2018 British F4 season preview: Ford’s winning formula continues

5 APRIL, 2018 – The winning formula continues for the 2018 instalment of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost, with the season getting underway at Brands Hatch this weekend.

2017 saw a rich crop of talent provide an abundance of scintillating wheel-to-wheel action in what was Ford’s 50th consecutive year at the forefront of junior single-seaters. Records were broken, boundaries of performance pushed and the bar raised even higher in the only single-seater series in Britain open to 15-year-old drivers.

This year British F4 boasts another top-quality field. It is headed by a four-car entry from Arden which includes the Red Bull Junior Team duo of Jack Doohan and Dennis Hauger. Doohan, son of five-time 500cc MotoGP world champion and motorcycle legend Mick Doohan, is looking to add more silverware to the family trophy cabinet and Norwegian karting talent Hauger has been rapid in pre-season, topping two official tests.

Flying Finn and podium finisher Patrik Pasma is back for 2018; while the case of “like father, like son” goes even further at Arden as Sebastian Priaulx, son of triple World Touring Car Champion and Ford GT driver Andy Priaulx, embarks upon his maiden single-seater season. Priaulx’s record speaks for itself, having most recently been crowned Ginetta Junior vice-champion with 13 podiums, including seven victories.

Another who has a name synonymous with motor racing is that of Hampus Ericsson, younger brother of F1 driver Marcus. The Fortec Motorsports ace had a stellar rookie season which saw him win the Ford F4 Challenge Cup. Johnathan Hoggard contested a handful of meetings last year and has been flying throughout winter testing. Meanwhile Lucca Allen is no stranger to the series after taking 10 Challenge Cup podiums.

JHR Developments aren’t short of experience either with Manuel Sulaimán and Ayrton Simmons returning. The pair have starred on the podium and the latter tasted victory at Brands Hatch in 2017. They should be major players alongside European karting star Josh Skelton.

Jamie Sharp and Sharp Motorsport also return. 2017 was a learning year, but that didn’t stop Sharp from showing flashes of brilliance on the way to many top-10 finishes.

Priaulx isn’t the only Ginetta Junior driver making the step up to British F4 this year. Rookie champion Kiern Jewiss is targeting the title with Double R Racing. If his pre-season testing performances are anything to go by, he’s sure to be in with a shout having topped the first official pre-season test and been on front-running pace ever since.

Paavo Tonteri and Sebastian Alvarez complete Double R’s line-up. Both are from the Infinity Sports Management stable which guided Max Fewtrell to the 2016 title and both have enviable international karting records.

Return of the Rookie
This year sees the return of the Rookie Cup in place of the Challenge Cup. Drivers who have no previous car racing experience – Alvarez, Doohan, Hauger, Skelton and Tonteri – will have even more to fight for in 2018 as they will be eligible for the Rookie Cup, along with the chance to be crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion.

As was the case in 2015 and 2016 when Enaam Ahmed and Alex Quinn took the respective Rookie titles, entry to the Rookie Cup does not bring with it any limits on testing mileage for drivers and the winner will receive free entry to the 2019 F4 British Championship.

The Ford Super Rookie Award is also up for grabs – the first Rookie Cup entrant to win a race overall will take home £5,000. Meanwhile the Ford Triple Crown Award is open to all drivers competing in the F4 British Championship and will see the first driver to win all three races in a meeting awarded £10,000.

Experience the thrill of driving in British F4
The British F4 Virtual Reality Experience went down a storm in 2017. The great news is that it’s back for 2018, giving fans the chance to experience what it’s like to be a British F4 driver and immerse themselves in the world of motor racing like never before. The British F4 Virtual Reality Experience Zone will be located at the Ford Race Centre in the support paddock throughout the season.

Never miss the action
The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered Ford EcoBoost will again comprise 30 races across 10 events at the UK’s premier race circuits as the sole single-seater support series for the ever-popular British Touring Car Championship. British F4 will play a starring role in front of hundreds of thousands of trackside spectators and millions more watching live and free-to-air on ITV4, ITV Hub and online at itv.com alongside extensive highlights programmes.

Eyes on the prize ahead of 2018 British F4 season

  • Plenty of valuable prizes up for grabs once again, including fully funded FIA Formula 3 European Championship test.
  • Rookie Cup returns in place of Challenge Cup.
  • Free entry to 2019 F4 British Championship for Rookie Cup winner.

22 JANUARY, 2018 – With the 2018 season fast approaching, changes in the prize structure for the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost have been confirmed for the upcoming campaign. This year will see the return of the Rookie Cup in place of the Challenge Cup, as well as the usual plethora of valuable prizes available to entrants.

In 2018 the Ford EcoBoost-powered series will once again boast an incredibly desirable array of awards. All of which are fitting for a series which has become renowned for being one of the hardest FIA Formula 4 championships to win.

The prizes reflect Ford’s continued commitment to support young drivers; enabling the next generation of racers to advance to the highest echelons of motorsport. A commitment which has been further underlined by the championship continuing to keep entry and registration fees fixed since its inception in 2015.

Drivers who have no previous car racing experience will have even more to fight for in 2018 as they will be eligible for the Rookie Cup, along with the chance to be crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion.

As was the case in 2015 and 2016 when Enaam Ahmed and Alex Quinn took the respective Rookie titles, entry to the Rookie Cup will not bring with it any limits on testing mileage for drivers and the winner will receive free entry to the 2019 F4 British Championship.

F4 British Championship prizes for 2018 include:

  • £10,000 for the first driver to win all three races in a meeting.
  • £5,000 for the first Rookie Cup entrant to win a race overall.
  • Most Improved Driver – One set of new Hankook tyres for testing, awarded to the driver with the highest combined improvement from starting grid position in races one and three at each meeting.
  • FIA Formula 3 European Championship Test – A fully funded test for the 2018 FIA British Formula 4 Champion with a leading FIA F3 European team courtesy of series partner and tyre supplier Hankook.
  • FIA Super Licence Points – Awarded to the top seven drivers to enable their progression up the motorsport ladder; helping them fulfil their ambitions of acquiring a Super Licence to compete in Formula 1. 12 points will be awarded to the FIA British Formula 4 Champion; two more than any national Formula 3 Championship.
  • Free Entry to 2019 F4 British Championship – Awarded to the 2018 Rookie Champion.
  • Henry Ford Trophy – Those who compete in the F4 British Championship can use the series as a perfect platform from which to demonstrate extraordinary human endeavour in the field of motorsport and therefore put themselves in contention for the Henry Ford Trophy.
  • Joe Tandy Memorial Award – Awarded to the driver deemed to have shown the most promise and improvement during the season.
  • €1,000 Pole Position Prize – Awarded by Mygale to the team which runs the car that qualifies on pole at each round of the championship. The team will receive a €1,000 credit to be used for the acquisition of parts.
  • Snap-on Business Solutions Prizes – A £300 Snap-on Tools voucher will be given to the championship’s top technician at each round of the series. In addition, the top technician of the year will receive a uniquely customised Snap-on Business Solutions toolbox and tools, worth in excess of £5,000.