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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dome F110 on display in 2014

FIA Formula 4, also called FIA F4, is an open-wheel racing car category intended for junior drivers. There is no global championship, but rather individual nations or regions can host their own championships in compliance with a universal set of rules and specifications.

The category was created in March 2013[1] by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA)—the International sanctioning and administrative body for motorsport—after approval by the World Motor Sport Council as an entry-level category for young drivers, bridging the gap between karting and Formula 3. The series is a part of the FIA Global Pathway. Former Formula One driver Gerhard Berger was appointed as the FIA Single-Seater Commission president to oversee the creation of the category[2] as a response to declining interest in national Formula 3 championships due to rising costs and alternate pathways to Formula One such as the then Formula Renault and GP2 and GP3 Series, which had seen several national Formula 3 championships discontinued. In the place of the expensive categories, a number of separate categories running under the Formula 4 name had been created, for example the British based the former BRDC Formula 4. There was no commonality between the cars from country to country.

Initially, these Formula 4 championships started in 2014 as a single-make category before the regulations were opened up to multiple chassis and engine manufacturers. Each championship uses a single make of engine, with the regulations mandating a 1,600 cc (1.6 L) capacity and capping the maximum power output at 160 bhp (119.3 kW), higher than Formula Ford and lower than Formula Renault. The engines are equalised so that no one Formula 4 championship is faster than the others, with the long-term intention being to bring the cost down to under €100,000 per year to compete.

In practice, costs for competitors considerably exceed this goal; the cost of participating in the 2022 French Formula 4 series (including all equipment) was 118,000, excluding tax.[3] Costs in other F4 championships can be considerably higher, with one estimate of the costs of a realistic attempt at the now-defunct German F4 series championship in excess of 350,000.[4]

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Transcription

Homologated chassis manufacturers

To become eligible for FIA Formula 4, the chassis must meet the FIA homologation requirements respecting technical and commercial regulations. Four chassis manufacturers have been approved by the FIA:[5] Tatuus, Mygale, Dome and Ligier.

Homologated engines

Toyota 3ZR engine for the Japanese championship

To become an eligible FIA Formula 4 engine, the engine must meet the homologation requirements. According to the homologation requirements a FIA Formula 4 engine must last at least 10,000 km and have a maximum purchasing price of €9,500.[6] According to the FIA Formula 4 technical regulations only four cylinder engines are allowed. Both normally aspirated and turbocharged engines are permitted. The power output has been capped at 160 bhp. The engine displacement is unlimited.[7] Currently six engines are homologated for use in the FIA Formula 4.[5]

Manufacturer Abarth Ford Geely Honda Renault TOM's-Toyota
Engine name 1.4L FTJ 1.6L EcoBoost G-Power JLD-4G20 Honda K20C2 2.0L F4R 3ZR
Engine type inline 4 inline 4 inline 4 inline 4 inline 4 inline 4
Displacement 1,400cc 1,600cc 2,000cc 2,000cc 2,000cc 2,000cc
Valvetrain DOHC CVVT DOHC i-VTEC DOHC VVT DOHC VVT DOHC
Engine management Magneti Marelli Life Racing F88GDI4 GEMS Honda GDi80 D[8] Life Racing F88RS
Lubrication Dry sump Dry sump
Cooling Water and air cooler Water and air cooler Water and air cooler
Transmission Sequential Sadev six speed Sequential Sadev six speed Sequential Sadev six speed Sequential Sadev six speed Sequential Sadev six speed Sequential Toda Racing six speed
Fuel Panta Racing Fuel Sunoco

Performance

Formula 4 is the first step out of karting on the FIA Global Pathway, and by design has the least performance of any of the cars in it.

Compared to road-legal supercars, Formula 4 cars are less accelerative and have a much lower top speed of approximately 240 km/h; most modern supercars are capable of in excess of 300 km/h. The F4 cars have far superior braking and cornering capabilities, particularly in high-speed corners where the aerodynamic downforce of the Formula 4 cars has the most effect.[9]

According to official information from the F1 Academy, the Tatuus race car (virtually identical to the one used in some F4 series) has a peak lateral cornering acceleration of about 2.0g,[10] far in excess of a typical (non-sporting) road car which peaks at less than 1g, but considerably less than Formula 3 cars (which peak around 2.5g).

