Car­lin to make Bri­tish F4 re­turn

Autosport (UK) - - CONTENTS - STEPHEN LICKORISH

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

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