Junior Formulae

Piastri keeps F4 title fight alive

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Oscar Piastri kept his British Formula 4 championship hopes alive with a strong performance at Silverstone, but Jamie Caroline maintained his gap at the top of the order heading into the final round of the championship.

Piastri narrowly missed out on second in the opening race of the weekend. Team-mate Alex Quinn got the better start and passed pole-sitter Piastri off the line, but Piastri held onto second ahead of Oliver York and Caroline.

A late move put Caroline ahead of York just before it started to rain. He set about passing his championship rival on the final lap but span just in front of Piastri. Piastri went wide to avoid the incident, allowing York through to second. He managed to hold on the final podium position, taking three more points from Caroline’s lead.

Caroline bounced back in race two, taking the race lead after an astounding start from fifth. He immedietly built up a gap to team-mate Logan Sargeant but a mistake from the championship leader allowed Sargeant to pull alongside him. The American moved past into the lead of the race whilst Piastri closed in on Caroline.

Piastri couldn’t get close enough to challenge, finishing third, whilst Caroline’s second undid the work Piastri managed in race one.

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Piastri started on pole for race three and immedietly had Caroline for company after contact between Quinn and Hampus Ericsson promoted him to second. He kept up with Piastri as they pulled away from the rest of the field, but the Arden driver had more pace and eventually pulled away from Caroline. He finished 3.751s ahead of Caroline.

It closes the gap to 62.5 points, making it tough but possible for Piastri to take the title with 75 points on offer at Brands.

Despite his race two victory, Sargeant drops out of the title fight. He finished seventh in race one and fourth in race three after a tough battle with Johnathan Hoggard, York, Patrik Pasma, and Ayrton Simmons.

The five drivers seemed to swap places every corner but track limit penalties dropped Pasma and Simmons down the order. Still together on track, Pasma and Hoggard collided, damaging both cars, but Hoggard was able to continue to finish third.

After York pitted in the closing stages of the race, Sargeant was under pressure from the recovering Linus Lundqvist on the final lap, but stayed ahead of the Double R Racing driver.

Ericsson took a pair of Challenge Cup victories in the opening two races. Olli Caldwell claimed the class win in race three after Ericsson’s lap one accident.

Image credit: Caroline Rhea

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