To give some idea of the gap between F4 and F1 performance levels, the fastest qualifying lap for a 2023 F4 round at the Silverstone GP circuit was 2:01.651;[11] the pole lap in the 2023 British Grand Prix in an F1 car was 1:26.720.

However, F4 cars still lap considerably faster than most production-derived racing categories. The F4 pole time is about 2 seconds faster than the Porsche Carrera Cup lap record and about 10 seconds faster than the TCR Touring Car lap record.

Active FIA-sanctioned championships

These championships are held to Formula 4 regulations and approved by the FIA as the national Formula 4 series.[12] Drivers participating in these series can receive FIA Super Licence points, which are required to drive in Formula One. For a series to be eligible for Super Licence points, a season must be held over at least five events at a minimum of three circuits, according to FIA Appendix L.[13]

Years Name Country/Region Chassis Engine Note
2014–present Italian F4 Championship  Italy Tatuus F4-T014 (2014–2021)
Tatuus F4-T421 (2022–present)
Abarth 414TF 1.4L (2014–present) Replaces Formula Abarth
2015–present F4 Japanese Championship  Japan Dome F110 (2014–2023)
Toray Carbon Magic MCS4-24 (2024)
TOM'S-Toyota 2.0L (2015–present) Organised by GT–Association to host the Super GT. There is another JAF Japan Formula 4, organised by Japanese ASN JAF.
F4 British Championship[14]  United Kingdom Mygale M14-F4 (2015–2021)
Tatuus F4-T421 (2022–present)
Ford 1.6L EcoBoost (2015–2021)
Abarth 414TF 1.4L (2022–present)
Replaces the British Formula Ford Championship
F4 Chinese Championship  China Mygale M14-F4 (2015–2023)
Mygale M21-F4 (2024)
Geely G-Power JLD-4G20 (2.0L) (2015–present) Organised by Narcar International Racing Development Co., Ltd. to host the China Formula Grand Prix.
NACAM Formula 4 Championship[15][16]  Mexico Mygale M14-F4 (2015–2023)
Tatuus F4-T421 (2024)
Ford 1.6L EcoBoost (2015–2023)
Abarth 414TF 1.4L (2024)
Newly established series by Mexican ASN — OMDAI.
Formula 4 Australian Championship  Australia Mygale M14-F4 (2015–2019)
Tatuus F4-T421 (2024)
Ford 1.6L EcoBoost (2015–2019)
Abarth 414TF 1.4L (2024)
The inaugural championship, known as the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship, was organised from 2015 to 2019. China-based Top Speed will promote the revived Formula 4 Australian Championship, starting from 2024.
2016–present F4 Spanish Championship  Spain Tatuus F4-T014 (2016–2021)
Tatuus F4-T421 (2022–present)
Abarth 414TF 1.4L (2016–present) Newly established series by Spanish ASN — RFEDA and Koiranen GP.[17]
Formula 4 United States Championship[18]  United States Ligier JS F4 (2016–2023)
Ligier JS F422 (2024)
Honda K20C2 (2.0L) (2016–2023)
Ligier Storm (2024)
Organised by SCCA Pro Racing (Sports Car Club of America) and United States ASN — ACCUS.)
Formula 4 South East Asia Championship  Malaysia
Southeast Asia
Mygale M14-F4 (2016–2019)
Tatuus F4-T421 (2023)
Renault F4R (2.0L) (2016–2019)
Abarth 414TF 1.4L (2023)
The inaugural season was held over 2016 and 2017. The COVID-19 Pandemic put a momentary stop to the championship in 2020, but in 2023, the championship was revived under a new promoter Top Speed Shanghai Ltd .
Formula 4 UAE Championship[19]  United Arab Emirates Tatuus F4-T014 (2016–2021)
Tatuus F4-T421 (2022–present)
Abarth 414TF 1.4L (2016–present) Organised by Automobile & Touring Club of the United Arab Emirates and AUH Motorsports Dubai.
2017–2023 F4 Danish Championship[20]  Denmark Mygale M14-F4 (2017–2023) Renault F4R (2.0L) (2017–2023) Organised by Dansk Automobil Sports Union.
2018–present F4 French Championship[21][22]  France Mygale M14-F4 (2018–2021)
Mygale M21-F4 (2022–present)
Renault F4R (2.0L) (2018–2019)
Renault HR13 (1.3L) (2020–2021)
Alpine (2022–present)
Replaces the previous French F4 Championship which was a Formula Renault 1.6 series. Organised by Fédération Française du Sport Automobile.
2022–present F4 Brazilian Championship[23]  Brazil Tatuus F4-T421 (2022–present) Abarth 414TF 1.4L (2022–present) Organized by Brazilian Auto Racing Confederation and Vicar, the Stock Car Pro Series promotor.
2023–present F4 Indian Championship  India Mygale M21-F4 (2023–present) Alpine 1.3L Turbocharged Engine (2023–present) Supports the Formula Regional Indian Championship and the Indian Racing League.
Formula 4 CEZ Championship[24]  Austria
 Croatia
 Czechia
 Hungary
 Poland
 Slovakia
Tatuus F4-T421 (2023–present) Abarth 414TF 1.4L (2023–present) Organized by the Automobile Club of the Czech Republic and Křenek Motorsport, the ESET V4 Cup Series promotor.
Euro 4 Championship[25]  Europe Tatuus F4-T421 (2023–present) Autotecnica 414TF 1.4L (2023–present) Organized by ACI Sport and WSK Promotions
2024 F4 Saudi Arabian Championship  Saudi Arabia Tatuus F4-T421 (2024) Autotecnica 414TF 1.4L (2024) Centrally run by Meritus.GP.[26]

