as championship battle tightens further at Brands Hatch
Gaetano di Mauro converted pole position into an emotional victory in this weekend’s first race on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit today (Saturday), the maiden win for both di Mauro and the Petroball team.
The 17-year-old Brazilian held off a quick starting Struan Moore to lead into Paddock Hill bend on lap one, and then maintained a lead of over half a second throughout the contest, with Moore settling for second ahead of team mate Arjun Maini.
Championship contender Raoul Hyman finished fourth, 14 seconds adrift of the lead duo and holding off a persistent challenge from SWR – Caterham F1’s Jordan Albert, who scored his best result of the season with fifth place.
Silverstone treble winner Sennan Fielding and Chris Middlehurst were close behind in sixth and seventh, while Will Palmer claimed eighth place from tenth on the grid, earning him reverse grid pole for tomorrow’s second race of the weekend.
Gustavo Lima claimed ninth ahead of championship leader George Russell, who fought back well to 10th having started 21st on the grid after a crash in qualifying.
The result means Russell’s championship lead is now down to just a single point over Hyman with eight races remaining. Fielding is now only 23 points off the championship lead, with Arjun Maini and Will Palmer also still firmly in the fight.
Di Mauro’s win completes a remarkable run of progression for both himself and the Petroball team, who are new to F4 this year. Having secured a breakthrough top-10 performance at round three at Snetterton, he claimed his first podium last time out at Silverstone, and now his first victory.
Di Mauro commented: "It's unbelievable, I'm so happy! Struan was so quick and I had to be very careful not to make a mistake. He was able to catch me in the first sector, but I managed to keep him behind me.
"This is a great result for the team and myself, and now we can hopefully move on and get some more!"
The top-three drivers on the podium received their trophies from Le Mans racer and BRDC member Sam Hancock.
BRDC F4 Championship, Brands Hatch Grand Prix, Race one result:
1. Gaetano di Mauro, Petroball, 14 laps2. Struan Moore, Lanan Racing, +0.647s3. Arjun Maini, Lanan Racing, +1.445s4. Raoul Hyman, HHC Motorsport, +15.612s5. Jordan Albert, SWR - Caterham F1, +15.863s6. Sennan Fielding, HHC Motorsport, +16.253s7. Chris Middlehurst, Mark Godwin Racing, +17.163s8. Will Palmer, HHC Motorsport, +18.706s9. Gustavo Lima, Hillspeed, +19.162s10. George Russell, Lanan Racing, +19.561s11. Rahul Mayer, Hillspeed, +20.630s12. Charlie Eastwood, Douglas Motorsport, +22.117s13. Tom Jackson, Chris Dittmann Racing, +23.191s14. Diego Borrelli, SWR - Caterham F1, +30.880s15. Alferedo Zabalza, Hillspeed, +32.730s16. Diego Menchaca, Douglas Motorsport, +32.841s17. Connor Jupp, Meridian Racing, +40.061s18. Tom Bale, Chris Dittmann Racing, +40.879s19. Michael Claessens, Mark Godwin Racing, +55.250s20. Jai Nijjar, Meridian Racing, +55.831sDNF. Rodrigo Fonseca, Douglas Motorsport, 11 laps
BRDC F4 Championship standings:*
1. George Russell, Lanan Racing, 328pts2. Raoul Hyman, HHC Motorsport, 327pts3. Sennan Fielding, HHC Motorsport, 305pts4. Arjun Maini, Lanan Racing, 301pts5. Will Palmer, HHC Motorsport, 294pts6. Struan Moore, Lanan Racing, 268pts7. Chris Middlehurst, Mark Godwin Racing, 216pts8. Gaetano di Mauro, Petroball Racing, 198pts9. Diego Menchaca, Douglas Motorsport, 193pts10. Gustavo Lima, Hillspeed, 185pts
Two further BRDC F4 races take place tomorrow at 11.40 and 15.25. For more information on the BRDC F4 Championship, visit the official website www.formula4.com.