A new name, and new drivers. The team with the biggest changes for the 2020 F4 British Championship is the newly branded Argenti Motorsport. The only constant taken over from 2019 is the continued partnership with Saudi Arabian driver Reema Juffali, as the second year driver looks to improve in only her second year of racing at this level. She is joined by 2019 Ginetta Junior, Casper Stevenson, and Chilean Nicolas Pino who will be contesting his first full season in single seaters.
The pressure is on immediately for the the newly named squad that won the team’s championship in 2019 under the Double R name, with consistent wins and podiums from outgoing F4 drivers Louis Foster and Sebastian Alavarez, with both drivers only narrowly missing out on the championship title to Zane Maloney. They’ll be looking to have another run at both championships again in 2020.
Stevenson looking for scholarship validation
Casper Stevenson has his sights set rather high for a debut season in British F4. The winter scholarship winner will be hoping to use that experience as a springboard for strong results straight out of the gate, although he does believe that the pressure on him is potentially higher because of the scholarship success.
“I’m still happy about that. I’m telling everyone about it and whenever I tell my friends they’re like ‘oh no not again!’, but it’s why I’m here and without it I’d probably be doing another year of Ginetta Juniors. It gave me a lot of confidence and made me forget about all the problems in Ginetta Juniors last season and helped start fresh for the F4 career.
“There’s certainly a lot different with these cars than the Ginetta, but it’s good that I know all the tracks. The cars are much faster so I’ve had to spend more time in the gym which I was reluctant to do because I hate the gym! I put the pressure on myself, and I want to be the scholarship winner that wins in F4 too, so the pressure is on for sure.”
Pino expecting exciting debut campaign
There’s three drivers racing in British F4 from South America this season, and Chilean hot shoe Nicolas Pino is looking forward to an exciting and challenging debut season in the UK, racing amongst Ginetta Junior graduates as well as British F4 winners. On his own admission, the learning curve will be steep, but Pino believes he has the assets to have a solid season and fight for points and podiums.
“Well obviously it’s going to be tough. There’s a lot of drivers here with previous experience in either Ginetta or F4 already, but obviously I will try to give my very best from the first race and aim to be competitive straight away and maybe achieve some podiums for the team.
“Coming to the British F4 championship was an easy choice, because it has one of the highest levels of talent amongst the national F4 championships in the world, and also because of the old school tracks – it enables me to develop different driving techniques and develop more as a driver for the future.
“I think for all the drivers here the main goal is to reach F1 one day, but first I must be consistent here in British F4 and achieve podiums for myself and the team in order to put together a solid championship run, so that’s what I’m looking to achieve in 2020.”
Juffali aiming for progress in second season
One driver that will be looking to make huge improvements over their 2019 campaign would be Reema Juffali. Competing in just her second season of car racing, Juffali will be looking for more consistency as she continues on for another season with the renamed Argenti squad. Two eighth places finishes in Thruxton and Knockhill were the highlights for the Saudi Arabian’s debut season in British F4 last year, but Juffali is confident in her improvements over the winter and continued racing in Dubai in the off-season that she can fight for more points and potential podiums in 2020.
“I’m feeling a lot more confident, having had the experience with the track and the car already. Last year I had the think so much about everything because it was all new to me, but this year everything feels a lot more intuitive. I don’t have to think so much about my braking, turning etc. I’ve had some experience with racing over the winter too, so I’m getting my elbows out a little bit more, taking more risks.
“Last season I was learning as the year went on, every race was a new event and I saw the improvements. Last year I had nothing to lose, whereas this year I have that expectation to compete more and improve. And I had a busy off-season racing in the Jaguar I-Pace race in my home country with the home support was fantastic, and then I raced a support F4 race on the F1 weekend which was a bug deal, and I finished 5th in one race so that was great. This was then followed by 14 or so races in the UAE F4 championship.
“I’ve taken up cycling in preparation for the 2020 season, trying to stay fit. And when I get the chance I’ve been seeing friends and family but a lot of the winter has been trying ti stay fit with eating well and mental prep, and sleeping well. I found out that sleeping well is very important and getting a good night’s rest!’
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the opening five rounds of the 2020 F4 British Championship were indefinitely postponed along with motorsport being put on hold in the UK until June 30th at the earliest.
The season is now due to start at Snetterton on the weekend of 25th/26th July 2020.