Other Formula 4 championships

F1 Academy

F1 Academy is an all-female racing series run by Formula One since 2023. Drivers use slightly modified Tatuus F4-T421 chassis with Autotecnica 1.4 litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engines.[27]

Formula Winter Series

The Formula Winter Series is a racing series regulated according to FIA Formula 4 regulations, based in Spain. The series is organised by Gedlich Racing with the approval of the RFEDA.

Formula Academy Finland

Formula Academy Finland is a racing series based in Finland. Its first season was 2018. Formula Academy Finland uses same Tatuus-Abarth FIA Formula 4 car as ADAC Formula 4, Italian Formula 4 Championship and several other series. The series, however, is not approved by the FIA. There are plans to apply for Finnish Championship status for 2019 season. The series is organized by Koiranen GP.[28][29] More recently as of 2020, the series has run alongside older F3 chassis as a part of the Finnish Championship Series' category Formula Open Finland.[30]

Ligier JS4 Series

The Ligier JS4 Series is the developmental series for the Formula 4 United States Championship starting in 2024, utilising the first-generation Ligier JS4 chassis that has been rendered obsolete after the 2023 season. The series champion will win a Formula 4 United States Championship ride for the ensuing season.[31]

Fórmula Academy Sudamericana

The Fórmula Academy Sudamericana (Portuguese: Fórmula Academy Sul-Americana), previously known as Fórmula 4 Sudamericana, was a Formula 4 racing class that debuted in 2014. The class uses the same Signatech chassis and Fiat engines used previously in the Brazilian-based Formula Future Fiat.

JAF Japan Formula 4

Japan Formula 4 is a formula racing series in Japan. The series was founded in 1993 by the Japan Automobile Federation as a class between the FJ1600 series and the All-Japan Formula Three Championship. Japanese Formula 4 is an open formula, where competitors can choose the chassis and engine manufacturers.

Canada CASC Formula 4/F4

This is based on a non-FIA formulae, instead using 750cc motorcycle engines as power plants. Chassis are typically locally produced such as Xpit and Gamma and cars are fueled by methanol. Popular in the CASC Ontario region at a club level only since 1974.

