Supplied by team PR
August 27, 2018 – Knockhill Circuit in Scotland provided a more challenging than expected series of races for F4 British Championship certified by FIA powered by Ford squad Double R Racing over the weekend, 25th/26th August, but series leader Kiern Jewiss still departed the Fife track with a healthy 31-point advantage.
Missing out on a podium finish for only the second race meeting of his rookie single-seater season, Maidstone driver Jewiss nonetheless racked up a typically strong tally of points for Double R with fourth position in races one and two and then fifth in Sunday’s finale.
Finland’s Paavo Tonteri experienced a mixed weekend on his first visit to Knockhill, with a brace of Rookie Cup podiums in rounds 22 and 24 the highlight. Finishing eighth overall in race one and seventh in the third contest, Tonteri was unfortunately forced to retire from round 23.
Sebastian Alvarez impressed in the rain-lashed second race on Sunday morning, matching his season-best of second place in the Rookie Cup with seventh outright. Finishing 11th overall and fifth best Rookie in race one, the Mexican was frustratingly forced out of the third encounter.
“We hoped for a stronger weekend at Knockhill, especially after Kiern topped the times in the second test session on Friday, but things just didn’t quite work out for us”, said Anthony Hieatt, team principal of Double R Racing, “Importantly, though, we took away some vital points with three strong and consistent finishes and Kiern’s championship lead is still a healthy one.
“Paavo and Sebastian both had some misfortune, but there were also some good results with more Rookie Cup podiums in very tricky conditions. Although not the weekend we wanted overall it’s been OK, but we intend to be back much stronger and where we should be at Silverstone.”
Although having a lap time disallowed due to a track limits infringement, Jewiss ended qualifying on Saturday morning fourth quickest with a time only 0.1 seconds away from pole position. Tonteri too had issues with track limits, losing two of his best lap times, and so ended the session a frustrating ninth on the grid – third best Rookie – while Alvarez was 11th fastest and fifth Rookie.
Round 22 on Saturday afternoon was a highly processional affair with Jewiss remaining fourth throughout the entire 25 lap duration. Producing pace less than three hundredths of a second away from the fastest lap and new lap record, the Double R driver again chalked up a big haul of points.
Due to a grid penalty for Dennis Hauger from the previous event at Rockingham, Tonteri actually started race one from eighth. Although passed by Hauger on lap 10, and so slipping to ninth, the Finn was able to get ahead of Manuel Sulaiman late on to move back into eighth and take third in class.
Alvarez lined-up in 10th position due to Hauger’s aforementioned penalty and although passed at the start by the Norwegian, the Mexican did manage to depose Josh Skelton so he remained in the top 10 on lap one. Holding station until lap 13, Skelton was able to move back ahead of Alvarez who then spent the rest of the 25 lap contest in 11th place, fifth in the Rookie Cup.
For round 23 on Sunday morning, Jewiss started an elevated third on the grid with Tonteri lining-up in eighth and Alvarez in 11th spot. In contrast to the previous day though, rain arrived resulting in a very wet track for the British F4 runners.
While Jewiss and Tonteri maintained their grid placings over the first lap, Alvarez was shuffled down to 12th position. On lap two, though, contact between two cars into the hairpin enabled Tonteri to climb into the top six – second in class – and Alvarez moved through into ninth place, third Rookie.
However, during the subsequent Safety Car period Tonteri’s involvement came to an end when his car ground to a halt due to an issue with the low pressure pump. So, when the action resumed on lap nine, Alvarez held an elevated eighth and although he was passed by the recovering Hauger the Mexican moved back into the top eight when Jamie Sharp dropped back.
At the end of 10 laps, Jewiss was still third with Alvarez eighth but on lap 11 Jewiss went wide at Clark’s and was edged back to fourth by Patrik Pasma. Jewiss was then challenged by Jack Doohan into the hairpin and even though there was some contact, Jewiss managed to keep fourth.
In the meantime, Alvarez moved into the top six as a result of problems for a couple of rivals and the South American’s see-saw race then continued with Sulaiman nudging him back to seventh on lap 13. During the closing stages Jewiss was threatened by the resurgent Hauger but the championship leader held fourth to the flag, with Alvarez finishing seventh and a strong second in the Rookie Cup.
With the wet weather remaining at Knockhill for round 24, Jewiss started fourth on the slippery and very wet track with Tonteri eighth and Alvarez in 11th place. Making an excellent start from the outside of the second row, Jewiss surged into third and also looked to challenge for second place.
As the leaders threaded through Scotsman, though, a two-car tangle behind the top four led to chaos which ultimately triggered the appearance of the Safety Car. Racing resumed on lap four with Jewiss third, Tonteri fifth – having profited from the lap one dramas – and Alvarez 11th. In contrast to his team-mate, Alvarez was badly delayed on lap one after taking to the grass in avoidance of the incident.
Jewiss ran very close behind second placed Pasma, swarming all over the back of his rival, but within a couple of laps the Double R racer had to swap attack for defence with Ayrton Simmons really pressuring. Dramatically banging wheels on the start/finish straight into lap seven, Jewiss managed to retain third but after sliding slightly wide over the kerbs out of the chicane he was prone.
Simmons went through into fourth place and the loss of momentum for Jewiss enabled Hauger to get a run into the hairpin, dropping the points leader to fifth where he ultimately stayed to the flag on lap 20.
Tonteri, meanwhile, slipped to fifth on lap four and was edged back another couple of spots before the conclusion to finish in seventh place and third in the Rookie Cup. Unfortunately for Alvarez, his involvement ended on lap 10 due to a failed high pressure pump.
There are now just three weeks to wait until the penultimate race meeting of the British F4 season, at Silverstone National Circuit in Northamptonshire, on 15th/16th September.