s title tilt. The American’s season finally hitting the kind of heights many predicted after the summer break. He followed up his maiden victory at Rockingham with another win just a fortnight ago, after pulling off one of the overtakes of the season when he ran around the outside of Caroline to snatch the lead. Although Sargeant is out of contention for the drivers’ title he could still be a key player, doing his team-mate a favour by taking points away from Piastri.

TRS Arden’s Alex Quinn was the other victor at Silverstone. The 16-year-old followed up his 2016 British F4 Rookie title triumph at the home of British Motor Racing with another masterful performance. TRS Arden will want more of the same from their Cornish ace to take the fight to Carlin.

Ayrton Simmons and Olli Caldwell will also need to deliver for the Banbury outfit. Brands Hatch has happy memories for Simmons. The scene of his maiden victory in the series at the beginning of the year. While Caldwell arrives on a high having returned to the top step of the Ford F4 Challenge Cup podium at Silverstone.

Elsewhere in the Challenge Cup, Falcon Motorsport’s Lucca Allen made it a hat-trick of second place finishes in the Class two weeks ago. The best weekend of his fledgling single-seater career also saw him come tantalisingly close to his first top 10 finish.

Sam Smelt and GW Motorsport have consistently had the pace to fight for top 10 finishes and that’s what they did once again at Silverstone. Expect more of the same from them, with Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport), Patrik Pasma (Carlin), Lucas Alecco Roy (Carlin), as well as the JHR duo of Manuel Sulaiman and Harry Dyson looking to get in on the top 10 party. The latter acquitted himself well on his Ford EcoBoost debut a fortnight ago. A 12th place finish after a battling drive up through the order, a particular highlight.

Linus Lundqvist will want to banish memories of a disastrous opening weekend at Brands Hatch, plagued by technical difficulties which saw him fail to score a single point. The super Swede has been one of the stars of the season and arrives with one goal: to add to his tally of race wins. His Double R Racing team-mate Karl Massaad will have wins on his mind too, having already starred on the podium in 2017.

In addition to battling for Ford F4 Challenge Cup honours with Ericsson, Fortec Motorsports will be want to bring home even more silverware with Oliver York and Johnathan Hoggard. York has become a regular podium fixture since his maiden win at Knockhill, while Hoggard finally made it onto the rostrum last time out after an inspired drive.

DRIVER NEWS: Stellar weekend for Piastri at Silverstone

Supplied by driver’s PR. 

19 SEPTEMBER, 2017 – Oscar Piastri was once again back at the front in the 2017 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost meeting at Silverstone. The 16-year-old Aussie single-seater ace dominated qualifying, recording his third double pole of the season by a staggering 0.2s and 0.4s on the short Silverstone National circuit layout. He then went on to take the HP Tuners backed Arden Motorsport car to podium positions in every race, including another lights to flag win in Sunday’s feature race, bringing his tally to 6 wins and 15 podiums for the season.

“It was great to get back to the front again after the nightmare of Rockingham. The car, the engine and the team performed flawlessly”, said Piastri.

“Race one didn’t quite go to plan as there was some confusion about being allowed to do burnouts to heat the rear tyres on the formation lap. Being the pole man, I thought I followed the briefing instructions correctly and my rear tyres were very cold on the line which gave me a lot of wheelspin. I lost one place in the opening lap and was under a lot of pressure until my tyres came up to temperature.

“When the rain came in the last couple of laps, Jamie Caroline sent it up the inside and spun right in front of me which let York through into second place. I still managed P3 which was less than I wanted, but a podium nonetheless.”

The reverse grid race saw Piastri start in P6 and gain three places to finish on the podium again in third after working through some traffic and avoiding an incident.

“The reverse grid races are tough. The front two rows always put their new tyres on giving them a speed advantage for most of the race. Also, there’s usually a higher risk of contact amongst out of position cars in the first few laps and you need to be careful where you position the car.”

