He had been running in a comfortable third place having started second, but moved past Charlie Robertson late on, and then passed an ailing Jake Hughes on the last lap to claim his first win. Fittipaldi follows in the footsteps of his grandfather who also claimed his first win in Europe at Brands Hatch in 1969 in Formula Ford 1600.
Fittipaldi becomes the ninth different winner in F4 out of 13 races so far this season.
“When I saw the chequered flag I couldn’t believe I was the first one to take it, it was awesome!” he exclaimed afterwards. “I just kept my cool on track and was really consistent all the way around and I can’t believe I’ve got this win in my first year!
“I thought it was going to be a learning process which it still is, but I just can’t put this into words!”
When reflecting on the symmetry of taking his first win in Europe on the same circuit that his grandfather did, Fittipaldi reflected: “That is so cool. I’m following in his footsteps in a way so it’s really nice.
“It’s going to be tough now starting from eighth on the grid for race two tomorrow, but I’m looking to keep it on track and keep working on my consistency which was pretty good during this race. If I can get a top five finish I can hopefully get a good position on the grid for the third race.”
Seb Morris claimed second for Hillspeed, with Robertson third for HHC Motorsport despite suffering a gear shift issue that left him stuck in fifth gear. Lanan Racing’s Jake Hughes had led the race for the majority of the event from pole position, and was seemingly on course for the championship lead, before being scuppered by a late race mechanical issue which dropped him to fourth on the last lap.
Jack Barlow claimed fifth at his home venue for Sean Walkinshaw Racing, while Jake Dalton retained his championship lead by claiming sixth. Matthew Graham was seventh for Sean Walkinshaw Racing with Raoul Hyman eighth for HHC, securing pole for race two, (which takes place at 10.45am tomorrow) in the process.
Just four points cover the top three of Dalton, Hughes and Morris at the head of the championship, heading into tomorrow’s two races.
BRDC F4 Championship, Brands Hatch, Race One result:
1. Pietro Fittipaldi, Mark Godwin Racing, 14 laps
2. Seb Morris, Hillspeed, +2.133s
3. Charlie Robertson, HHC Motorsport, +3.797s
4. Jake Hughes, Lanan Racing, +5.489s
5. Jack Barlow, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, +9.164s
6. Jake Dalton, Mark Godwin Racing, +10.708s
7. Matthew Graham, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, +12.008s
8. Raoul Hyman, HHC Motorsport, +13.290s
9. Ross Gunn, Motionsport, +13.341s
10. Matt Bell, Douglas Team E-Lites, +17.755s
Provisional Championship standings after race 13 of 24
1. Jake Dalton, Mark Godwin Racing, 227 pts
2. Jake Hughes, Lanan Racing, 224 pts
3. Seb Morris, Hillspeed, 223 pts
4. Charlie Robertson, HHC Motorsport, 211 pts
5. Matt Bell, Douglas Team E-Lites, 199 pts
6. Jack Barlow, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, 199 pts
7. Ross Gunn, Motionsport, 164 pts
8. Raoul Hyman, HHC Motorsport, 158 pts
9. Matty Graham, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, 154 pts
10. James Fletcher, Team KBS, 149 pts