As we draw ever nearer to beginning of the 2021 British F4 Championship, it’s time to take a closer look at another second season driver. The driver in question this time around is Carlin’s Roman Bilinski, who makes the switch from Arden Motorsport with whom he scored three podiums on the way to an eighth place championship in his debut season in 2020.
Bilinski joins the famed Carlin in 2021, fully intent on pushing for the title, with the Farnham based squad securing the team’s championship in 2020 after a strong campaign with vice-champion Zak O’Sullivan and rookie cup winner Christian Mansell.
We sat down with Bilinski last week as he prepares for the season ahead, and immediately he was asked about the pressures he may be feeling as he enters his second season in the series, and his third overall on the TOCA package, as well as who he sees as his biggest rivals in 2021.
“Yeah for sure, I think especially being with a team like Carlin and the records they hold winning in every year apart from one, there’s definitely some pressure there. But I’ve got a really good team behind me so I’ll be pushing all the way.
“The drivers from last year are obviously going to be really quick and apply the pressure straight away, but we’ve seen in many years that all the new drivers have been really quick, even if they just come from karting they’ve been on it straight away. But for now I think we’re just focusing on ourselves until the first round and then we’ll see where everything’s at.” explained Bilinski.
And with Bilinski moving from Arden to Carlin over the winter, he was naturally very thankful to his old team for the opportunities in 2020, as well as showing excitement in the new challenge that lays ahead with Carlin. He also spoke about how much more prepared he is for the second season after having that first year experience.
“Carlin definitely have a brilliant record in British F4, and anything higher in F3 and F2. So there’s definitely some opportunities for later in in my career. I think Arden were also great, but this year we were just looking for something different. Everything between myself and Arden are still fine, there’s definitely no hard feelings.
“I’m 100% more prepared for this season. I would always say since we started racing I was always on the back foot, just because I started racing so late. I’ve only done three years in motorsport, so I think coming back for a second season in a series as competitive as this will be really good for me. The more experience should benefit me in the earlier rounds, which could help bank points at the begin of the season which is crucial.” said Bilinski.
And when we circled back to how important that first year could become, Roman was asked what he’s improved upon through that year and as we head into the second campaign in 2021, as well as how his testing programme has been so far.
“Race craft was a big thing for me, improving that as I hadn’t been in motorsport that long. Also I managed to work on my qualifying performance and one lap speed, putting a big focus this year on how I use a new tyre to extract the maximum performance.
“Testing has been going really well so far, learning every little tricks we can. We want to be as prepared as we can heading into round one at Thruxton, so me and the team have been working hard to make sure we hit the ground running.” said Bilinski.
And when questioned about wether Bilinski would be taking a more senior role amongst his fellow first year team mates of Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak, Kai Askey and Dougie Bolger, he was was quick to shut down and apparent advantage, stating that his team mates are more than capable to push him regardless go experience.
“I guess I know the car a bit better, but they’re all really good drivers in the team so we’re all pushing each other hard which can only be a good thing for the team coming into the season.” expressed Bilinski.
The 2021 F4 British Championship season begins at the high-speed Thruxton in Hampshire over the 08-09 May.