Sundays feature race was all Piastri, starting from pole and driving away from the rest of the field to win by almost 4 seconds.

“Race three was perfect. I got a great start and got into a rhythm early. I didn’t really feel challenged at all by Jamie so I was able to build a gap and keep pulling away during the whole race. The car speed is a real credit to the team, the close analysis of the data and video, and the work we’ve done in testing during the year.”

“I’ve outscored Jamie at every round since Oulton Park, except for Rockingham, so I’m really pleased with the progress I’ve made in my first real season in cars and on these tracks I’ve never raced on before. We’re all really happy that we will take the fight to the last round of the championship at Brands Hatch GP.”

Piastri keeps title race alive with sublime sixth Ford EcoBoost-powered win of season

  • Poleman Piastri wins at Silverstone.
  • Championship rival Caroline follows him home in second.
  • Hoggard takes hard-fought maiden podium.
  • Caldwell secures Ford F4 Challenge Cup win, as Ericsson moves to top of Class standings.

17 SEPTEMBER, 2017 – TRS Arden’s Oscar Piastri scored his sixth win of the campaign, ahead of rival Jamie Caroline at Silverstone to take the 2017 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost title fight to the season finale at Brands Hatch in a fortnight.

From pole position Piastri was a man on a mission, determined to score maximum points and finish ahead of Caroline to keep his championship bid alive.

A flawless getaway saw him unchallenged into turn one, while Caroline ran around the outside of Alex Quinn and Hampus Ericsson in a similar fashion to his exquisite first corner heroics in the day’s earlier race.

It left the top two in the championship to battle it out at the front, but Piastri had the edge. He built and managed a gap back to Caroline to secure a comfortable victory, setting fastest lap on the way to the chequered flag.

“It’s special to win at Silverstone, the home of British Motor Racing and the Grand Prix,” said Piastri. “It’s a home race for the team with TRS Arden based about half an hour down the road in Banbury, so it’s great to get a win and two podiums this weekend.

“I did everything I could this weekend. It’s a shame Jamie finished right behind me in second which limited the amount of points I took out of his championship lead, but I’ve managed to take the title fight to the final meeting at Brands Hatch and anything can happen there.

“I saw Jamie got into second straight away and he’s always quick in the opening laps, but once I saw I was pulling away I was able to find a rhythm and it was quite easy out front.

“I then just concentrated on driving a clean and smooth race, avoiding any potential penalties for track limits.

“We saved our best tyres for this race with two new tyres available to us and we made a change to the car which definitely helped us. The car was great and that shows with our pace and recording the fastest lap.

“It’s going to be tough to get the drivers’ title, but I will give it my all. The same goes for the Teams’ Cup too. This win keeps us in contention and if I can get some more wins at Brands Hatch we might be able to steal it at the end.”

“We almost took the title this weekend, but couldn’t quite pull it off,” said Caroline. “We’re on the verge of getting it wrapped up now, but I’m taking nothing for granted. I’ve won all three races in one weekend this season and there is no reason why Oscar cannot do the same.

“Every time I have been to Brands Hatch for the final meeting of the season I have qualified on the front row and won races so we’ll see if we can do that again in two weeks.

“Overall this weekend could have gone a lot better, but it could have also gone a lot worse. We’ve got our eyes firmly on the prize.”

There was no shortage of drama at the start. Alex Quinn got the jump on front row starter Hampus Ericsson, but the Swede made contact with the rear of Quinn’s car, spectacularly propelling the front of Ericsson’s racer up the air. Ericsson clattered the tarmac with a thud, but remarkably was able to continue.

Despite finishing last and four laps down the Fortec Motorsports racer took third in the Ford F4 Challenge Cup. It crucially puts him to the top of the Class standings, tied with Harry Webb on 315.5 points, but ahead courtesy of his eight Class victories.

Quinn eventually succumbed to damage half way through proceedings, but not before dicing with team-mate Ayrton Simmons which provided Patrik Pasma with the chance to bravely run around the outside of the pair of them.

