Home Featured The most successful drivers in Formula 4 history

The most successful drivers in Formula 4 history

by Ida Wood

Photo: F4 NEZ

F4 turns a decade old this week, and the entry-level winged category already has close to 600 race winners. But there have also been years in some series where a single driver has dominated, even with reversed grids

Italian Formula 4 was the very first championship to run to FIA F4 regulations in 2014, and soon there were others that were not only being launched in very different parts of the world but also featuring different chassis, engine and tyre suppliers. Unlike modern-day Formula 2 and Formula 3, F4 is an actual single-seater formula.

Countries with few car racing circuits were able to launch their own championships, but they tended to have short calendars, while British F4 has made a 30-race schedule its norm and F4 South East Asia had a history of packing six or even seven races into its rounds. That meant drivers had far more opportunities to win than in other F4 championships.

Some F4 paddocks feature Formula 1 juniors and teams that also compete in F2 and F3, while others have a mix of professional and amateur teams that are running a combination of highly-rated karting graduates but also total newcomers to motorsport. That’s a combination that can lend itself to one driver or team dominating, which is far harder to do in the ultra-competitive paddocks in Italy and the United Arab Emirates in particular.

Here’s a rundown of the most successful drivers from the first decade of contemporary F4 competition:

30. Kas Haverkort NETHERLANDS
13 wins, 12 poles and 17 podiums in 21 races   Post-F4: currently 5th in 2024 Porsche Supercup and 11th in 2024 Porsche Carrera Cup Germany, 4th in 2023 FRegional Europe

29. Casper Tobias Hansen DENMARK
13 wins, 4 poles and 18 podiums in 24 races

Photo: Spanish F4

28. Nikola Tsolov BULGARIA
13 wins, 15 poles and 18 podiums in 21 races   Post-F4: currently 12th in 2024 FIA F3 Championship, 10th in 2023 Eurocup-3

27. Lirim Zendeli GERMANY
13 wins, 11 poles and 21 podiums in 84 races   Post-F4: currently 4th in 2024 Porsche Carrera Cup Italia and 15th in Porsche Supercup, 17th in 2021 F2, 6th in 2023 USF Pro 2000, 8th in 2020 FIA F3 Championship

26. Moises de la Vara MEXICO
13 wins, 10 poles and 25 podiums in 98 races   Post-F4: 8th in 2019 USF Pro 2000

25. Mac Clark CANADA
13 wins, 12 poles and 26 podiums in 42 races   Post-F4: currently 12th in 2024 USF Pro 2000, 5th in 2023 USF2000

24. Daniel Cao CHINA
13 wins, 5 poles and 28 podiums in 54 races   Post-F4: 3rd in 2019 FRegional Asian Championship

23. Frederik Vesti DENMARK
13 wins, 5 poles and 28 podiums in 62 races   Post-F4: currently 7th in 2024 European LMS, 2023 F2 runner-up, 9th in 2022 F2

22. Jak Crawford USA
13 wins, 8 poles and 33 podiums in 55 races   Post-F4: currently 11th in 2024 F2, 13th in 2023 F2, 3rd in 2021 Euroformula, 7th in 2022 FIA F3 Championship

Photo: F4 UAE

21. James Wharton AUSTRALIA
13 wins, 11 poles and 37 podiums in 96 races   Post-F4: currently 5th in 2024 FRegional Europe, 6th in ’24 FRegional Middle East, currently 22nd in ’24 GB3

20. Luke Browning BRITAIN
13 wins, 10 poles and 37 podiums in 87 races   Post-F4: currently 2nd in 2024 FIA F3 Championship, 2023 Macau GP winner, 2022 GB3 champion

19. Ugo Ugochukwu USA
13 wins, 9 poles and 43 podiums in 87 races   Post-F4: 15th in 2023 Macau GP, currently 2nd in 2024 GB3, 7th in ’24 FRegional Middle East, currently 17th in ’24 FRegional Europe

18. Pedro Juan Moreno COLOMBIA
14 wins, 9 poles and 18 podiums in 21 races

17. Luis Leeds AUSTRALIA
14 wins, 10 poles and 37 podiums in 83 races   Post-F4: 13th in 2017 Toyota Racing Series, 17th in ’17 FR2.0 NEC

