Russell leaps into F4 championship lead with double Silverstone win
Lanan Racing’s George Russell leads the BRDC F4 Championship after winning both of today’s races on the Silverstone GP circuit.
Russell’s victory in race one was his first ever car race win, and was secured from fourth on the grid.
Hillspeed’s Gustavo Lima led at the end of the opening lap with pole sitter Arjun Maini second from Sennan Fielding and Russell.
Russell passed Fielding and Maini on the second lap and then began to hound Lima for the lead, making a move stick on lap three. From there he proceeded to stretch out a comfortable gap of over four seconds at one point before easing off in the final laps to take the win by 3.8s. Danish driver Nicolas Beer claimed second for Sean Walkinshaw Racing with Russell’s Lanan Racing team mate Struan Moore fighting his way from 22nd and last on the grid to finish third. Early championship leader Raoul Hyman finished fourth having started eighth, with Lima and Will Palmer fifth and sixth.
Russell proved just as feisty in the final race of the weekend, rising from sixth on the grid this time to take the win. He made an excellent start to run in third place at the end of the opening lap and hit the front on lap three before again stretching out a comfortable lead. Behind him, team mate Arjun Maini was threatening Douglas Motorsport’s Diego Menchaca, and found a way past on lap five to give Lanan Racing a 1-2, with Menchaca completing the podium. Chris Middlehurst converted 15th on the grid to take fourth, his strongest result of the weekend, while Struan Moore repeated his race two heroics to take fifth having started 21st. Sennan Fielding originally finished sixth but was excluded from the results of the race after causing a collision with Nicolas Beer, promoting Palmer to sixth.
Russell holds a 13 point lead at the top of the F4 standings after the first weekend of competition, with Menchaca second. Yesterday’s race winner and early championship leader Raoul Hyman is third overall having finished a strong fourth in race two but was hindered in race three after David Wagner made contact with him on the opening lap, a move which earned the Scotsman a 10-second post-race time penalty. Maini’s podium in race three elevates him to fourth overall in the standings with Palmer fifth and Lima sixth.
Championship leader Russell enthused: “It doesn’t get much better than this with two wins. We struggled a little bit yesterday but we’ve improved and it’s been a great day for the team getting a 1-3 in race two and now a 1-2.
“It’s great to be the early championship leader but there’s a long way to go in the season with 21 more races remaining so I’m not thinking too far ahead and taking it all step by step and will keep doing the best job we can each weekend.”
The 2014 BRDC F4 Champion will receive a full day test in an Arden Motorsport GP3 car at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit, and the team and driver Jann Mardenborough were at Silverstone today to see the F4 drivers in action, with the Dallara-built car on display for the F4 drivers to see up close.
Mardenborough commented: “The F4 Champion will have a great opportunity to drive the Arden Motorsport GP3 car. The team have been very successful in recent years, winning the last two championships. I hope we’ll have a successful year and that the F4 Champion will be able to drive this year’s GP3 Championship winning car in Abu Dhabi.
“F4 is a category I would have loved to have raced in when I was starting out, especially if I’d had a karting background, and it’s great to see such a big grid. I wish all the drivers the best of success this year and look forward to seeing how the champion gets on in my car!”
BRDC F4 Race Two result:
1. George Russell, Lanan Racing, 9 laps
2. Nicolas Beer, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, +3.890s
3. Struan Moore, Lanan Racing, +4.293s
4. Raoul Hyman, HHC Motorsport, +4.827s
5. Gustavo Lima, Hillspeed, +5.653s
6. Will Palmer, HHC Motorsport, +6.101s
7. Chris Middlehurst, Mark Godwin Racing, +7.792s
8. Diego Menchaca, Douglas Motorsport, +8.043s
9. David Wagner, Mark Godwin Racing, +9.584s
10. Sennan Fielding, HHC Motorsport, +11.668s
Click here for full result.
BRDC F4 Race Three result:
1. George Russell, Lanan Racing, 10 laps
2. Arjun Maini, Lanan Racing, +3.025s
3. Diego Menchaca, Douglas Motorsport, +7.149s
4. Chris Middlehurst, Mark Godwin Racing, +10.354s
5. Struan Moore, Lanan Racing, +10.533s
6. Sennan Fielding, HHC Motorsport, +11.020s
7. Will Palmer, HHC Motorsport, +15.602s
8. Charlie Eastwood, Douglas Motorsport, +16.140s
9. Rodrigo Fonseca, Douglas Motorsport, +18.887s
10. Gustavo Lima, Hillspeed, +26.638s
Click here for full result.
BRDC F4 Championship standings after race three of 24:*
1. George Russell, Lanan Racing, 79 points
2. Diego Menchaca, Douglas Motorsport, 66 points
3. Raoul Hyman, HHC Motorsport, 64 points
4. Arjun Maini, Lanan Racing, 52 points
5. Will Palmer, HHC Motorsport, 47 points
6. Gustavo Lima, Hillspeed, 45 points
7. Nicolas Beer, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, 43 points
8. Struan Moore, Lanan Racing, 39 points
9. Chris Middlehurst, Mark Godwin Racing, 35 points
10. Sennan Fielding, HHC Motorsport, 35 points
Click here for full standings.