Home Formula 4Indian F4 MP Motorsport signs deal to run all cars in new Indian F4 championship

MP Motorsport signs deal to run all cars in new Indian F4 championship

by Ida Wood

Photo: Mygale

Dutch team MP Motorsport has been contracted to run all of the cars in the upcoming inaugural season of the Indian Formula 4 championship.

MP won both the driver and teams titles in Formula 2 last year, and is active in F4 in the Spanish and UAE championships. It previously also raced in the North European Zone’s F4 series.

Indian F4 was formally launched in August 2021 by Indian sportscar racer Aditya Patel, who created the city franchise-based X1 Racing League in 2019.

The inaugural season of Indian F4 was supposed to get underway in 2022, and use the same second-generation Tatuus car and Autotecnica-built engine that several other series were adopting that year. Prema was chosen to run the 12-car grid.

A follow-up announcement and demo that month revealed the layout of India’s new Hyderabad street circuit, which later found use in Formula E in a revised form.

Prema had the India-bound F4 chassis in its factory in Italy in September 2021, but they never headed out to Asia as the seaon was postponed at the beginning of 2022 from a February to a November start date.

But come November there was no racing, and instead an announcement that the inaugural season would be cancelled.

The next update came in March 2023, with confirmation that there will be a five-round, 15-race season starting this October and the series would now follow French F4 in using Mygale’s second-generation M21-F4 car and 1.3-litre turbocharged Renault engines.

Two-and-a-half months on, it has now been announced that MP will take over from Prema in running those cars on a multi-year deal. Neither team has experience of the Mygale, as French F4’s grid is centrally run by the FFSA Academy.

“MP is no stranger to Indian motorsport or Indian drivers,” said MP’s team principal Sander Dorsman.

“Our partnership in this year’s Formula Regional Middle East Championship with Hyderabad Blackbirds proved to be a success, and we have recently worked with some of India’s most promising drivers, like currently with Jehan Daruvala in FIA F2.

“Our expertise and experience of participating in championships around the world and some of the best technical personnel outside of Formula 1 gives us an advantage in delivering [Indian F4 promoter] RPPL’s vision of a sustainable yet affordable motorsport eco-system in India.”

It has ben confirmed the series will continue with its plan to have a 12-car grid and to be open to international drivers. A season in the series is expected to cost a driver €115,000 (£98,065).

The championship is made up of five rounds, with each round having three races, one qualifying and one thirty-minute practice session included in the participation cost. The championship will race at the Madras International Circuit, the Buddh International Circuit and possibly one street track which will be announced in due course. The five rounds will be run from late October to mid-December 2023. A confirmed calendar is to be announced before the 30th of July.

The championship is eligible for FIA Super License points. F4IC will operate as a support championship for IRL. The overall winner of the championship will be offered a full scholarship to participate in the 2024 Indian Formula Regional championship.

Also in the works from the same promoter is a Formula Regional Indian Championship, which has followed the same timeline as Indian F4 from its announcement through to the cancellation of its inaugural season. The plan now is to have that series begin in 2024.