Carlin’s Zane Maloney has brilliantly secured the 2019 FIA British Formula 4 Championship after the fight for the title went down to the wire on Sunday. The 15-year-old endured a close battle this weekend as he and his nearest championship rival fought right until the final race which Maloney emphatically won having started fourth on the grid. The amazing achievement also sees Carlin continue their winning record in the series having secured the championship victory in every season in which they have entered (2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019.)
With the pressure piled on going into the weekend Maloney had it all to do and everything to gain. After qualifying, two races on Saturday, and an overturned steward’s decision elevating championship rival Sebastián Álvarez to a five-point advantage, it eventually went down to the final race of the season.
Lining up fourth on the grid on Sunday afternoon, Maloney knew that he had to outscore Álvarez around the Brands Hatch GP circuit in order to clinch the title. Getting off the line well, the Barbados-born driver was immediately up to second position and pushing hard to take the lead of the race which would see him secure him the title. Pulling a brave move on wet tyres in damp conditions, Maloney swept by Louis Foster for the lead and the title crown. However, it was heartbreak for Álvarez who retired from the race with a mechanical failure – Maloney, meanwhile, had done enough regardless and crossed the flag to huge cheers to take the title in his rookie year.
Maloney reflected on his championship-winning season, “I’m really pleased with how that went! We did the best job possible and we came out with the best position possible. It’s just an amazing feeling really!
“I was running in second in the final race and I knew I was going to win the championship because unfortunately Alverez had a problem with the engine. I wouldn’t like that to happen to me, but it happens in motorsport and I’m sure he’ll come back stronger. But I was in second and I wanted to win and take the championship, I didn’t want to come second and win it. So, I pushed my heart out to get past Louis [Foster]. It was a bit of a risky move, but we’ve done it and now it’s time to celebrate!
“Rating my season, I would say it’s been a seven out of ten. I think because it’s my first ever season in cars I didn’t know what to expect. I made a couple of mistakes and there were a couple of things out of my control that happened as well. But to end off this season with the championship and a win just tops it off. So overall an amazing season, but there’s still a lot to work on and I can still be a better driver too. I just mainly want to say thank you to everyone at Carlin, and Kokoro, and everyone who has supported me this year. “
Team Principal Trevor Carlin said, “I am Immensely proud of Zane and the team for showing patience and true fighting spirit to the very end.
“This win is right up there with the very best. This year was particularly challenging as were essentially a one-car team for most of it. Zane and the team really had to stick together and trust each other that we were doing the right thing with no comparative data. It would have been very easy for us to have got lost and not delivered the final result.”
In the four seasons that Carlin has entered the highly competitive F4 British Championship they have won each championship. In 2015 with Lando Norris, 2016 with Max Fewtrell and 2017 with Jamie Caroline. The team took a year out before returning and continuing their winning ways in 2019 with Maloney.