No team in the British F4 paddock had a more up and down season in 2019 than Carlin. Whilst the team missed out on the teams’ championship to Double R Racing, they did however manage to capture the driver’s championship with 16-year old Zane Maloney, who has since progressed onto the Euroformula Open Championship for 2020 within the Carlin camp. The prestigious junior formula outfit will be looking to regain the title they won back in 2017 to stamp their authority.
And with an expanded lineup of four cars compared to just the two car effort of last season, their chances are looking very good. They’ve drafted in three rookies with immense pedigree in Mathias Zagazeta, Australian Christian Mansell and Karting world champion Marijn Kremers. Joining the three rookies is 2019 Ginetta Junior runner-up Zak O’Sullivan, who will be looking for immediate success in his debut year in single seaters.
Kremers arrives with eyes on the title
Fresh off the back of winning the 2019 KZ class in the FIA World Karting Championship, Marijn Kremers arrives in British F4 as a rookie with promise and a whole lot of talent. The 22-year old will be one of the oldest drivers on the grid, but he’s hoping that his karting experience coupled with a little bit more life experience can help him push for the championship in his debut season with Carlin.
“I’m feeling really confident, and also feeling really happy within the team. They’ve made me feel very welcome which also helped with my confidence. And coming from a really successful season in karting, I think I’m ready for the next step up now. Carling is obviously a very big team and you notice the difference immediately from Karting, they always have the spare parts ready!
“I don’t really think of pressure when driving for Carlin, more like a confidence booster. They know what they’re doing and have won at every level they’ve competed in. By the end of the season I want to be champion, but from the beginning of the season if we can fight for podiums from the first race and if everything goes our way we can win the races. The season is long, so we don’t want to drop points.“
O’Sullivan not getting complacent for 2020
Coming off the back of an impressive second place in the 2019 Ginetta Junior championship, Zak O’Sullivan will be looking to make a big impact in his debut season in single seaters with Carlin. The keen esports racer also placed third in the inaugural British F4 iRacing Trophy during the COVID-19 lay off, and looks to be in high spirits as to what he can achieve when we finally go racing for 2020.
“It’s been a good winter adapting from tin tops to single seaters. There’s a bit to work on as I’m not quite there yet but I’m sure well be quite strong by the time we get racing. You have to be a lot smoother in style compared to when you’re in the Ginetta. The car [single seater] rotates and is more responsive. I’m trying not to overdrive the car and let it do it’s thing.
“I think we should be up there. So far in testing we seem to be quite fast, but you never really know. I don’t want to be complacent but we’re all working as hard as possible to achieve what we think is possible. Doing Ginetta junior last year was a big advantage because now I know all the tracks and how the racing works within the TOCA package.
“It’s been a big leap coming into F4 with a team like Carlin. The expertise and knowledge is at a much higher level in comparison to the Ginetta programme, so I wasn’t really shocked when I came here and started working with them. I’ve been trying to keep my fitness up, because obviously that’s another leap coming into single seaters, but I haven’t struggled with that so far, and in terms of on track activity I haven’t done any dry running this year is it’s nice to get a dry day in here at Donington today.”
Mansell looking to make immediate impact
Moving across the world is no small feat, regardless of your age. But 14-year old Christian Mansell is looking to make an immediate impact on the European scene after securing a seat at Carlin for 2020. Having competed in a handful of Australian F4 championship races in 2019, the young Aussie from New South Wales made the decision to ply his trade abroad after the series folded. With the biggest team behind him, coupled with some experienced and talented team mates, Mansell won’t be settling for anything less than glory this season.
“Im feeling pretty good. We go into Donington with a fair bit of testing under our belts. It’s a big challenge moving away from home to chase my dream of being a successful race car driver, but it’s the right thing to do for me. I could’ve done F4 in Australia but coming here was a better move for me because the championship doesn’t exist in Oz anymore – there’s only eight cars on the grid!
“I’ve really enjoyed the wet weather running today. There’s something about. being on the edge that I really enjoy. It’s an acquired taste to run in the rain, and I feel like we’ll get plenty of wet races this season to acclimatise. I hope my team mates are great in the rain, so I can take their data! We learn from each other every day, and I’m particularly close with Matias [Zagazeta] as we speak a lot away from the track too, he’s a really nice guy.“
Zagazeta focused on making Peru proud
Another driver within the Carlin ranks that’s coming from afar is Peruvian hopeful, Matias Zagazeta. After promising results in Karting, Zagazeta will be looking to make an impact in his debut season in single seaters. Also, having placed second in the F4 scholarship programme, he’s arriving at the first race in Donington brimming with confidence and motivation to validate his family’s sacrifices in chasing his racing dreams.
“I’m excited and happy to finally start the season, with plenty of testing done already. So far we’ve seen quite good progress so I’m ready it. Coming runner up in the scholarship helped me and gave me extra motivation for the season ahead. the transition from karts to cars has been quite different, with a big increase in power, more grip. The weight distribution is much different compared to the karts. It’s great to be a part of Carlin with lost of history and heritage, and I’ll be looking to score plenty of points this season.
“It’s great coming to the UK to race, as they have many different weather conditions making it better for driver development. And being part of a four car team means it’s perfect in terms of learning from your team mates. We push each other to the limits, and it’s great to have such competitive team mates.
“As for seeing more drivers coming in from South America, it’s great to see more driver development coming from this region and trying their hand In Europe. I’ve spoken quite a lot with Nico Pino as I know him quote well from karting back home, and i’m really excited to see how much they can achieve this season. There’s not a lot of racing ambition in Peru right now, but my family have been supporting me a lot with lots of sacrifices. I’m living alone in the UK, but it’s a sacrifice you have to make to achieve your dreams.”