Jamie Caroline has taken Carlin’s third consecutive British Formula 4 drivers’ title in the final round at Brands Hatch.
Caroline won the championship with two races to spare, having built a strong gap to Oscar Piastri before heading to the round. The Arden driver needed to finish in the top two in the opening race in order to keep his title hopes alive, but could only manage fourth. It meant, even though Caroline dropped to the back of the field after a trip through the gravel on the opening lap, the Carlin driver was victorious.
Caroline recovered to eighth before the end of the race, narrowly missing out on pole for race two’s reverse grid.
Linus Lundqvist took his fifth win of the season after passing pole sitter Logan Sargeant off the line. Sargeant closed in on the Double R Racing driver in the closing stages of the race, but a fastest lap for Lundqvist kept him out of reach.
Ayrton Simmons finished third, ahead of team-mate Piastri.
The race ended with a red flag after Jamie Sharp hit the back of Harry Dyson, who had suddenly slowed.
Starting eighth for race two, Caroline immediately started his charge up through the field, passing Lundqvist and Sargeant before becoming stuck behind Simmons.
Another red flag, this time for an incident involving Dyson, Sharp, and Lucas Alecco Roy, halted proceedings before Caroline could pass the Arden driver.
Oliver York, who was third when the race was stopped, was flying on the restart, passing Patrik Pasma and Manuel Sulaiman to take the lead. Behind him, Caroline also enjoyed a good start, moving up into third before quickly passing Sulaiman to take second.
The champion-elect spent the second part of the race trying to find a way past York, but the Fortec driver held strong, taking his second victory of the season. Caroline took second, ahead of Sulaiman, who claimed his first podium of the year.
Piastri, meanwhile, could only manage fifth, this time behind Sargeant, who was still trying to pass the Arden driver for third in the championship.
The overall title had already been wrapped up, but the much tighter Challenge Cup battle was still going on. Harry Webb and Hampus Ericsson headed to Brands Hatch level on points but a pair of second place finishes for Webb – both times behind Olli Caldwell – put him nine points ahead of Ericsson going into the final race of the season.
But Webb’s fortunes changed at the start of race three, when he collided with Luca Allen on the grid. Allen was sent into the pit wall, bringing out the red flag. Webb limped back to the pits, where the mechanics tried to fix the damage, but he couldn’t get back out. If Ericsson could finish the race, he would take the title.
When the race restarted, Ericsson was on the move, quickly passing Piastri and Caroline to move into fifth before an off for Simmons promoted him another place.
Sargeant was the next to run into the barriers. The American had been running third, taking enough points to move him to second in the title fight, before going wide on the slippery grass. He managed to get going again before limping into the pits, allowing Piastri room to breathe and Ericsson to take his second overall podium.
Alex Quinn took the race win ahead of Lundqvist.
Caroline had been running fourth, at a head of a small train, before slowing on the final lap and dropping behind Pasma and Piastri.
Image credit: Caroline Rhea