Sharp dressed man!
Louis Sharp has been on an amazing journey since clinching last year’s ROKiT British Formula 4 British Championship certified by FIA after taking the title in a thrilling season finale at Brands Hatch in early October.
Since then, the talented young New Zealander has been donning his black tie to attend numerous award ceremonies and pick up more silverware, including the coveted Henry Surtees Trophy by the BRDC and then, on the way home for Christmas, he stopped off in Baku to collect a highly prized FIA gong at the star-studded FIA Prize Giving.
After an all-too-brief reunion with friends and family down under, level-headed Louis returned to London at the end of January in good time for Motorsport UK’s illustrious Night of Champions where he was reunited with his hard-earned F4 trophy.
“It has been an amazing experience,” admitted the 16-year-old rising star. “It was so cool to be in Baku to see Max Verstappen crowned as F1 champion and it’s been an honour to meet so many really special people like Christian Horner [in Baku] and Ross Brawn [at Night of Champions] – they all been super supportive. That has given me extra inspiration and even more determination to keep this success going.”
Further underlining the prominence enjoyed by the British F4 Championship, Louis was voted National Racing Driver of the Year by the readers of Motorsport News, outscoring all the BTCC top guns in the process.
Sharp believes the UK’s premier entry-level single-seater series is the perfect proving ground for the next generation of F1 hopefuls.
“There are lots of really great reasons why we decided to compete in British F4,” he explained when attending the Night of Champions. “The main reason is just how competitive the championship is as we saw last year when the title race went right down to the wire. Heading into the final weekend there was just a single point between two of us… and then only a handful of points between us entering the last race. So it could have gone either way. That’s what made it so tough.
“But that’s also what made it such a such a good year,” he reflected with maturity well beyond his years. “I’d much rather have won the title in those circumstances than to have ran away with it. I really had to dig deep and fight. Coming out on top in the end, made the victory even sweeter.”
Louis, who also helped Rodin Motorsport secure back-to-back F4 team titles, believes both the high quality of the teams and the challenging nature of the British circuits are two other major benefits to any young gun with F1 aspirations.
“Being a New Zealander, racing for Rodin [now owned by Kiwi-based Rodin Cars] is another of the reasons we originally came to the UK and, while not all are Grand Prix circuits, the British tracks do teach you to be a proper racing driver – they’re so tough with little or no room for error,” he smiled.
Buoyed by his title winning achievements, Sharp is now staying in Britain and stepping up to contest the 2024 GB3 Championship.
“It’s going to be another exciting year,” he predicted. “I’m sticking with Rodin Motorsport and am looking forward to a third year with the team. We’ve built a really good relationship and there’s no place I’d rather be. GB3 is a super competitive championship and I’ll be racing another really cool car. I’ve done a couple of test days and I really enjoy driving it… so I can’t wait for season to start.”
Adding to his excitement and further fuelling his career dreams, Sharp also has some very special dates inked into his 2024 diary. As the reigning British F4 champion, he will be spending a Grand Prix weekend embedded with McLaren Racing and will also profit from a year-long coaching programme and expert guidance from BWT Alpine Formula 1 Team at the Alpine Racing Human Performance Centre. Moreover, he has already relished a rare opportunity to spend a day on the Formula One simulator at the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team state-of-the-art campus in Brackley.
Such are the many, many enormous benefits of winning the ROKiT British Formula 4 British Championship certified by FIA.