Oscar Piastri fastest at Rockingham Test

March 22, 2017

British F4

Yesterday provided the final opportunity for British F4 drivers and teams to prepare ahead of the 2017 season which kicks off at Brands Hatch next weekend. The location would be Rockingham where the championship will visit later in the year for the eighth weekend of the year.

Present for Arden Motorsport were, Ayrton Simmons, Oscar Piastri, Alex Quinn and Olli Caldwell. The Rockingham circuit provides quite a unique challenge with the drivers using a quarter of the oval before using the infield which creates one of the longest laps on the calendar.

In the very closely contested morning session it was Piastri who emerged fastest with a time of 1:18.939 seconds completing 59 laps in the process. Three places and back and completing a similar distance were Quinn and Simmons respectively who both completed over 50 laps. Both were just over two tenths off Piastri and were looking very competitive.

Completing the most number of laps was Caldwell. The Challenge Cup racer managed to put in over 70 laps in the morning and was within a second of Piastri. He would have also been satisfied to be in the top ten.

Moving into the afternoon session several disruptions meant most drivers completed less laps than they did in the morning, but despite this Piastri was able to go quicker than he did in the morning setting a time of 1:18.817 which was good enough to leave him fastest by the end of his 39 laps.

Simmons and Quinn were once again hard to separate although it was Ayrton Simmons who was this time quicker. The Arden pair were 4th and 5th by the end of the session just three tenths back from Piastri.

Caldwell had problems throughout the session which meant he had only done 8 laps with 30 minutes to go. But when he was able to get out he looked impressive over his remaining 21 laps and was well within a second of Piastri finishing 9th overall.

Piastri continued Arden’s run at the top with Alex Quinn dominating recent tests. Next weekend the drivers will be doing it for real at Brands Hatch bar Olli Caldwell. Olli does not turn 15 until the Croft round in June so will not be racing in the championship until then, but that said he will take part in any tests.

Although he does not race with Arden, Young Racing Driver Academy member Jamie Sharp was also testing with his team Sharp Motorsport. Jamie made a significant step forward at the Rockingham test in terms of pace. The morning session saw him finish 8th and he was just half a second back from Piastri.

In the afternoon Jamie wasn’t quite as quick as he was a second back from Piastri, but he still finished 10th place and complete a total of 36 laps just three less than Oscar. It was a vital step needed ahead of the season opener next weekend.

Results:

Morning Session

1st Oscar Piastri – 1:18.939
5th Alex Quinn – 1:19.276
6th Aryton Simmons – 1:19.311
8th Jamie Sharp – 1:19.593
10th Olli Caldwell – 1:19.856

Afternoon Session

1st Oscar Piastri – 1:18.817
4th Ayrton Simmons – 1:19.143
5th Alex Quinn – 1:19.147
9th Olli Caldwell – 1:19.677
10th Jamie Sharp – 1:20.030

Combined Classification

1st Oscar Piastri
5th Ayrton Simmons
6th Alex Quinn
10th Jamie Sharp 1
1th Olli Caldwell