Zak O’Sullivan says hitting his personal objectives should put him at the sharp end of the grid as the Carlin racer prepares to make his F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost debut later this month.
The 15-year old graduates into Britain’s Formula 4 series after a stellar campaign in the Ginetta Junior Championship in 2019, securing the Rookie title along with three outright race victories and a further eight podiums to end the season as runner-up overall.
In Carlin, the Cheltenham-based racer joins a formidable force, with Trevor Carlin’s eponymous outfit aiming to defend a one-hundred percent record of Drivers titles in the series.
His new team mates will be Australian rising star Christian Mansell, Peru’s Matias Zagazeta and Dutch racer Marijn Kremers, winner of the inaugural FEED Racing programme.
Speaking at the championship’s official Season Launch at Donington Park, O’Sullivan explained that hitting his own personal performance objectives take priority in his mind over race results, and believes the two will go hand in hand.
“Most of the targets are more on myself, from a personal side, I need to work on my approach a bit and be as consistent as possible, take opportunities when they come,” he explained.
“So, if I do all that right, then the results should follow. I’m not really setting myself any targets in terms of race wins, podiums, championship position.”
Once again in 2020, British F4 occupies an enviable position as the only single-seater support series on the UK’s premier motorsport package, the British Touring Car Championship.
The exposure that brings, with over 380,000 track side spectators in 2019 and live, free-to-air television coverage on ITV4, was a crucial factor for O’Sullivan when plotting his move into single-seaters.
He also underlined the importance of driver development on the championship’s calendar, with a host of the UK’s most-renowned and challenging venues set to feature across the ten weekend, 30-race bill.
“I think compared to other F4 championships, you get to learn tracks I wouldn’t say you use in the future, but they’re very unique, they teach you a lot about the car,” said O’Sullivan.
“For instance, you’re never going to have a track like Thruxton that we go to that’s pretty much flat out.
“That’s interesting, plus the fact that you get great exposure on ITV package, which is great for sponsors and it’s quite easy to pick up sponsors when you say ‘you can watch me live on ITV’, which is nice.
“Those are the main reasons, really, and it’s also quite affordable compared to some of the other championships.”
Casting an eye over his future career aspirations, O’Sullivan admitted that, like most of his peers, Formula 1 is the eventual goal, but has a pragmatic approach and is currently focusing on the short-term.
“Like most people, F1 is the goal,” he said.
“It’s ambitious, sometimes it’s not entirely realistic, obviously money is a big factor and we’re going to try as hard as possible to go up the junior ranks and then see where we are in a couple of years.”
The new season begins at Donington Park, Leicestershire, over the 28-29 March, 2020.