Lanan Racing’s George Russell is the 2014 BRDC F4 Champion, after storming to victory in the final race of the year at Snetterton, emerging on top of a four way title fight on the final day, and winning the championship by just three points.
By winning the title, Russell secures £25,000 and a full test in an Arden Motorsport GP3 car at the official series test at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit.
Ahead of the final race, Russell was 13 points adrift of team mate Arjun Maini, but lined-up on pole position with Maini only fourth, with the grid determined by fastest race lap times. Fellow title rivals Raoul Hyman and Sennan Fielding of HHC Motorsport started second and third. Crucially, the race needed to finish in a similar order for Russell to clinch the crown.
Russell didn’t get the best getaway, and Hyman, who won the earlier race to keep his title hopes alive, jumped ahead on the run to Riches on the first lap.
Hyman needed to win to stand a chance of winning the championship, but Russell knew that second place, with Maini running fifth after being passed early on by Charlie Eastwood, still wouldn’t be enough to secure him the crown.
Russell launched his attack on lap two. He attempted a move on Hyman on the outside of Agostini hairpin and then cut back to gain the inside line for the high speed Hamilton corner. Russell squeezed through and from there, set a string of fastest laps to build a comfortable margin at the front.
With Maini still in fifth, Russell was now in a position to win the championship. Maini needed to finish third, but was boxed in behind Fielding who finished fourth, while Eastwood was showing good pace and holding a clear final podium position.
It wasn’t all over though, and in the final two laps, Hyman began to eat into Russell’s lead, trimming it from 1.5 seconds to 0.7 seconds. Russell, knowing he still needed to win, kept his cool and claimed his fifth victory of the year to clinch the championship in style.
Hyman’s second place, in addition to his fourth win of the year earlier today, was enough to give him third place in the championship standings, just one point ahead of team mate Sennan Fielding. Eastwood’s third place, his second podium in his best F4 weekend of the year, was enough to move him into the top-10 in the championship.
Struan Moore finished fifth overall in the championship, and Will Palmer sixth.
Russell's championship glory is the second such success for Lanan Racing, who secured the title last year with Jake Hughes. Russell also claimed the £1,000 prize for the Jack Cavill Pole Position Cup, after taking five poles throughout the season, including two at Snetterton.
Champion Russell commented: “This feels amazing. It’s been an incredibly difficult and hard fought year with lots of ups and downs, but in the end we’ve come away with what we’ve been fighting for all year.
“I can’t thank Lanan Racing enough, they’ve done a brilliant job with all three cars, and have taken a 1-2 in the championship, and I don’t think they could have asked for much more than that.
“In the race I knew if I finished second, Maini only needed to finish sixth, and I knew he was in fifth, so I had to go for it. I managed to pull off the overtaking move on Hyman and that is what has won me the championship.
“I can’t wait for the GP3 test prize. It’s amazing that this is my first year out of karts and here I am preparing to head off to Abu Dhabi straight after the F1 race there to drive the Arden Motorsport GP3 car. It’s going to be a fantastic opportunity and I’ll do my best, not just for the team but also to showcase just how good the BRDC F4 Championship is.
“The speed of the car looks incredible with so much power and downforce. It’s going to be a big step up, but with the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award coming up I get to drive the F2 car so I’ll have some experience of driving faster cars, so that should hopefully put me in good stead!”
Words and images from BRDC F4