Caldwell on the pace at Brands Hatch Indy pre-season test

British F4 rookie excels at the Brands Hatch pre-season collective test, demonstrating great potential for the season ahead

British F4 & UAE F4
March 8, 2017

Olli Caldwell headed to Brands Hatch just two days after the British F4 Media Day for another pre-season test - where the young YRDA star excelled in testing, showing great pace throughout the session.

The drivers would be using the Indy layout and Olli was keen to get himself up the order after the bad luck of the last Brands test, where
he was running comfortably in the top four before an incident left him out of the 30 minutes of session. During which the track went dry and Olli was left down the order.

Morning Session

That didn’t look to be a threat at first with the track wet on arrival and Olli was straight on the pace running in the top four. However, one of the main aims of the morning session was to put laps in and Olli certainly did that! Despite a significant number of red flags Olli put in a total of 97 laps with only his teammate, Ayrton Simmons doing more.

That was over a total of 11 runs with the middle part of the session being heavily disrupted with red flags. Pretty much every driver had an off, but Olli was on track and going very fast. Around 85 laps in he managed to get down to a 54.384 second lap time which was just four tenths off the fastest time of the session.

It put Olli 5th out of the 15 drivers and it was a brilliant start considering the tricky damp conditions.

Afternoon Session

Olli picked up where he left off and with no more rain a dry line started to appear on circuit as the session progressed. Olli opened with a 23 lap run, before knocking four seconds off his best lap over the next two runs. Both of which were disrupted by red flags which was becoming a continuing problem throughout the day. It was luck of the draw on whether you’d be able to get a decent run in.

Olli went out for his fourth run of the afternoon and had gone another second and a half quicker with the track continuing to dry. Just as he had gone green to put himself in 3rd place Olli was now pushing for a top two spot and in the process had an off at Paddock Hill bend.

The incident had caused some damage to the front end of the car and despite’s the teams best efforts they were not able to get Olli out for another proper stint. During this time the track had gone even quicker which dropped Olli from 3rd to 12th, which on paper is unfortunate but Olli was still very happy with day.

“The morning was really good in the wet conditions, with us being consistently in the top 5. Our first session after lunch put us 3rd overall but I went off towards the end of the run and there was some damage to the car which meant that while everyone was on track with new tyres we were stuck in the garage. Then when I could finally go on track it rained again. However, I am still really happy with how performed I showed in tricky conditions I can be almost as quick as anyone out there!”

In terms of the end result it was similar luck to Olli’s last Brands test, however lots of positives to take away from the day and with an Arden car topping the times at the end of the day, the team looks in good shape for the season!

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