Carlin to make British F4 return
Leading single-seater squad Carlin has confirmed that it will return to British Formula 4 next season after taking a sabbatical this year.
Carlin powered new Mclaren Formula 1 recruit Lando Norris (when it was
MSA Formula), Max Fewtrell and
Jamie Caroline to the British F4 title in a three-year period of series domination. But it announced it would not compete in the 2018 season after expanding into Indycar and Formula 2. The team did
not sell its F4 equipment, and has already begun testing drivers for ’19.
“The championship holds many happy memories for us,” said team boss Trevor Carlin. “We won the inaugural season with Lando Norris, who three years later is on his way to Formula 1, so we know that the championship is the perfect platform for young and talented drivers looking to launch their career in the best possible way.
“We loved being in the paddock as part of the TOCA package and the racing was always exciting to watch, so we look forward to being part of this again.”
Championship promoter Sam Roach said: “It’s great news to have their cars back on the grid. They always said it would be a sabbatical and we were hopeful they would be back with us.
“As three-time championship winners it gives everyone else a benchmark.”
Roach is hopeful that Carlin won’t be the only additional team in the championship in 2019. After its withdrawal, only five teams regularly competed this year, but the series is in talks with a number of outfits.
“I think the whole single-seater market is changing a lot and there’s a bit of a ‘wait and see’ situation with F3 [with the new International F3 series replacing GP3 and a yet-to-be-determined Regional F3 category in Europe], which has affected peoples’ plan-making. Other teams are interested and there are two that are talking to us quite seriously.”
Fortec British Formula 4 driver Johnathan Hoggard says a reset of the team’s goals was responsible for his storming end to the year. Hoggard headed into the season eyeing a title fight, but struggles before the summer break prompted a rethink. For the final five rounds, Hoggard emerged as top scorer overall with 227 points compared to 213 for Patrik Pasma, taking his eighth win of the year in the last race. Hoggard is unsure of his plans for next season.
Trevor Carlin (l) praised British F4 for young drivers
Caroline took British F4 title in 2017 before Carlin sabbatical