Freddie Slater has already made a big impact just a few days into his single-seater racing career, but he is cautious not to rock the boat too much.
The dominator of this year’s Ginetta Junior season moved into open-wheel cars last month, joining Double R Racing for a British Formula 4 cameo at Donington Park where he was 0.171 seconds off pole then picked up two fourth places and a fastest lap.
Having fought for a win there, Slater committed to also contesting the British F4 finale at Brands Hatch next month and then this week it was announced he would make another F4 outing: joining Prema in the second ever Euro 4 round at Monza.
That began yesterday and Slater was fifth fastest in practice, 0.266s off the pace, then this morning he claimed pole for his debut race as he went fastest in the first qualifying session by 0.117s. He followed that up with third place in Q2.
“It’s been a good test day yesterday and we put all of it together. Then just managing the track position, because everyone has their different plan in each team so we just had to manage that,” explained Slater afterwards.
“It was pretty good [in Q1]. Didn’t put all the sectors together, but the slipstream was perfect and that’s the main thing.”
He added: “Get a good track position, managed to put it on pole so obviously buzzing about that. Like first race in Euro 4. And then the second quali, just didn’t quite have the track position but I think I drove a little bit better. So I think we’ve definitely got pace and we’ll see what happens in the racing.”
Regarding how he will approach leading the 30-car field down into turn one at Monza later today, Slater said “I’m not here to annoy anyone; I don’t want to make enemies on purpose and do something stupid”.
Following the race on Saturday afternoon are two races on Sunday, which Slater provisionally starts from third and second respectively.
The change to his race license that has enabled Slater’s move up to F4 meant he missed the most recent Ginetta Junior round at Brands Hatch, and he was crowned champion while absent, and also means he misses the season finale on October 21/22. That is the same weekend as the third and final Euro 4 round at Barcelona.