F4 British ChampionshipOpen Wheel

PREVIEW: British F4 – Brands Hatch GP

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Image: Jakob Ebrey Photography

The final race of the 2019 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost is upon us, and with it one of the closest title deciders in the series’ history set to take place at Brands Hatch.

Events at Silverstone a fortnight ago have created the perfect crescendo to one of the most thrilling seasons to date. Entering these final three races, four drivers remain in contention to lift the trophy come Sunday afternoon.

Zane Maloney and Sebastian Alvarez are in deadlock at the top of the championship on 367 points, separated only by virtue of Maloney’s eight overall victories, compared to Alvarez’s four.

“I feel really good going into the last round,” Maloney said. “I’m very confident that we can get the job done.  Everyone’s done an amazing job so far and it would be great to finish my first year in single-seaters with a bang.

Brands Hatch is a great track for me and I’ve been quick there in the past, so it’s just about having the same approach as usual. I think we can have a great weekend no matter the conditions.”

Alvarez himself whittled down a 70+ points gap to Maloney and is more than ready to give it one final push.

“I’m really looking forward to this weekend — Brands Hatch is a track I enjoy,” Alvarez explained to British F4. “We’ve all been working super hard all season and we are as prepared as we can be going into the final round.

“Obviously securing the championship is the goal and I’m going to give it everything I’ve got.”

Behind them, Alvarez’s Double R Racing team-mate Louis Foster sits 30 points adrift and ready to pounce should his rivals slip-up. The 16-year-old was on superlative form in Northamptonshire, taking a double-victory alongside a further third place podium to make in-roads into that points deficit but is resolute in not getting complacent.

“There’s no different mental approach going into the final weekend,” Foster said. “I’m going to treat it the same as every round.

There’s no pressure on my end so I’ll be going out there to have some fun and enjoy the last weekend of the season, and when we have fun we normally get good results.”

Josh Skelton sits fourth in the drivers table, 59.5 points away from the top two. Much in the same vain as Foster, the 18-year-old has the luxury of being the underdog.

His appearance in the title fight is well justified, a record-setting nine consecutive podium finishes came to an end at Silverstone but the titanic haul of points is more than testament to the JHR Developments driver’s consistency.

“I sit fourth and it’s a fairly big margin to gain ground so as I see it, I have nothing to lose.” Skelton elaborated. “Overall, the season so far has been very positive in developing myself as a racing driver.

“We have had a few ups and downs but I have achieved a lot throughout the year, so hopefully we can finish this off on a high at Brands Hatch.”

The battle at the front isn’t the only fight reaching its conclusion, British F4 has enjoyed several rivalries right across the field in 2019.

Bart Horsten, Carter Williams and Luke Browning may have been ruled out of the title fight at Silverstone but the three are firmly locked in a battle for fifth place, with Tommy Foster also looking to get involved. The group are separated by 40.5 points with a maximum of 75 still available.

The Fortec‘s of Roberto Faria, now confirmed with team for 2020, and Mariano Martinez are looking to overhaul Browning’s Richardson Racing in the Teams Cup, sitting well within striking distance.

For the series’ late joiners, namely Alex Walker, Chris Lulham and Abbie Munro, the weekend serves as one last chance to gain some valuable points and track time ahead of a busy winter season.

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About author
Tom is a freelance motorsport journalist. As well as being The Checkered Flag's lead British F4 reporter, Tom is also studying for a Sports Journalism degree at Solent University and joined the Autosport Academy at the start of 2019.
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