Exclusive: 2020 will be “year of stability” for British F4 ahead of 2021 rule changes

by Tom Jackson

The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost will enjoy “a year of stability” in 2020 in regard to the series’ technical regulations, championship promoter Sam Roach has revealed.

Speaking exclusively to The Checkered Flag at the series’ second visit to Thruxton last weekend, Roach explained that the championship would retain its current rulebook for one more year, ahead of the FIA’s planned shake-up across the single-seater discipline in 2021.

“We’ve got a year of stability next year,” Roach said. ”The same cars, same engine, the same package – because it works.

“We’ve had a very good year on engine equalisation from our partners Neil Brown Engineering so everything is working well. For 2020 next year, everything carries on as it is.”

The British F4 championship regulations will change in 2021.
Image: Jakob Ebrey Photography/JEP

The results speak for themselves; this year’s championship has seen eight different race winners out of a total of 14 drivers with five teams from six seeing the top step of the podium.

British F4 has run its current technical specification since its inception in 2015 when it replaced the British Formula Ford championship.

But 2021 is edging ever closer, and is the year earmarked by the FIA for a raft of regulation changes across several series.

According to Roach, discussions are well underway for what the future of British F4 will look like with the FIA’s chosen crash protection system, the halo, top of the list.

“The FIA are now working on the regulations with the car manufacturers to establish what they can do. There are a few important jobs on that; firstly of course is to integrate the halo on to the new design and strengthen the chassis accordingly to be able to mount it.”

Roach also pinpointed a complete overhaul of the cockpit to better match the diversity of racing drivers.

“The second project, which we’re very supportive of and pushed hard for, is to actually have a look at the whole ergonomics of the cockpit.” Roach elaborated.

“Some of the senior formulae above us have been criticised for driving position and cramped cockpits and when we’re looking at 15-year-olds that range from fairly small and light drivers to some 6’6 drivers who are pretty strong, we’ve got to make sure the new car is flexible enough in its size to accommodate a very wide range of sizes, shapes and strengths.

“We’re supplying data of our shortest drivers to our tallest drivers to the FIA so an ergonomic study can happen. Even the mirror placement is being looked at to consider this from shortest to largest.”

In terms of F1, the most obvious change in the regulations will be the aesthetics of the cars and Roach believes there’s the possibility that F4 may move closer in line with those further up the single-seater ladder.

“I think the third big project going on with the FIA on these regs is to update the appearance of the cars and perhaps bring it, as they say, with a little more F1 styling.” Roach said.

“We wait to see what that actually looks as I don’t actually know what that means at the moment, but it’ll be interesting to see how that side of it evolves.”

With Formula Two and the newly-revamped Formula Three following F1 in their visual styling, F4 is the last FIA-homologated specification to make the change and, if it does, will unify the ‘Road to F1’ pathway.

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