Max Fewtrell has been crowned British Formula 4 Champion this weekend at Brands Hatch.
Fewtrell refused to buckle under immense pressure for the duration of a nail-biting finale which saw Ayrton Simmons and Sennan Fielding chase him home.
The Carlin racer had to overcome a three point deficit to Fielding heading into the race and was in perfect position to do so starting from pole with Fielding in sixth.
He grasped the opportunity with both hands and put on an inspiring display at the front to hold onto the lead. Showcasing not only his mental strength, but exceptional talent behind the wheel.
A clean getaway ensured he led the field into turn one and although he was unable to break away from Simmons, he had enough in hand to remain just far enough ahead to prevent Simmons from making an attack.
“I cannot really put into words just how winning the title feels at the moment,” said Fewtrell. “It’s all a bit surreal and absolutely amazing. I’m really happy for the team too. It’s been such a long season, especially with it going down to the last race.
“I knew I couldn’t let Sennan past and I thought if he got past Ayrton it could get really tricky. I just stayed really consistent and in a good place.
“I’ve worked so hard with the team and it’s amazing to see it all pay off.
“Winning this championship with Ford involved and the FIA is amazing. I think it’s the best junior championship to win. I’m so happy to have won it in my first year of racing in cars. It’s definitely the highlight of my career so far.”
Simmons’ race proved to be more about defensive driving than attacking after Fielding climbed several places thanks to some jaw-dropping overtakes into Paddock Hill Bend where he bravely put everything on the line in his crusade for the title.
Simmons had other ideas though and the youngest driver on the grid rounded off a year in which he has progressed at a rapid rate for TRS Arden by keeping Fielding at bay. Simmons undoubtedly proving he has what it takes to race with the very best. A hard charging Fielding arguably one of the most formidable competitors any racer will come up against.
Explained Simmons whose performance this weekend ensured he finished second in the Rookie class – a feat made all the more impressive given that he missed the first two meetings of the year due to his age: “That race was so intense. I knew I had the pace. I started catching Max towards the very end and would have liked the race to go on a little longer.
“I’m really pleased with what we have achieved this season. The team have been amazing so huge thanks to them.
“It’s been a fantastic end to the season and I’m hungry for even more success now. Hopefully we will be even stronger next year.”
Added championship runner-up Fielding: “We made a few changes to the car which didn’t quite go to plan. I gave it my all from start to finish. I don’t think there was anything else I could have done. Every gap I could have gone for I did.
“It’s disappointing for myself and the team because we have put in so much hard work, but we’ve done so well to develop the car throughout the season.
“A massive thank you to everyone at JHR and Amigos for putting me on the grid. I’m looking forward to 2017 and hopefully I can get that lucky break I deserve. I have shown I can develop a car and bring a team on.
“The team have done a phenomenal job to compete against the likes of Carlin, Fortec and Arden which just shows that JHR are a top team.
“Without a doubt even if I had all the budget in the world I would still choose JHR and do it all over again.
“Thank you to everyone at British F4 as well. It really is one of the best championships in the world.”
Saturday race winner Pull finished just outside the podium places in fourth, but put in yet another assured drive which has been commonplace this year for the Hertfordshire racer.
Behind him Luis Leeds was able to round off the season with a solid points score, with fellow Aussie Goddard in sixth for Double R Racing.
Devlin DeFrancesco made a welcome return to the points after a frustrating weekend for the Canadian ace who has shone on so many occasions in 2016. He came out on top in an entertaining tussle with Carlin team-mate Petru Florescu.
British F4’s newest race winner Jamie Caroline put in a spirited drive to make his way from last on the grid to ninth by the time the chequered flag fell, whilst Rafael Martins finished in the final points paying position.