After the opening exchanges Logan Sargeant found himself in third, but under pressure from Johnathan Hoggard, the duo battling wheel-to-wheel, lap after lap. Their squabble allowed Pasma and Oliver York to make it a four-way scrap for the final podium spot.

With Hoggard seeing Pasma and York advancing in his mirrors, the rookie made a brilliant move on Sargeant. Team-mate York followed suit, getting the run on Pasma and hanging around the outside of Sargeant to take fourth.

York then set about passing Hoggard in a captivating intra-team battle. The former eventually overcoming Hoggard’s resolute defence on lap 18 by running around the outside of him into Brooklands to earn himself the inside line for Luffield.

Losing momentum, Hoggard found himself under attack from Pasma. Contact resulted, but Hoggard was able to keep going and York was forced into the pits with a technical gremlin, promoting his team-mate back up to third.

“I wanted to put on a good show for everyone watching at home, live on television, and I think I did that,” said a beaming Hoggard.

“It was a tricky race in so many respects, but I still managed to get third. I got past Logan after quite a struggle and then I saw Oliver getting closer and closer in my mirrors.

“Then he eventually got past me. There was a bit of an incident with Pasma, but with how the penalties worked out things finally went my way.

“This is a result I can build on and gives me a lot of confidence. It’s a weight off my shoulders to get this first podium. I’ve had some bad results when I could have been right up there, but it’s come good today.”

Double R Raicng’s Linus Lundqvist put on a thrilling performance for the millions of viewers watching on television with ITV4’s live camera fitted to his car. The super Swede came from the back of the grid to finish an incredible fifth, passing team-mate Karl Massaad in the process. The latter ending up seventh behind Simmons.

Olli Caldwell broke Ericsson’s run of five consecutive Ford F4 Challenge Cup wins by finishing eighth overall after climbing several places. It was a welcome return to the top step for the TRS Arden driver, having last tasted victory at Snetterton in July.

“It’s really nice to be back on the top step of the podium, especially after the way the other two races went this weekend, as well as the weekend at Rockingham,” said Caldwell.

“We were running as high as fifth at one point and although I lost some places towards the end I still think this a really good result after such an eventful weekend.

“Staying mentally strong when things aren’t going your way is helped by having a great team around you and that’s what I’ve got at TRS Arden.

“I’ll have the advantage over my rivals in the Challenge Cup in two weeks because I don’t think any of them have raced around the Brands Hatch GP track and I have thanks to my experience in Ginettas last year.”

Sam Smelt delivered on his Friday practice promise by finishing in the top 10 for GW Motorsport, scoring points after a brilliant drive up the order from 16th.

Meanwhile Manuel Sulaiman doubled his tally for the weekend with another point score for JHR Developments. He denied Falcon Motorsport’s Lucca Allen his first point in British F4 by 0.053s on a weekend where the Irish rookie has shown a significant step forward in terms of pace.

Attention now turns to the season finale at Brands Hatch GP in a fortnight (30 September/1 October). Caroline will arrive with a 67.5 point lead in the standings and will only need a sixth place finish in Round 28 to be crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion. Meanwhile his Carlin squad can take the Teams’ Cup in the same race if TRS Arden fail to reduce their 103 point lead in the standings by 17 points.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Provisional results Round 27 Silverstone, 17 September, 2017
21 laps / 34.44 miles
1 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden 20m 10.018s / 102.49mph
2 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin +3.751s
3 Johnathan HOGGARD / GBR / Fortec +16.453s
4 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin +19.879s
5 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R +20.016s
6 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +20.665s
7 Karl MASSAAD / LEB / Double R +21.393s
8 Olli CALDWELL / GBR / Arden +21.584s
9 Sam SMELT / GBR / GW +22.193s
10 Manuel SULAIMAN / MEX / JHR +26.745s etc.

