F4 British Championship certified by FIA launches 2022 car and unveils ROKiT as Title Partner
The ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA has entered a new era as the second-generation car and more details about the prize structure were unveiled today alongside the announcement of ROKiT as the series’ new Title Partner at Bicester Heritage.
2022 marks a dramatic shift in the dynamic of Britain’s FIA Formula 4 category, an internationally renowned entry-level category for the stars of tomorrow, including the adoption of the hugely successful Tatuus-Abarth chassis and engine combination.
That, combined with the introduction of Pirelli as the category’s tyre supplier, brings the championship in line with its contemporaries around Europe, as well as the rest of the FIA Single-Seater Pathway.
An audience comprising team personnel, invited media, commercial partners, prospective entrants, and representatives from all levels of the sport – including Formula 1 – were also witness to the unveiling of the category’s new title sponsor, ROKiT in one of the striking hangars on the former RAF site, juxtaposing past, present, and future in a unique setting.
Already a renowned force in motorsport, the innovative brand’s decision to partner with British F4 is perfectly positioned with its philosophy of producing global-leading products in a number of different sectors.
The event kicked off with a short discussion between presenter Ariana Bravo and Hugh Chambers, CEO of Motorsport UK, focusing on the series’ outstanding heritage under its previous guise with Ford and RacingLine, including the development of a platform that powered the careers of several of the sport’s pre-eminent stars, from Senna to Schumacher, Hill to Herbert and, more recently, the likes of Jenson Button and Lando Norris.
The focus then shifted to the future, with Motorsport UK Board member and Sky Sports F1 pundit Karun Chandhok on hand to assist Chambers with unveiling the Tatuus T-421 to the assembled crowd.
The car itself features a number of notable safety advancements, including the Halo cockpit protection device and strengthened side anti-intrusion panels. Motorsport UK has also sought to go above and beyond the mandatory changes with further safety features such as on-board signalling systems, with the aim of developing the safest FIA Formula 4 car worldwide.
The guiding philosophy behind establishing the series’ commercial partners for the future has been their ability to enrich the experience for drivers beyond their financial support, further cementing the category’s status and the UK’s heritage as the international destination for driver development.
Pirelli, already confirmed in October as the control tyre supplier to the series for the next three years, launched their Hardest Charger Award in line with this, ensuring the driver who completes the most overtakes at each event will receive a free set of tyres to be utilised in testing, boosting their prospects for meaningful track time in the car.
Pirelli’s presence at each subsequent step on the FIA Single-Seater Pathway, from Formula Regional through to FIA Formula 3, FIA Formula 2 and Formula 1 will also support Motorsport UK’s philosophy of building a championship that allows meaningful progress for drivers into the higher categories.
Along with 12 valuable FIA Super License points to aid their progression through the pathway to professional motorsport, the 2022 Champion will receive a funded test in a Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine challenger courtesy of Italian marque Pirelli to give them crucial experience ahead of taking the next steps on their journey.
They will also receive a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go behind the scenes at a Formula 1 Grand Prix with McLaren, giving them an in-depth insight into life at the sport’s top table and highlighting British F4 as a high-profile proving ground for stars of the future to impress.
Hugh Chambers, CEO of Motorsport UK: “This is a really significant moment as the ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA continues to build towards what will be a ground-breaking year in 2022.
“It’s an excellent opportunity to have everybody together to get an exclusive first-look at the new car in the UK, and also to unveil some of the exciting commercial ties we’ve forged to help enrich the experience for drivers competing in the championship.
“As the entry-level step on the single-seater ladder, it’s absolutely crucial we put together a platform that gives competitors the best opportunity to make meaningful progress through the ranks. Many of these drivers will be aiming for Formula 1, so giving them a championship that allows them to start gathering relevant experience from their first laps in the car is a key element of what we’re building.
“Our vision has always been to grow and develop the series into a global leader, and to kick things off with partnerships alongside the likes of ROKiT, McLaren and Pirelli really gives us a solid grounding on which to build and unveil further incentives in the near future. It also highlights how seriously British F4 is regarded at the highest echelons of the sport.
“We understand that teams are already attracting heavy interest for seats, which is extremely encouraging, and all the signs at this stage points towards a healthy grid to kick off the championship’s new era in 2022.
“A huge thank you to everybody who attended on the day and contributed to a fantastic atmosphere, and I’m looking forward to watching things progress further across the winter months.”
Karun Chandhok, ex-Formula 1 driver and Motorsport UK Board member: “It’s incredibly impressive to see how far the latest chapter in British F4 has continued to develop in such a short space of time, and the unveiling of both the new car and some of the series’ commercial partners for 2022 is a really key step heading into the winter.
“For aspiring single-seater drivers, this now has to be the go-to destination to start their journey on the FIA’s Single-Seater Pathway. What Motorsport UK have put together alongside the likes of ROKiT, McLaren, Pirelli, Tatuus and Abarth is going to make a real difference for drivers at a crucial stage in their development.
“This is the proving ground for the stars of the future, and I think it’s safe to say Formula 1 and the rest of the motorsport community is definitely looking to British F4 for the next superstar in 2022 and beyond.”
Giovanni Delfino, CEO of Tatuus: “Tatuus is delighted to working alongside the ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA from 2022. The UK has a long and rich history for motorsport, so it’s a fantastic market for our second-generation T-421 chassis to expand into, and we look forward to working closely with Motorsport UK, the teams and the drivers in the future to help establish the championship as a global leader in Formula 4 racing.”
Lando Norris, McLaren-Mercedes Formula 1 driver and former champion: “Formula 4 was a big stepping stone for me to go from karting into single-seaters, and it’s helped me get to where I am now in Formula 1.
“[It’s] very important that a lot of safety measures are included now with the Halo as well. [It’s] a very fun series – one I actually watch, every now and then. It’s always good racing, there’s a lot of the new drivers coming up which maybe one day I’ll be racing in Formula 1 in a few years.
“To everyone who enters, the best of luck, and congratulations on the new launch of Formula 4.”
WATCH: Re-live the moment British F4’s new era broke cover at Motorsport UK’s Bicester HQ.