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2021 Regional Formula 4 Thread


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#1 Frood

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Posted 12 February 2021 - 22:02

i3CzV8B.png

 

Kids in toy cars? Maybe. Grids made up of (mostly) teenagers with no concept of fear? Likely. Fierce racing wherever they go? Absolutely!

 

Often the first destination for fresh-faced youngsters straight out of karting, Formula 4 is an ever-growing entry-level series around the world for drivers aged 15 and up. The FIA first introduced the current Formula 4 regulations in 2014 with the start of the new Italian championship, and the years since have seen a burgeoning amount of series and talented youngsters to fill them. This is where stars of the future are being made today. In fact, three current F1 drivers owe championship wins in F4 to their path to F1 - Lance Stroll, from the Italian championship; Lando Norris, from the British championship; and most recently, Yuki Tsunoda, from the Japanese championship.

 

This years' smörgåsbord of Formula 4 championships is already under way in the Middle East, with the out-of-season UAE championship reaching its conclusion this weekend. The championship has boiled down to a title fight between two drivers in their very first season of car racing - the wonderfully-named Dilano van't Hoff, 16-year-old son of long-time Middle East racer and ex-Dutch Supercar Challenge champion Alex; and 15-year-old Enzo Trulli, son of serial train driver and grape-botherer Jarno. Two outside bets for the championship are comparative veteran Hamda Al Qubaisi, daughter of long-time GT racer Khaled, and Russian Kirill Smal. van't Hoff has been nigh-on unbeatable in Qualifying, taking all but one of the pole positions, with the Dutchman also taking 5 wins to Trulli's 4. However, Trulli has had 13 podiums, compared to the 11 of both van't Hoff and Smal.

 

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The rest of the FIA-certified championships to run this year are:

 

ADAC (German) Formula 4, using a Tatuus chassis with an Abarth engine. Recent champions include Formula 2 drivers Lirim Zendeli and Théo Pourchaire.

Argentine Formula 4, using a Mygale chassis with a Geely engine. This will be the first year of the championship.

British Formula 4, using a Mygale chassis with a Ford engine. This replaced the British Formula Ford championship.

Chinese Formula 4, using a Mygale chassis with a Geely engine, which I know nothing about if I'm honest.

French Formula 4, using a Mygale chassis with a Renault engine. Recent champions include Caio Collet and Hadrien David.

Italian Formula 4, using a Tatuus chassis with an Abarth engine. Recent champions include Enzo Fittipaldi and Dennis Hauger.

Japanese Formula 4, using a Dome chassis with a Toyota engine. Recent champions include Formula 1 driver Yuki Tsunoda, only 3 years ago!

NACAM (North and Central American) Formula 4, using a Mygale chassis with a Ford engine.

Spanish Formula 4, using a Tatuus chassis with an Abarth engine. Recent champions include Amaury Cordeel and Franco Colapinto.

US Formula 4, using an Onroak Ligier chassis with a Honda engine. Recent champions include Dakota Dickerson and a great example of nominative determinism, Joshua Car.

 

There are also further F4 championships outside of the FIA's remit, such as the Russian and Danish championships, the latter being where the oft-vaunted Juju Noda made her European racing début last year.

 

Who will stand out from the crowd this year?


Edited by Frood, 12 February 2021 - 22:09.


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#2 Frood

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Posted 13 February 2021 - 09:17

The UAE championship is down to the wire, with van't Hoff going into this morning's final race just 1 point ahead of Trulli. The spoiler may be Vladislav Lomko, who is only racing the final four races of the season - and he's already won two of the three.

 

The race is underway, but unfortunately they have been unable to stream this weekend. Live timing is here. One other spoiler may be that van't Hoff has 5 team-mates, compared to Trulli's one.


Edited by Frood, 13 February 2021 - 09:18.


#3 Sterzo

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Posted 13 February 2021 - 10:13

Great OP, Frood. Of all the categories in the all the world, this is the one I dream of participating in. Watch the headlines for the first ever 73-year-old British F4 champion - so long as I can find someone to help me into the car.



#4 Frood

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Posted 13 February 2021 - 11:18

The UAE championship is done and dusted. Hopefully the series will at least put out a highlight video as the last part of the race looks like it could have been a thriller!

 

Spoiler


Edited by Frood, 13 February 2021 - 11:18.


#5 Frood

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 11:42

The second of the big regional F4 championships kicks off this weekend - the US championship. A bumper 28-car grid has turned out for the first round of the season at Road Atlanta.