Fastest lap: Oscar Piastri 57.163s / 103.31mph

Ford F4 Challenge Cup: 1 Caldwell; 2 Allen; 3 Ericsson

Provisional championship standings
1 Caroline 412 points; 2 Piastri 344.5; 3 Sargeant 326; 4 Quinn 280; 5 Lundqvist 259.5; 6 Simmons 234.5; 7 Oliver York 233.5; 8 Pasma 147.5; 9 Massaad 80; 10 Webb 68 etc.

Provisional Ford F4 Challenge Cup standings
=1 Ericsson 315.5 points; =1 Webb 315.5; 3 York 298.5; 4 Caldwell 234; 5 Allen 174; 6 Monger 100

Full results

Quinn reigns supreme at Silverstone

  • Third win of campaign for front row starter Alex Quinn.
  • York and Piastri complete podium.
  • Caroline’s championship lead reduced by just three points to 71.5.
  • Ericsson takes the Ford F4 Challenge Cup spoils for seventh time this season.

16 SEPTEMBER, 2017 – TRS Arden and Alex Quinn shone at Silverstone to take victory in Round 25 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost, ahead of Oliver York and Oscar Piastri after a dramatic finish hit by torrential rain.

Silverstone has proved a happy hunting ground for Quinn. It was the scene of his British F4 Rookie title triumph in 2016, which he capped off with a fantastic win at the Northamptonshire circuit.

Starting on the front row the Cornish racer was determined to add another victory to his name at the home of British Motor Racing and he duly delivered. A lightning start saw him get the jump on team-mate and poleman Oscar Piastri.

Piastri made life difficult for Quinn in the opening stages, refusing to let him escape while bringing Oliver York (Fortec Motorsports) and Jamie Caroline (Carlin) with him. Caroline having already made up two places on the first lap.

As the race progressed Quinn eventually managed to break free of Piastri’s clutches. The heavens opened with just two laps remaining, but Quinn remained unfazed out front. The 16-year-old danced his way around the 1.64 mile circuit on slick tyres in the pouring rain to take his third win of the campaign.

“I got Oscar off the line which is what I was aiming to do because to go head to head in the race would have been more tricky considering the way things are in the championship battle. We have to keep maximising the points.

“I knew the start was my best and safest opportunity to get the job done so I’m really happy to have pulled it off.

“It wasn’t easy after the start though because Oscar was very quick at the beginning, but I eventually managed to pull out a bit of a gap.

“Then I saw a massive black cloud overhead and knew the rain was coming. I stayed calm, didn’t push too hard and it paid off.

“I was trying to pay attention to how much rain was on my visor and how much water there was on the track. The last lap was like driving into the unknown, but I’ve always liked these conditions throughout my career.”

Behind Quinn the situation was far less straightforward. After Caroline got the better of York with a bold move to take third just before the rain began to fall, the championship leader moved to double his fun as he attempted to pass and pull away from chief title rival Piastri on the final lap.

It resulted in a spin for Caroline, forcing Piastri to take evasive action. The Aussie took a wide line and hit the brakes. York promptly capitalised to take second, diving up the inside of both drivers.

“Overall it was a good race for us,” commented York. “We had the pace throughout. Even when the rain came down we were something like a second quicker than anyone else on the last lap when we took second place.

“Jamie went for a late move and I had to back out really otherwise it could have ended very differently. Then it started to rain and he was sideways through Brooklands after a half spin. It forced Oscar out wide and it gave me the opportunity to scythe up the inside the pair of them.

“I think I was a little held back by Oscar which meant I couldn’t attack Quinn for the win. I’m still happy to get second which means plenty more points in the championship so we can continue to target a top five finish in the championship at the end of the season.

“This is my third podium in four races so it’s great to have this kind of consistency and is a sign of our strength.”

“The start was not good at all,” said Piastri. “I didn’t have enough heat in the tyres which meant I couldn’t get the traction I wanted off the line.

“I felt I was faster than Alex in the opening laps, but as the race progressed I didn’t have the life in the tyres that he did which meant I couldn’t quite keep up with him.