16. Jayden Ojeda AUSTRALIA
15 wins, 6 poles and 18 podiums in 24 races   Post-F4: 32nd in 2022 Australian Supercars, 3rd in 2021 Super2

15. Ren Sato JAPAN
15 wins, 10 poles and 25 podiums in 52 races   Post-F4: currently 10th in 2024 Super Formula, 10th in ’23 SF, 12th in ’22 SF, 3rd in 2021 Super Formula Lights

Photo: Spanish F4

14. Dilano van’t Hoff NETHERLANDS
15 wins, 26 poles and 28 podiums in 42 races   Post-F4: 13th in 2022 FRegional Asia, 19th in 2022 FRegional Europe

The late van’t Hoff spent one year in F4, and he was the third-highest placed F4 competitor in Formula Scout’s Top 50 junior single-seater drivers of 2021.

On his debut in F4 UAE he took all three pole positions and won two out of the four races. After that, he scored three more wins (from eight poles) and several podiums to top the standings. However, a difficult last round at Dubai Autodrome with two penalties, two poles but only one podium denied him the title against fellow rookie Enzo Trulli by just a single point.

He bounced back in Spanish F4, which like F4 UAE was not yet as its competitive peak as a championship but definitely on the up, as he took 10 wins, six other podiums and 13 poles from 21 races. Of the 11 races that he didn’t win, only one of those went to one of his MP Motorsport team-mates, which shows the individual brilliance he brought to the grid.

13. Alessandro Ghiretti FRANCE
15 wins, 4 poles and 31 podiums in 62 races   Post-F4: currently 1st in Porsche Carrera Cup France & Carrera Cup Asia and 10th in 2024 Porsche Supercup, 7th in ’23 Porsche Supercup

Ghiretti did two points-free weekends of Italian F4 in 2017, then began the next year by cameoing in the 2017-18 F4 SEA finale and promptly claiming a win and four other podiums. Clearly it was easier to get results in Asia than Europe, so he committed to doing the full 2018 F4 SEA season. That consisted of 24 races on only three different circuits, and he faced very weak opposition. The outcome was 14 wins, four poles out of eight and only three races off the podium.

When he returned home to France he proved his pace was tranferrable, as he claimed two podiums at Jerez on his debut weekend. But his average finishing position from six races was 8.67. There was still a need to prove himself to some, and for 2019 he became a Sauber junior and raced in the talent-stacked ADAC F4. He could only get three podiums from 20 races.


12. Joey Mawson AUSTRALIA
15 wins, 8 poles and 35 podiums in 48 races   Post-F4: 13th in 2017 FIA European F3, 13th in 2018 GP3, 11th in 2019 Porsche Supercup

It may look like Mawson did three years in F4, but his rookie year of car racing in French F4 was actually when the championship was still run for Formula Renault 1.6 cars. That campaign featured three wins, but doesn’t count here.

Instead its his two seasons in ADAC F4 that make up his F4 career, and in his first he won five times but only took one pole. Clearly qualifying was something he needed to work on, and straight out of the box in his sophomore campaign he proved he had with two poles that were both turned into wins. Racing was still his strong suit, as while he did turn first on the grid into first at the finish five more times, he also took three wins from ninth, 11th and second on the grid.

11. Hadrien David FRANCE
16 wins, 16 poles and 24 podiums in 42 races   Post-F4: 2021 FRegional Europe runner-up

In slightly similar fashion, David started his sucess-filled year with an F4 SEA cameo. He took three wins and two poles from a four-race weekend at Sepang, then headed home to race in the centrally-run French F4. With competitors all in equal machinery it came down to individual brilliance, and David had enough of that as he won seven races and finished seven others on the podium to take the title by 47.5 points. But 2019 was not one of French F4’s more competitive years.

Another F4 SEA outing led to three more wins and two more poles, and he also did two ADAC F4 rounds to put himself against the toughest opposition. He made the top 10 three times, with a best finish of seventh.

Four years later, David added another three wins to his F4 CV by returning to Sepang and dominating against young drivers.

