JAKE HUGHES EXCELS IN F3 TEST
BRDC F4 Champion Jake Hughes produced a stunning performance in his maiden outing in an F3 car at Valencia on Tuesday 17 December, the Carlin test being part of his prize for winning the 2013 BRDC F4 Championship.
The 19-year-old McLaren Autosport BRDC Award finalist enjoyed four one hour sessions at the wheel of the Dallara F308 machine, completing over 90 laps and setting a best time of 1m26.637 seconds on his penultimate lap of the day. Impressively, his time was around half a second quicker than Carlos Sainz Jr's best lap in similar machinery at the circuit, and quicker than the three most recent pole position times set at the same circuit during F3 Euroseries rounds.
"That was one of the best experiences of my life, the car is unbelievable" Jake exclaimed afterwards.
"I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive beforehand having not driven an F3 car before, but once I was in the car it felt like business as usual. Out of the box I didn't feel too intimidated and I could just focus on my driving and getting used to the car.
"The car was awesome, and pulling 3.5G into the first corner was an interesting experience to say the least! I managed to build up my speed well throughout the day and set my quickest time right at the end. I'm not far off the ultimate pace already and I think I would be able to get a few more tenths off my time if I were to have another go.
"I've learned so much from the experience and feel I'm a better driver for it already. Carlin are one of the biggest single seater teams in Europe and I'm so appreciative for their help and efforts, I can't thank them enough. Hopefully I can take this experience and what I've learned today into 2014."
Carlin Team Principal Trevor Carlin was delighted with Jake's' progress: "Jake did a great job today. We did some brake training in the factory before the test which I think helped him and after using his first run to familiarise himself with the car this morning, we put some better tyres on and Jake responded well to that. Throughout the day he did everything he was told and accepted any advice to go quicker and quicker and asked the right questions at the right time. He found some more time at the end of the day and pulled everything he'd learnt together. It was a pleasure to have him in the car today and I think he can be proud of his performance."
For more information on the BRDC F4 Championship, visit www.formula4.com.