“The heavens opened on the final two laps and I was probably a bit too cautious. On the last lap Jamie went for a bold move and spun in front of me. I had nowhere to go other than slam on the brakes and that let York through.

“I’m not happy with the result, but it could have been a lot worse. We finished on the podium and in front of Jamie so that’s still positive.”

A below-par qualifying for Double R Racing’s Linus Lundqvist and TRS Arden’s Ayrton Simmons meant the stage was set for them to come storming through the field from 15th and 11th respectively. Both took no prisoners as they flew up the order, each making up four places on just the opening lap. The duo put on a display of overtaking that was a feast for the eyes, with Simmons finishing fifth and Lundqvist sixth. Simmons recording fastest lap of the race in the process.

Behind them finished Carlin’s Logan Sargeant, while eighth place for Hoggard earnt the Fortec Motorsports racer points and pole position for tomorrow’s partially reversed grid race.

Team-mate Hampus Ericsson had to settle for ninth despite a spell in sixth, but with Falcon Motorsport’s Lucca Allen and TRS Arden’s Olli Caldwell in 14th and 17th respectively, Ericsson secured his seventh Ford F4 Challenge Cup win. It leaves him tied with Oliver York for most wins in the Class this season.

“The Challenge Cup is the main thing to win and that’s what I have got my sights set on,” explained Ericsson. “To get another win in the Class again today was so important.

“At one point in the race I was sixth, but I went off the track and had to settle for ninth.

“I don’t like the rain much, but I enjoyed it on the slicks. It was a lot of fun!

“The overtake I made on Sargeant into Brooklands was so cool. I got in the slipstream and went around the outside of him. It was a really special move that I’m very proud of.

“Whenever I’m battling with the title contenders like that it’s really exciting and proves that I’m able to fight at the front.”

Carlin’s Patrik Pasma completed the top 10 ahead of Double R’s Karl Massaad. Meanwhile JHR Developments driver Harry Dyson put on a fine display on his competitive single-seater debut, picking his way expertly through the field from last on the grid to finish 12th.

The Ford EcoBoost action continues tomorrow with Round 26 at 1115 when Hoggard will be gunning for his maiden win in the series from pole. The final race of the weekend will be broadcast live on ITV4 and is scheduled for 1630. Piastri will be the poleman once again, with the aim of converting it into his sixth win of the season in a bid to take the title battle to the final meeting of the season.

However, Jamie Caroline will have other ideas and can take the title tomorrow if he has increased his championship lead from 71.5 to at least 75 points once the chequered flag falls on the final race.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Provisional results Round 25 Silverstone, 16 September, 2017
21 laps / 34.44 miles
1 Alex QUINN / GBR / Arden 20m 29.835s / 100.84mph
2 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec +1.122s
3 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden +1.748s
4 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin +3.164s
5 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +8.912s
6 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R +9.027s
7 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin +10.021s
8 Johnathan HOGGARD / GBR / Fortec +10.880s
9 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec +12.001s
10 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Carlin +14.135s etc.

Fastest lap: Ayrton Simmons 57.165s / 103.30mph

Ford F4 Challenge Cup: 1 Ericsson; 2 Allen; 3 Caldwell

Grid for Round 26: Hoggard – Sargeant – Lundqvist – Simmons – Caroline – Piastri – York – Quinn – Ericsson – Pasma etc.

Provisional championship standings
1 Caroline 376 points; 2 Piastri 304.5; 3 Sargeant 289; 4 Quinn 280; 5 Lundqvist 247.5; 6 York 233.5; 7 Simmons 216.5; 8 Pasma 143.5; 9 Webb 68; 10 Massaad 66 etc.

Provisional Ford F4 Challenge Cup standings
1 Webb 315.5 points; 2 York 304.5; 3 Ericsson 275.5; 4 Caldwell 194; 5 Allen 138; 6 Monger 100

Full results