Mark Webber backs new junior open-wheel class

The Formula 4 field at Silverstone

The Formula 4 field at Silverstone

Australian Formula 1 star Mark Webber believes that England’s new Formula 4 class will thrive despite joining a crowded junior open-wheel market.

Webber attended the first round of the weekend’s BRDC Formula 4 Championship at Silverstone last weekend, where his BRDC role saw him hand out the trophies.

The reborn Formula 4 class is being touted as a bridge between karts and Formula 3.

The BRDC F4 Championship features Van Diemen chassis fitted with 2.0 litre Ford Duratec engines.

A global FIA Formula 4 series is expected to kick-off next year, in which multiple chassis manufacturers are being welcomed.

The chassis will be carbon fibre, while a 1.6 litre control engine package is currently being sought.

Webber in the Formula 4 paddock

Webber in the Formula 4 paddock

Different control engine packages, meanwhile, may appear in other domestic Formula 4 series.

The British championship is being run by Jonathon Palmer’s MotorSport Vision concern, which has previously pushed the likes of the now defunct Formula Palmer Audi and FIA Formula 2 Championships.

A 21-car field fronted for the season opener, featuring predominately British drivers.

The teams represented included Sean Walkinshaw Racing – the outfit run by the brother of Holden Racing Team owner Ryan.

“It’s always tricky with so many categories,” Webber told British magazine Autosport at Silverstone.

“I’ve always been a fan of Formula Ford, but you’ve got to look at costs these days.

“It’s really important for drivers to get a chance in cars, not just karts. I think F4 will go from strength to strength.”

France currently hosts its own Formula 4 class, which evolved out of the Formula Campus by Renault.

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