Photos: Jakob Ebrey Photography

10. Alex Dunne IRELAND
16 wins, 16 poles and 36 podiums in 86 races   Post-F4: currently 20th in 2024 FIA F3 Championship, 2nd in 2023 GB3

Dunne dabbled in ADAC and Spanish F4 as a rookie, claiming pole and finishing third on his debut in the latter then in his outings in the German championship taking two poles and finishing second twice. Clearly racing full-time would make it easier to attain strong results, so for 2022 he attempted to do that in three different championships.

He started with F4 UAE, where two wins put him sixth in the standings. Next was British F4, where his experience counted against rookie opposition and he netted 11 wins. The title was wrapped up early, meaning he could miss the season finale.

That was critical because it clashed with the penultimate round of Italian F4, where he had already won three races and was in title contention. Dunne finished three of the Italian championship’s last five races in second place, but was thoroughly trumped in the title fight by a driver further down this countdown.

9. Jonathan Aberdein SOUTH AFRICA
17 wins, 12 poles and 19 podiums in 66 races   Post-F4: 2nd in 2021 European Le Mans Series, 10th in 2019 DTM

In two ADAC F4 seasons, Aberdein was only able to make the podium four times and he came ninth in the 2017 standings.

But in F4 UAE, where there were two future F1 drivers on the grid but only five full-time entrants, he was a winning machine. After being victorious in all three races at the trophy event in October 2016, he then won 14 races out of 18 in the 2016-17 season and was unbeaten in qualifying. Motopark team-mate Logan Sargeant finished second to him 15 times.


Photo: F4 Spain

8. Christian Lundgaard DENMARK
17 wins, 14 poles and 32 podiums in 44 races   Post-F4: currently 11th in 2024 IndyCar, 8th in ’23 IndyCar, 14th in ’22 InyCar

Although the wider opposition may have been week in the North European Zone and Spanish championships in 2017, Lundgaard did at least face a proper challenge in both from MP team-mate Bent Viscaal who won nine races. But Lundgaard won 10 in F4 NEZ alone, and a further seven in Spanish F4, and had a title-winning margin of more than 60 points in both championships. In a Danish F4 cameo he also took a podium and two fastest laps.

Lundgaard and Viscaal may have been flattered by the standard of the rest of their rivals, but it’s no surprise the former now races in IndyCar as in his rookie seasons he rose to the standard needed to be a race-winner in FRenault 2.0, FIA F3 and F2.

7. Kacper Sztuka POLAND
18 wins, 16 poles and 28 podiums in 81 races   Post-F4: currently 19th in 2024 FIA F3 Championship

It took three years for Sztuka to rise to the top in F4, but he did so in the category’s most competitive championship and also by single-handedly taking the fight to Prema as a US Racing driver.

He came a points-free 36th in his rookie Italian F4 campaign, improved to seventh in year two with two wins and two other podiums, then last year started the season with a win but then only got two podiums in the 11 races that followed and was 113.5 points off the championship lead with three rounds to go. Remarkably he then went unbeaten at Paul Ricard and Mugello to move to the top of the points table, and at Vallelunga finished things off with a third and two more wins.

In addition to that magnificent comeback he did six Formula Winter Series races and six in Euro 4. He became FWS champion with five wins, a second place and four poles (with 0.767 seconds making the difference in not having an unbeaten campaign), while in Euro 4 he took two wins, two other podiums and three poles.

Photo: Campos Racing

6. Hugh Barter AUSTRALIA
18 wins, 11 poles and 35 podiums in 62 races   Post-F4: 19th in 2023 FIA F3 Championship

Barter does not have an F4 title to his name, but he was French F4 runner-up as a rookie and the year after repeated that feat while also coming second in the Spanish F4 standings.

It was not necessarily his two wins or consistency that gave him such a high championship placing when he first entered French F4 in 2021, but he scored strongly even when a few places back due to guest drivers racking up wins and podiums. The points in reversed-grid races also got spread out across the field.

In the final championship standings he was 23 points off the top, and the next year that gap grew to 59 despite Barter winning 10 races. This is because he was ineligible to score at Spa-Francorchamps and Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo circuit having already raced there in his parallel Spanish F4 campaign. Given he won twice at both venues, it cost him the title.

As for the Spanish F4 season, Barter won six races (none at Spa or Valencia) but trailed the champion by 113 points.

