It’s another young line up for Arden in the British Formula 4 championship, with two of the four drivers they’ll be fielding yet to turn 15.
Returning racer Ayrton Simmons will be joined by fellow Young Racing Driver Academy recruits Oscar Piastri, Yves Baltas, and Olli Caldwell in the 2017 season.
Simmons, Piastri, and Baltas will compete in the British Formula 4 championship whilst Caldwell, who won’t turn 15 until June, will race in the Ford F4 Challenge Cup.
Piastri, who will be making the switch from the UEA Formula 4 championship, has already impressed in the first test of the season last week.
“Testing has gone really well and I’m excited to see what we can achieve in one of the most competitive single-seater series in the world,” the Australian said. “I’ve raced in countries around the globe, but having the chance to race at the UK’s premier circuits, including the home of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, and having it broadcast live on television to millions of people is something very special.”
Baltas, who turns 15 at the end of the month, will run as a rookie in his British F4 debut. The American may not raced a car competitively yet, but Baltas has been testing with the team throughout the year, giving him confidence for the year ahead.
“[Arden] are helping me to learn everything and how to set the car up to ensure it’s as fast as it can be,” he said. “As testing has progressed I have felt increasingly comfortable in the car. It’s so fun to drive, especially through the high speed corners. I think it should be a good year for us.”
Arden’s fourth driver, Caldwell, is slightly more experienced despite not turning 15 until June, having raced in the Ginetta Junior championship towards the end of last season. Caldwell will be competing in the Ford F4 challenge cup, new to the championship this season.
Though the Challenge Cup would allow Caldwell to take points at seven of the 10 championship meetings – with the Knockhill and Brands Hatch GP rounds mandatory – he will only turn 15 at the Croft round of the championship, meaning he’ll only be able to compete at six meetings.
“I’m delighted to welcome the drivers on board for the 2017 season,” said team manager Ben Bloomfield. “It is great working with the YRDA once again, and to have a full four car line up. The championship focuses on the young talent, and within the team we have four of the most talented young drivers on the scene. We have been working closely with the drivers over the winter period – last week at Oulton Park for the first official test we proved we have incredible pace this year. I’m looking forward to the first race at Brands Hatch.”
Image credit: Caroline Rhea