Will Palmer dominated the first race of the weekend at Silverstone today (Saturday) as he took the win by over five seconds ahead of Ecurie Ecosse Young Driver Ciaran Haggerty. Jordan Albert took the final podium spot ahead of Tom Jackson in fourth with Palmer’s team-mate, Sisa Ngebulana, rounding out the top-five.
18-year-old Palmer had posted a warning to his rivals earlier by qualifying nearly one-second clear of the rest of the field. He lined up alongside his HHC Motorsport team-mate Harri Newey on the front row and proceeded to make a clean getaway, leading into the first corner. Newey did not make as good a start as his stable mate and was relegated down to sixth by the end of the first lap.
Ciaran Haggerty secured second position on the opening tour, from fourth on the grid, with the Lanan Racing car of Rodrigo Fonseca in third ahead of Riki Christodoulou, who was deputising for the injured Faisal Al Zubair, Albert and Newey. Despite the changes in positions behind, Palmer got his head down and began opening up his advantage, putting in a series of fastest laps which culminated in him setting a new BRDC F4 lap record around the 3.660-mile Grand Prix track.
Newey set about recovering from his poor start and passed Jordan Albert on lap three to take fifth, with him then beginning to close on the positions ahead. Fonseca in third suffered an issue, which required him to pit at the end of the lap with rear-end damage, which promoted Newey to fourth. On the same lap, the youngster took third from Riki Christodoulou, overtaking him around the outside in a bold move.
With a tight battle developing, Newey and Christodoulou made contact and both spun off and into retirement. That promoted the rest of the field, with Jordan Albert inheriting the final podium spot ahead of Tom Jackson and Sisa Ngebulana in pursuit. BRDC F4 debutant Omar Ismail sat in sixth with just four laps remaining, and would eventually lose out to Lanan Racing’s Jack Bartholomew, but still enjoyed a strong first race to take seventh.
Palmer continued to extend his advantage over Haggerty and was 5.738s clear of Haggerty as he started his final tour. The Scot in turn had a clear lead of 5.056s over Albert and the three would remain in that order as they took the chequered flag at the end of the lap. Tom Jackson settled for fourth with Ngebulana in fifth. The top-10 was completed by Bartholomew, Ismail, Hernan Fallas, Fernando Urrutia and Zubair Hoque. Fallas’ eighth-place finish gives him pole position for race two on Sunday morning.
The top-three drivers stepped out of their cars and on to the podium to be presented with their trophies by former British Touring Car racer and BRDC member, Jonathan Adam.
Winner Will Palmer said after the race: “It was just a case of making a good start, getting my head down and just pushing for the rest of the race. A big thanks to HHC Motorsport as we took pole position by nearly a second, a commanding win now and the car has been fantastic so far.”
Race two of the weekend at Silverstone takes place at 10:30am tomorrow (Sunday) morning with all the action available through live updates on Twitter and here on the official F4 website.
Silverstone – Duo BRDC Formula 4 Championship – Race one result
1. Will Palmer, HHC Motorsport, 10 Laps
2. Ciaran Haggerty, Ecurie Ecosse/GBR, +5.800s
3. Jordan Albert, SWR, +12.806s
4. Tom Jackson, Chris Dittmann Racing, +19.070s
5. Sisa Ngebulana, HHC Motorsport, +22.157s
6. Jack Bartholomew, Lanan Racing, +23.122s
7. Omar Ismail, Chris Dittmann Racing, +24.261s
8. Hernan Fallas, Mark Godwin Racing, +25.976s
9. Fernando Urrutia, Douglas Motorsport, +26.690s
10. Zubair Hoque, SWR, +29.970s
11. Sebastian Lanzetti, Hillspeed, +31.181s
12. Ameya Vaidyanathan, Hillspeed, +1 Lap
13. Michael O’Brien, Mark Godwin Racing, +1 Lap
14. James Reveler, 23 Racing, +1 Lap
15. Chris Mealin, Lanan Racing, +1 Lap
16. Rodrigo Fonseca, Lanan Racing, +1 Lap
DNF. Harri Newey, HHC Motorsport, 6 Laps
DNF. Riki Christodoulou, Hillspeed, 6 Laps
DNF. Jack Lang, Lang Sport/Gorse Motors, 4 Laps
DNF. Akhil Rabindra, Douglas Motorsport, 0 Laps