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British F4 debutant Slater: “To be already challenging for wins is great”

by Ida Wood

Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Ginetta Junior dominator Freddie Slater made his single-seater racing debut two weekends ago in British Formula 4 at Donington Park, and was one of the stars of the event.

He was seventh in practice, then just 0.171 seconds off pole in qualifying as he went third fastest. In race one he converted that into a fourth place finish, came from 20th on the reversed grid to come fourth again in his next race, then battled for the lead in the weekend’s final race but then went off, picked up damage and finished 15th with fastest lap.

Slater made his debut with Double R Racing, a team that has not been active in the championship since 2019, and he had to make his introductions with the team via Zoom prior to the weekend. He was also the team’s only driver at Donington.

“It was really good having the full attention of the whole team to just myself and build a relationship with mechanics and engineers and the boss Boyo [Anthony Hieatt],” Slater told Formula Scout. “Double R did a mega job to be on the pace quickly and put a great car underneath me so I could extract the most out of myself.

“To be honest Ginetta was a little helpful with knowing where to go [around Donington] but was new learning on Thursday morning [practice] so had to work hard and fast to be on the pace quickly.

“I think we got close to the maximum in sector one and two on Thursday night but really struggling in sector three, we managed to quickly improve in quali and make a big jump and then make another jump in the final race to get fastest lap.”

Slater described the racing as “very good”, having stepped up from a series famed for its constant wheel-to-wheel battles, but admitted “dirty air is hard to manage” when following in a single-seater.

“But I think we coped quite well, it’s all about the first three laps and that’s the thing I learned most,” he said.

“I was happy with the results but I know more was available, should of been a podium in race one but a mistake on my side cost me that and [the final race] for me I made a slight misjudgement and cost me the win, so to be already challenging for wins is great but the win was there because I had the pace which I showed with the fastest lap.”

So when will Slater next be in an F4 car? “You will see me at Brands Hatch for the last round of the British F4 championship [on October 7/8] with Double R,” he revealed.