The newest addition to the British F4 winners’ club recorded his quickest time in the morning session. Having featured towards the sharp end of the times throughout, he saved his best until late to split Linus Lundqvist and Jamie Caroline at the top of the times. Oscar recorded a lap of 1m 21.243s which was just 0.255s shy of P1.
The Aussie maintained his strong pace throughout free practice to post the fourth quickest time of the afternoon, behind team-mate Ayrton Simmons who had an excellent showing. A lap time of 1m 21.462s putting him third fastest and less than two tenths adrift of the afternoon’s best. His time was ultimately good enough for fifth overall. The 16-year-old bounced back from a tricky morning when he was forced to join the on-track party later than the rest of the field due to a technical problem.
Alex Quinn was consistently in the top 10. His morning time of 1m 21.591s was just a few tenths slower than Piastri and earned him sixth fastest overall, having been one of only two men to break the 1m 22s barrier and feature as high as second in the first half of the morning session.
Like Oscar and Alex, Olli Caldwell recorded his best time of the day in the morning. A 1m 21.763s put him ninth fastest heading into the lunchbreak. A time that proved good enough for 11th overall.
Olli will become the youngest driver to race in British F4 on Sunday, as he turns 15-years-old and therefore becomes eligible to compete on the same day. However, it means he will have to wait patiently trackside during qualifying and the opening race of the weekend tomorrow.
Official qualifying is scheduled for 10:50 and the first of the weekend’s races is set to follow at 14:45. Races two and three of the weekend will take place on Sunday at 13:22 and 17:40 respectively, with the former televised live on ITV4.
Oscar Piastri: “The first session was pretty good. In the second session we went out on new tyres too early. When my tyres began to go off, others started improving so I think there’s more time to come. There are a couple or areas I need to work on, namely sector two where there is definitely time to find. I’m happy with my pace on old tyres and we definitely know we have the pace to do well tomorrow."
Ayrton Simmons: “We had a technical problem which meant I lost out on track time in FP1. The guys did brilliantly solve it so quickly so huge thanks to TRS Arden. By the time I got out on track and had got my tyres into their operating window, I only had six laps in which I could push. It was a lot less than everyone else and that’s why I wasn’t higher up the order in the morning. However, we tested at this track two weeks ago so we knew what direction to go in with the setup. That definitely showed in the afternoon when I was able to show more of my true pace. The car felt really good.”
Alex Quinn: “Something just didn’t feel quite right with the car today so we need to have a look into what’s going on with it. My pace isn’t as good when we tested here a couple of weeks ago. I’m sure we can get on top of things. We always do. My pace on old tyres wasn’t too bad, but what was proving harder was extracting the pace from new tyres. We’ll by ok by the time we get to qualifying because we have got plenty of data to work with to produce a setup so that really suits me.”
Olli Caldwell: “First practice went well. My engineer and I were happy with the results, but we knew there was a bit of time to find. The second session didn’t quite go as we wanted, but it’s nothing we cannot overcome. There were a combination of factors at play; I’m still learning the track, we went too early on the new tyres in the afternoon and also got traffic. My aim is to score points in my first races on Sunday. Based on today I think that’s a realistic target.”