Home Formula 4British F4 Mercedes-AMG F1 junior Yuanpu Cui tops British F4’s Brands Hatch test

Mercedes-AMG F1 junior Yuanpu Cui tops British F4’s Brands Hatch test

by Ida Wood

Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 junior Yuanpu Cui was fastest in British Formula 4’s test day on Brands Hatch’s Indy layout.

The day was split into a three-hour morning session and a three-and-a-half-hour afternoon session, and attracted 18 drivers.

In total 11 of them spent time on top in the morning, with JHR Developments’ Ella Lloyd laying down the first benchmark: a 58.158s.

Chris Dittmann Racing’s Bart Harrison lowered the pace to 57.242s just 20 seconds later, then half a minute later Lloyd set a 55.654s.

Hitech GP’s Deagen Fairclough was next to the top, setting a 53.900s and then improving by 0.04s. Lloyd reclaimed first place with a 53.785s, and on her next lap made a big improvement to 52.798s.

Rodin Motorsport was the team to beat for the next 38 minutes, with Jack Sherwood lowering the pace five times at first. He led the way with a 50.690s when team-mate James Higgins finally beat him with a 50.434s, and although Sherwood improved two minutes later to 50.056s he was soon back in second as Higgins lowered the pace on four consecutive laps.

Higgins’ 49.113s benchmark stood for eight minutes before Virtuosi Racing’s Martin Molnar clipped 0.005s off it, then Argenti Motorsport’s Rowan Campbell-Pilling became the first driver to lap sub-49s by posting a 48.922s.

Approaching the end of the first hour he was knocked off top spot by Fortec Motorsports’ Kai Daryanani, who after setting a 48.908s improved a further nine times to 45.955s.

There was still further room for improvement, and JHR’s Joel Bergstrom went 0.02s faster than Daryanani. He responded immediately with a 45.831s, which kept him on top for another 24 minutes before Bergstrom0 set a 45.565s.

The next name to top the times was Hitech’s Reza Seewooruthun, who lowered the pace by 0.034s. Argenti’s Cui then went 0.145s faster, but could not improve again until 27 laps later. By that point Bergstrom had returned to the top, setting a 45.306s and then a 45.241s.

With 21 minutes remaining, Cui returned to the top with a 45.149s lap that would go unbeaten.

Argenti’s Emily Cotty was the surprise pacesetter at first in the afternoon, then Lloyd brought the pace down to 45.672s before striking trouble that restricted her running.

Cui then went fastest and improved four further times until he reached 45.233s. That effort kept him on top for 13 minutes, then Fairclough went on a run of fastest laps and set a personal best 45.077s. That was not bettered for one hour-and-23 minutes, with eventually Cui knocking him off top spot again with a 45.057s.

Fairclough set plenty more laps but could not find more pace until 20 minutes laer when he went fastest by 0.011s. This time he sat in first place for 48 minutes before Cui once again went better with the first sub-45s lap of the test and then a 44.835s effort immediately after.

The only drivers not to improve on their morning pace were Bergstrom, Chloe Chong and Maxwell Dodds.

Test results

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Yuanpu Cui Argenti Motorsport 44.835s 166
2 Deagen Fairclough Hitech GP 45.046s +0.211s 106
3 James Higgins Rodin Motorsport 45.054s +0.219s 134
4 Mika Abrahams Hitech GP 45.125s +0.290s 52
5 Rown Campbell-Pilling Argenti Motorsport 45.130s +0.295s 167
6 Jack Sherwood Rodin Motorsport 45.146s +0.311s 147
7 Kai Daryanani Fortec Motorsports 45.147s +0.312s 145
8 Reza Seewooruthun Hitech GP 45.212s +0.377s 112
9 Joel Bergstrom JHR Developments 45.241s +0.406s 131
10 Nina Pothof Fortec Motorsports 45.319s +0.484s 190
11 Martin Molnar Virtuosi Racing 45.339s +0.504s 140
12 Alex Ninovic Rodin Motorsport 45.365s +0.530s 154
13 Chloe Chong JHR Developments 45.452s +0.617s 102
14 Bart Harrison Chris Dittmann Racing 45.532s +0.697s 116
15 Ella Lloyd JHR Developments 45.665s +0.830s 63
16 Maxwell Dodds Virtuosi Racing 45.678s +0.843s 152
17 Yuhao Fu Virtuosi Racing 46.008s +1.170s 113
18 Emily Cotty Argenti Motorsport 46.948s +2.113s 161