Home Formula 4French F4 “To escape a crash like that with no damage, I’m very fortunate” – Foster

“To escape a crash like that with no damage, I’m very fortunate” – Foster

by Ida Wood

Photo: Ida Wood

Kevin Foster started from pole for French Formula 4’s first race in Pau, but within seven corners his victory hopes were up.

The FEED Racing France scholar noticed some details en route to the grid that gave him an inkling lap one may be harder than expected, and after losing his lead he spun at the downhill Foch chicane.

Remarkably Foster emerged sans damage as 24 cars threaded past him at one of the tightest parts of the street circuit. He then went on to make several overtakes to recover to 17th.

“I think it all started to go downhill once the lights went out on the start,” he told Formula Scout.

“When we rolled up for the formation lap and I saw there was bumps on the pole side for the starting grid, I knew it was going to be a difficult start. I don’t know what it was, just by the time I looked in my mirrors Evan [Giltaire] was alongside me and I had to give him the space into turns one and two.

“Obviously because of the regulations we can’t overtake into turns three and four, so I just stuck behind him and then followed him through the next long right-hander. And I don’t know, something got away from me in the car and it just pendulumed back on me and I wasn’t able to catch it in time.”

Giltaire went aggressively over the Foch kerbs, almost losing control, while the rear of Foster’s car was already swinging out on corner entry and left him backwards by the barriers.

“I should consider myself lucky, because we could have taken half a side of the car right off by hitting the wall. But no damage.

“There was the nosecone, but that was later in the race when I was trying to make a move. Got a little bit close to someone, and tagged them on the rear. But to escape a crash like that with no damage, I’m very fortunate. My mistake could have been punished a lot harder, we could have been not starting race two.

“I think I made three passes after. It’s difficult to overtake here but I needed to prove to myself it could be done.

“Typically I’m pretty good starts. I look back at my previous starts, and I’m able to consistently jump one or two cars. So for me to get a shit start like that, it’s a little bit frustrating, and I think that’s where I lost the race.

“Had I been in front, I wouldn’t have pushed as hard, and would’ve been able to back up the field a little bit more on lap one and get some good tyre preparation.

“I feel like one lap around here is probably not enough for tyre warm-up. Mainly because there’s no straight for braking [to get] temperature into the tyres. All the turns are pretty short, and the turns that you can try to build some speed it’s not quite enough for one lap.”