FIA Central European Zone Championship / Drexler Formel 4 Cup

Although it's an FIA zone championship, the single-seater races in the FIA CEZ Championship have a division for Formula 4 cars, but they are not part of the FIA ladder. The races are co-organized with the Austrian, Czech and Hungarian national championships, as well as the Italian Topjet F2000 Trophy and Austrian Drexler AFR Pokale, the latter allowing cars of similar performance to FIA cars in its F4 division, such as Formula BMW, Czech F1400 and ADAC Formel Masters.[32]

USF Juniors

The USF Juniors is an F4 series for 14 and 15-year old drivers transitioning from karts. It is organised by Andersen Promotions, the promoter of the USF Pro Championships USF2000 and Pro 2000, with sanctioning from the United States Auto Club.

The series began in 2022 with the Ligier JS4 currently used by United States Formula 4 with the homologated Honda engine provided by their series' spec engine builder (which is different from the US F4 championship, where the engines come from Honda itself). It then switched to the Tatuus USF-22, a variant of the Tatuus F4 chassis with the Mazda MZR engine starting in 2023. The series does not use the Sports Car Club of America series' Hankook tyres. Originally aligned with Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company's Cooper Tires imprint in 2022 and 2023, the USAC series will have tyres provided by Continental AG starting in 2024. This series is not part of the FIA ladder, but instead the USF Pro Championships ladder. This includes media training and the winner earning a fully funded drive in the next season's USF2000 championship, which all winners of lower series receives. The winner of the USF Pro 2000 championship will receive a fully funded Indy NXT drive.[33]

GB4 Championship

Organized by MSV in the collaboration with British Racing Drivers' Club. The GB4 Championship races alongside GB3 Championship during the British GT Championship events and acts as its feeder series and requires lower financial contribution than F4 British Championship certified by FIA. It uses Tatuus F4 T-014 chassis, Abarth 414TF 1.4L engine and Pirelli tires.[34] Despite using the same package as the most continental European Formula 4 championships prior 2022, only one national F4 series can be recognized by FIA, thus it is ineligible for the Super License points.

Fórmula 4 Chile

Organised by Campeonato Nacional de Carreras Federado, the series uses the Tatuus FA010 chassis from Formula Abarth, one of the predecessors of the Formula 4 car.

Former Formula 4 championships

ADAC Formula 4 Championship

The ADAC Formula 4 Championship was held from 2015 to 2022. On 3 December 2022, ADAC announced that ADAC Formula 4 would not be organized for the 2023 season, with the focus on placing the German junior drivers in the French F4 Championship instead.[35] The main reason for the decision was the low number of participating drivers due to the high costs compared to other Formula 4 championships.[36]

F4 Argentina Championship

The F4 Argentina Championship was held in 2021.

SMP F4 Championship

The SMP F4 Championship was held from 2016 to 2019 before losing its FIA certification.

BRDC Formula 4 Championship

The BRDC Formula 4 Championship was an entry-level motorsport series based in the United Kingdom which began in 2013. Run by the British Racing Drivers' Club and MotorSport Vision, the series used identical cars built by Ralph Firman Racing and engines from Ford, before switching to FIA Formula 4 regulations in 2015, using the Tatuus F4–T014 chassis. Although run to the FIA's regulations, it was not recognised by the FIA as an official Formula 4 championship. In 2016, the series was upgraded and renamed the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship.

References

  1. ^ "Formula 4 certified by FIA". Federation Internationale de l'Automobile. 2015-03-31. Retrieved 2023-10-23.
  2. ^ O'Leary, Ben Anderson and Jamie. "FIA reveals Formula 4 plan". autosport.com.
  3. ^ FFSA Academy. "The French F4 Championship 2022: A Unique Formula To Start With Single-Seaters (Presentation Dossier)" (PDF). FFSA Acacdeny. Retrieved 2024-03-26.
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  8. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-04-20. Retrieved 2016-08-03.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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  13. ^ "Ticktum F1 superlicence bid thwarted by eligibility rule". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  14. ^ "Britishformulaford.co.uk". Archived from the original on 2014-10-12. Retrieved 2014-09-17.
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External links

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