5. Ollie Bearman BRITAIN
19 wins, 13 poles and 31 podiums in 68 races   Post-F4: currently 12th in 2024 F1 & 13th in 2024 F2, 6th in 2023 F2, 3rd in 2022 FIA F3 Championship

A year of learning with US Racing was followed by a year of domination with Van Amersfoort Racing, and most impressively the feat of being the first driver to be champion of both ADAC and Italian F4.

There was one win in each championship in his rookie year, then he came eighth in Formula Scout’s Top 50 drivers of 2021 as he romped to 10 wins in Italy, three in Austria, two in the Netherlands and two in Germany.

Photo: ACI Sport

4. Dennis Hauger NORWAY
22 wins, 16 poles and 36 podiums in 71 races   Post-F4: currently 3rd in 2024 F2, 8th in 2023 F2, 2021 FIA F3 champion, 2023 Macau GP runner-up

Hauger was already a Red Bull junior before he made his F4 debut, which put additional pressure on the Norwegian. Initially he trailed his Arden team-mates in British F4, but a mid-season run of form put him ahead even though his results tailed off again in the last rounds. He still had more to prove, and switched to the European scene to do so.

With VAR, Hauger was able to win six races in ADAC F4, which likely would have been enough for the title had he not failed to score in four of the first six races (with two poles turning into two 14th places), while in Italian F4 his 12 wins made him champion by a colossal 136 points. This was a season in which both championships were stacked with talent.

3. Charles Leong MACAU
25 wins, 11 poles and 33 podiums in 42 races   Post-F4: 4th in 2018 FRegional Asian Championship

In 2017, Leong obliterated the (very weak) opposition in Chinese F4. An 11-win season comfortably made him champion, and while it did launch him up the single-seater ladder his succes very rarely took him out of Asia. So Leong kept returning to Chinese F4 as a guest driver, winning races in 2018, 2020, and ’21.

It didn’t entirely neutralise his career, since the Macau Grand Prix was part of the schedule in the latter two seasons and he became one of only 11 multiple-time winners of the prestigious race. Although Chinese F4 may lack pedigree outside of its Macau trips, there were races at a variety of track types.

Photo: ACI Sport

2. Andrea Kimi Antonelli ITALY
26 wins, 24 poles and 37 podiums in 57 races   Post-F4: currently 6th in 2024 F2, 2023 FRegional Europe & Middle East champion

There was a huge amount of anticipation surrounding Antonelli as he went from karts to cars, and he delivered on it.

After turning 15 in 2021 he did the last three Italian F4 rounds, which resulted in three podiums, and F4 UAE’s F1-supporting non-championship event where he claimed pole and finished third. That only raised the expectations for 2022.

He kicked off that year with two F4 UAE outings, and the first featured a pole, two wins and two other podiums. The second only had one podium, but he still came eighth in the standings despite missing 60% of the season and his scoring rate was strong enough to have made him champion.

ADAC and Italian F4 followed, and he won the title as a part-timer in the former and was champion by over 100 points in the latter. In total there were 20 victories, five other podiums and 23 poles.

The week after wrapping all that up he represented Italy at the Motorsport Games, driving for a team other than Prema for the first time, and in the F4 Cup claimed pole won the qualifying race and then dominated the medal-awarding main race.

1. Richard Verschoor NETHERLANDS
28 wins, 19 poles and 35 podiums in 49 races   Post-F4: currently 14th in 2024 F2, 9th in 2023 F2, 2019 Macau GP winner

Four different championships, three different teams, two titles and just one year in the category.

Verschoor joined MP to contest F4 NEZ and the inaugural Spanish F4 season in 2016, and he had very little opposition in either. Neither had reversed-grid races, which meant in addition to the 19 times he qualified on pole he also got to start another 10 races from first place. On 22 occasions he converted first on the grid into first at the chequered flag.

In F4 NEZ it was only team-mate Jarno Opmeer who posed a challenge, while in Spanish F4 the grid lacked cars as well as quality with only three full-time rivals to Verschoor. He finished second and retired in the only two races there he didn’t win.

Quite rightly he also took to ADAC and Italian F4 to test himelf against more competitive opposition, doing two rounds with Motopark and taking two fifth places in the former and making the podium in a cameo with Bhaitech in the latter. While it is hard to make assumptions from one round, his scoring average in Italy was better than all but the championship’s top three.