 

The most high-profile entry is the much-vaunted Juju Noda, who was duly quickest in practice but didn't set a qualifying time so will be at the back of the grid for the first race. A young Mexican by the name of Noel Leon has taken pole for the first race.

 

Unfortunately it's a difficult series to follow as coverage is behind a $10/week paywall!



#6 Frood

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 17:59

In a somewhat strange turn of events, after being fastest in practice, Noda was actually withdrawn from the event completely after technical irregularities were found on the car...

#7 ANF

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 18:36

I think I remember Juju Noda being excluded from a race meeting in Danish F4 last summer after having won the race on "unregistered tyres".



#8 ezequiel

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 19:46

In a somewhat strange turn of events, after being fastest in practice, Noda was actually withdrawn from the event completely after technical irregularities were found on the car...

https://formulascout...-f4-round/76828

 

“While the team laments the present situation, the decision was taken in mind [of] Juju Noda’s best interests in order to clear everything out.

“The team is convinced that our driver needs better circumstances that will allow her to just focus on racing, rather than needing to deal with external problems.

 

:eek:



#9 Disgrace

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 19:48

Er, what?



#10 maximilian

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 23:06

That's bizarre... and unduly delays one of the potentially most interesting stories in 2021...



#11 Frood

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Posted 28 March 2021 - 20:34

Looks like there has been no further update in the Juju Noda story today. Seems like an odd situation, with a couple of journos on Twitter describing the situation as "delicate". There are rumblings she's pulling out of the US championship and returning to Europe, but nothing concrete yet.

 

Meanwhile, it looks as though we've got a fierce rivalry already for the honours in the US championship. Race 1 polesitter Noel Leon lost out to Maryland native Jason Alder in the first race, with the same result in the second race. Leon turned the tables in the third race, but the two of them locked out the first two steps of the podium in all three races. Other podium finishers were Canadian Nico Christodoulou in Race 1,  and Florida's Arias Deukmedjian took 3rd in Races 2 and 3. Other notable results were a couple of Top 10 results for third-generation racer Spencer Bucknum and a little British interest as well, with Emily Linscott from Basildon taking 8th place in Race 3.



#12 Frood

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Posted 03 April 2021 - 08:58

It's the turn of French F4 to get underway this weekend, with a 16-car grid at Nogaro. It's difficult to judge at this level, but there's not any super standout talents graduating from karting this year, so it'll be a pretty open field. Four drivers will carry over from the championship last year - sometime guest driver and 2019 French Junior kart champion Esteban Masson is probably the one to watch of the quartet, with Owen Tangavelou, Daniel Ligier and Noah Andy also having experience in the series.

 

Other than them, Indonesian-French driver Gaël Julien has shown some talent in being 2019 Asian Junior Karting champion. Japanese-Australian Hugh Barter was Daniel Ricciardo's lead works driver in Australian karting and won a Richard Mille talent academy championship to win a seat in the series. Spaniard Dario Cabanelas is a Fernando Alonso protégé and has plenty of high-level karting experience. Angélina Favario is the series' sole female representative, and has already started her own foundation to get young girls interested in motorsports.

 

Finally, two drivers bring World Championship karting experience; French youngster Macéo Capietto was 6th last year in KF Junior and brings plenty of engineering experience - his dad Guillaume is the Prema F2 team manager. Tony Kart factory driver Aiden Neate is the other, who finished 20th in KF Junior. Neate is a second-generation driver, though will hopefully be less of a menace than his dad Andy is in BTCC!

 

Capietto was immediately fastest in the test session ahead of Tangavelou, Masson, Neate and Ligier, so he is looking to be the brightest star of the bunch.


Edited by Frood, 03 April 2021 - 09:01.


#13 maximilian

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Posted 03 April 2021 - 11:24

Ligier sounds interesting... any relation?

 

The Juju thing is really weird.  Sure wish we knew more about what the hell happened there!



#14 Frood

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Posted 03 April 2021 - 12:51

Ligier sounds interesting... any relation?


Not as far as I can tell. He's French-Dutch, born in the Netherlands, but took up karting whilst living in Oman. Looks like he's been doing Dutch championships now he's back in Europe.

The Juju thing is really weird.  Sure wish we knew more about what the hell happened there!


Still nothing on that, apart from a press release saying it wasn't due to race relations/nationality as people had speculated. I'd like to know what went on, but it looks like we won't be privy to that.