Max Fewtrell: FIA British Formula 4 Champion in profile
The 2016 instalment of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford saw no driver steal a march on a super-talented field. As unpredictability became the norm it was fitting that this year’s “Mr Consistent”, Max Fewtrell, was crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion.
The Carlin ace was consistency personified whilst his competitors’ form fluctuated throughout the season. A remarkable total of 16 podium finishes, more than any other driver, the foundation of his title triumph.
Three of those podiums saw him stand on the top step. His first victory coming at only the second meeting of the year at Donington Park. His last undoubtedly the most special and important. Winning the season finale and with it the title having been chased home by the formidable and more experienced Sennan Fielding.
Explained Fewtrell: “It was the icing on the cake to win the final race and clinch the title. A huge weight off my shoulders with everything going down to the last race. I’m really pleased for the team and everyone who has helped me.
“In British F4 there are so many great, fast drivers all competing at the front. To be battling with Sennan who is such a brilliant and experienced driver until the very end was incredible. It all makes winning the title feel even more special, having done it against such close competition.
“As a driver you always want to take as many wins as possible and I think I had the pace to do that, but with the way things played out this season I stayed consistent and tried to get as many points and podiums as I could. My level of consistency was very good throughout the year and that definitely helped me seal the title.
“Becoming FIA British Formula 4 Champion is the biggest achievement of my career. It’s been such a great year. Coming into the season there were so many quick drivers and it’s been so close throughout 2016. I really didn’t know who was going to take the title.
Fewtrell’s metronomic consistency also played a pivotal role in Carlin winning the Teams’ Cup for a second consecutive season, with team boss Trevor Carlin full of praise for the 17-year-old. “I’m very happy we have been able to do the double and I’m so pleased for Max. To get pole and lead every lap in the final race under a lot of pressure was a champion’s drive. Max is a great driver. He is his own man and the sky is the limit. He is an amazing and worthy champion.”
Look beyond the remarkable podium and points scoring statistics and you find what has really made Fewtrell so brilliant: composed, calm and calculated on track and an utter professional off it. Meticulous in his preparation, fiercely determined and more than capable of rising to the task under immense pressure.
His success in 2016 came as no surprise to those in the know, following his performance in pre-season testing where he was frequently found towards the very top of the timesheets.
Said Gerard Quinn, Senior Manager, Ford Performance Europe: “Congratulations to Max. It’s a huge achievement when you consider that there were six contenders going into the final meeting who could have taken the title.
“As a company Ford has been involved at this level of motorsport for almost 50 years. To be able to give people like Max and all the other drivers on the grid the opportunity to go racing, but also aspire to a future career in motor racing is so important.
“We have had previous champions like Ayrton Senna and Jenson Button and hopefully in the future we will see a name like Max Fewtrell in Formula 1.”
Fewtrell’s season has in a many ways embodied what the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford is all about; a series which nurtures and develops the talent of young drivers. A fact that championship manager David Lowe is all too aware of when giving his take on Fewtrell’s performance: “Max has shown that you don’t have to be up the front winning all the time. Strong placings can give you an advantage. Max has driven a steady year, gained the points and he’s capitalised on that in the end.
“This is a learning championship and Max’s season is a perfect example of how you should approach this series. He has moved forward and developed throughout the year on the back of a lot of hard work. To have put together the year he has and finish it off with a win is a shining example of how an FIA British Formula 4 Champion should perform.”
Commented Paul Fewtrell the father of the 2016 FIA British Formula 4 Champion: “For Max to win it the way he did with Sennan who was pushing him all the way was incredible for the series and for Max. He has done so well and we are really proud of him.
“The whole F4 British Championship: the community; all the championship staff; how the championship is promoted; the way drivers are looked after; it’s all amazing. I have brought a lot of friends and sponsors to race weekends and they are so impressed by the level of professionalism.
“British F4 is a big stepping stone. It’s part of the journey. It’s been amazing for Max’s career and for him as a person. He has grown through this experience and we have as a family. I’m old and thought I had seen it all, but after this year I definitely haven’t!”
Just like his father, the magnitude of what he has achieved this season is certainly not lost on Fewtrell. The prize of a fully funded test with leading FIA F3 European Championship team Motopark courtesy of British F4 series partner and tyre supplier Hankook, 12 FIA Super Licence Points, as well as his newfound status as FIA British Formula 4 Champion are sure to propel him up the FIA single-seater pyramid.
“This is such a great championship to make the transition from karting to racing cars,” said Fewtrell. “Taking the title will increase my profile and will hopefully make more people take an interest in me. It opens doors which can usually be quite hard to open.
“I just want to enjoy this incredible feeling. There’s some hard work ahead for next year, but hopefully plenty more success too.”
Source: fiaformula4.com, 12/10/2016