Home Formula 4British F4 Mercedes protege Yuanpu Cui tops another British F4 test

Mercedes protege Yuanpu Cui tops another British F4 test

by Ida Wood

Photo: Knockhill

Argenti Motorsport’s Yuanpu Cui topped the times in British Formula 4’s pre-season test day on Silverstone’s National layout.

The Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 junior was also fastest in last month’s test on Brands Hatch’s Indy layout, showing quick adaptation to the shortest tracks on British F4’s schedule.

His team-mate Rowan Campbell-Pilling laid down the first benchmark in the Silverstone test’s morning session, but his 1m07.467s was far from a representative pace on the 1.64-mile track.

Rodin Motorsport’s James Higgins was first into the 1m06s and then 1m04s, with JHR Developments’ Ella Lloyd setting a 1m03.829s nine minutes in.

Higgins soon returned to the top and lowered the pace to 1m01.993s. He was eventually usurped by Hitech GP’s Deagen Fairclough, who set a 1m01.927s, but Higgins immediately responded with a 1m01.671s.

It was not until almost 90 minutes in that a sub-1m01s lap was achieved, with Fortec Motorsports’ Kai Daryanani pulling it off as he lowered the pace four times.

Approaching the end of the second hour the one-minute barrier was broken by Fairclough, with Rodin’s Alex Ninovic and then Hitech’s Reza Seewooruthun finding even more pace. But Fairclough was first to lap sub-59s.

JHR’s Joel Bergstrom then spent a few minutes on top, before Lloyd bettered him and set a 57.496s. Bergstrom was able to improve, setting a 56.907s, but then Lloyd lowered the pace twice more.

The gains in pace were now getting smaller, and there were eight changes at the top before Rodin’s Jack Sherwood reached the next landmark with a 55.939s set with three minutes to go. After that, Fairclough and Seewooruthun were able to make multiple improvements to end the session one-two. Fairclough set a 55.557s, going fastest by 0.206s over his team-mate and by 0.233s over Cui. Four of the 21 drivers failed to set any sub-60s laps.

Only three drivers occupied first place during the afternoon session, which lasted three-and-a-half hours, and Campbell-Pilling – slowest in the earlier session – was first to the top.

Cui demoted him to second place 22 minutes in with a 55.226s, beating a 55.412s that Campbell-Pilling had just set. He reponded with a 55.147s, but Cui then set a 55.112s before becoming the first driver to lap sub-55s.

The pace was lowered 12 more times after that, four times by Fairclough and eight times by Ciu, and with 58 minutes to go Cui set an unbeatable 54.052s

Campbell-Pilling and Higgins went joint second fastest, 0.057s slower than Cui, and Fairclough was a tenth of a second behind in fourth and 0.004s ahead of Rodin’s Abbi Pulling. The top 20 were covered by 0.767s.

Test results

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Yuanpu Cui Argenti Motorsport 54.052s 113
2 Rowan Campbell-Pilling Argenti Motorsport 54.109s +0.057s 90
3 James Higgins Rodin Motorsport 54.109s +0.057s 116
4 Deagen Fairclough Hitech GP 54.152s +0.100s 102
5 Abbi Pulling Rodin Motorsport 54.156s +0.104s 126
6 Kai Daryanani Fortec Motorsports 54.191s +0.139s 132
7 Bart Harrison Chris Dittmann Racing 54.305s +0.253s 122
8 Alex Ninovic Rodin Motorsport 54.319s +0.267s 117
9 Maxwell Dodds Virtuosi Racing 54.320s +0.268s 118
10 Ella Lloyd JHR Developments 54.443s +0.391s 120
11 Joel Bergstrom JHR Developments 54.477s +0.425s 114
12 Alex Berg Fortec Motorsports 54.526s +0.474s 120
13 Chloe Chong JHR Developments 54.526s +0.474s 117
14 Reza Seewooruthun Hitech GP 54.567s +0.515s 101
15 Nina Pothof Fortec Motorsports 54.571s +0.519s 109
16 Jack Sherwood Rodin Motorsport 54.579s +0.527s 99
17 Mika Abrahams Hitech GP 54.594s +0.542s 103
18 Martin Molnar Virtuosi Racing 54.751s +0.699s 111
19 Leo Robinson JHR Developments 54.756s +0.704s 64
20 Yuhao Fu Virtuosi Racing 54.819s +0.767s 102
21 Emily Cotty Argenti Motorsport 55.924s +1.872s 117