This week saw the final official test completed before Olli will compete in his very first British Formula 4 meeting on his 15th birthday in two weeks time! At Croft Olli will become the youngest driver in the World to ever race in an F4 car, he won’t be allowed to qualify or compete in race one Saturday, but for race two and three Sunday (on his 15th birthday) he will break a record likely to never be broken again!
It had been a few weeks since Olli had last jumped in the British F4 car, with the team on a busy schedule for the first four rounds. But two days of dry weather lay ahead giving time for Olli to dial himself into a very tricky Croft circuit for the very first time in this car.
In the morning session Olli was able to complete a total of 53 laps. He hadn’t completed the most number of laps, but he’d dialled himself into the circuit and came away with a positive result of 11th. Olli was just half a second off the quickest Challenge Cup driver which is where he’ll always be aiming to be this season.
The afternoon session was not a practical test for any driver. It was full of yellow and red flags with drivers going off regularly. Olli was not one of those and completed 28 laps. There was a long time between Olli’s second and final stint, in which he only got nine laps, but pushing hard he managed to get down to a 1:22.5. It was quicker than what he had done in the morning session and moved him up to 10th place in the standings.
Olli finished the day 1.1 seconds off the top of the time sheets and considering a day which had been affected by yellow and red flags, a combined total of 81 laps was overall a positive start.
There were some teams and drivers who opted out of the second test day, but for Olli and the Arden Motorsport that had never crossed their minds as he continued to close the gap to the leaders during Wednesday’s morning session.
Olli completed 41 laps over four runs with his quickest time coming during his third run where he closed the gap from 1.1 seconds to 0.8 seconds! Considering some drivers had gone slower than yesterday it was hugely impressive!
Things were pointing to a good last session, but Olli only managed 22 laps in the afternoon and wasn’t able to beat his time from the morning session. However, looking back at the two days he still had a very good day.
When putting everyone’s times together from the two days Olli was 8th quickest of the 15 drivers that took part which is very positive heading into his very first race at Croft in two weeks. Olli will be missing from qualifying and race one on Saturday as he turns 15 on Sunday, which is when he’ll be able to go racing!
On the test Olli commented: “It was great to have this opportunity to test before my first ever British F4 race. Not being able to go out for qualifying or race one, means this test was even more critical for me than anyone else. Overall I think it went well, we certainly have more time to find and I think next weeks test at Snetterton will help us do that. I’m looking forward to becoming the youngest driver to ever race one of these cars!”
Olli will next be out testing at Snetterton on the 30th/31st May.
The fifth weekend of the British F4 Championship will take place at Croft on the 10th/11th June.