The world of single-seater racing has undergone a radical shift with the introduction of the CAMS Australian Formula 4 Championship in 2015.
Along with the FIA, CAMS has chosen Formula 4 as the future pathway for open wheel racing, bridging the gap between karting and Formula 3, Formula1.
The new category will focus on driver development rather than car development, will be both nationally and internationally relevant and integrate with the CAMS Driver Development Program.
For those wanting to know more about Formula 4… here are some answers to questions you may have.
What is Formula 4?
It is a development single seater open wheel racing category for young drivers who are serious about a pathway to the top of motor sport. It is based on the new FIA international regulations for Formula 4 with a focus on keeping costs down and guaranteeing the highest possible safety standards. It’s built on four cornerstones: technical regulations, organisational standards, sporting regulations and marketing and communications.
Click HERE for further information from the FIA.
When does it start?
In 2015. The championship calendar will be made available soon but the first of a number of test days will begin in March and the CAMS Australian Formula 4 Championship will start in June/July.
How much will it cost?
Keeping costs in control is a very important part of Formula 4 globally. CAMS has maintained that costs be capped at $170,000 per annum. Cost variation will be dependant upon team structure. A holding deposit will be required in the arrangement. Further details of a Licence Agreement will be made available upon registration which will open September 24.
Is there any other up front costs to the hirer?
CAMS has selected a ‘Teams’ championship model which means that teams or individuals are entirely responsible for the preparation of the car.
Why is CAMS running the Championship itself?
This is an important development series that has consequential impacts on all levels of the sport. Everything from junior participation to elite driver development will be connected to a vibrant Formula 4 Championship. It forms a critical part of the high performance pathway that has been developed with the assistance of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS). As the national body responsible for developing and promoting the sport, CAMS was not prepared to delegate responsibility for protecting the integrity of the sporting and technical regulations to third parties. Abiding by the philosophy of Formula 4, CAMS intention is to keep costs down and focus on developing young driver talent with only allowing vehicle adjustments as prescribed in the sporting and technical regulations.
Why is CAMS the owner of the vehicles?
Given that the key principles of the Formula 4 Championship are driver development, parity of vehicle performance and cost control, CAMS' ownership of the vehicles provides greater certainty in achieving these objectives.
Why is Formula 4 a support category for the V8 Supercars Championship?
As well as being a requirement of the FIA, it’s essential for the success and longevity of the series that Formula 4 be featured on the V8 Supercar Championship calendar for purposes of exposure and Television coverage.
How old do you have to be to drive?
Drivers must be at least 15 years old at the beginning of the first round of the championship.
What engine and oil will the cars have?
CAMS is close to securing a standard and controlled engine and oil supplier and will announce as soon as this is in place.
What tyres will the Formula 4 cars have?
CAMS will shortly announce the supplier of the control tyres for the new formula.
How many tyres do we get?
Six slick tyres can be used at each event for the free practice sessions, qualifying sessions and races. Wet-weather tyres may be used when required by the conditions as supplied by the official supplier.
Who transports the cars to each round?
It will be up to the individual or team to organise and pay for transport to each motor sport venue once the vehicle has been taken delivery of.
What happens if a car is damaged, who fixes it and who pays?
Teams are entirely responsible for maintaining and fixing the car to the standard that the car was delivered and using parts supplied from the official supplier. Licence agreements will be prepared by CAMS for each of the teams and it will be an obligation of the team to return the car to CAMS in the same condition as it was when the car was delivered to them.
Can we make alterations to the cars?
The FIA has created a regulatory framework through which manufacturers can obtain homologation of Formula 4 chassis’ and engines. Vehicle maintenance is strictly supervised in order to ensure sporting fairness between competitors and to keep costs down. The success and credibility of the championship stems largely from the degree of technical parity that exists between competitors.
How will a race weekend look?
In order to maximise track time during racing weekends and to highlight the performances of the best drivers, use of a sporting format inspired by the FIA Formula 3 European Championship is recommended.
A race weekend will take this format:
Free practice 1
Free practice 2
How will starting grids be determined?
Fastest qualifying times set in Q1
Reverse grid with first ten drivers from Race 1
Second fastest qualifying times set in Q1
What about championship point scoring… what’s the formula?
It will be based on the FIA international championships scale:
25, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 and 1 point for the ten first drivers of each race.
5 bonus points for the best qualifying time.
1 bonus point for the fastest lap time in each race.
What are theTechnical specifications?
Here is some information that may help…
FIA homologated Carbon Monocoque
Up to 2L
Life of engine 10,000 km
6-speed sequential gearbox with paddle shift + reverse gear
Twin pot callipers
FRONT AND REAR SUSPENSION:
Double wishbones and pushrods, twin dampers, adjustable anti-roll bar
All parts must be homologated and supplied by the official supplier at each round of the championship
Parts will be available for purchase from the supplier at each championship venue and must be used exactly as supplied
3350 x 1750 x 950mm
FIA standards (front and rear impact absorbing structures, anti-intrusion side panels, roll bars, removable seat, wheel restraint cables, on-board fire extinguisher, retractable steering column)
Will the championship be marketed and promoted?
Yes, CAMS will ensure it's promoted at every opportunity.
Drivers and teams will be encouraged to spread the word of this exciting new formula on team and driver websites and also social media.
Formula 4 website and social media channels will be operational soon and its also encouraged that all involved in the CAMS Australian Formula 4 Championship share the excitement of the series.
What will the Championship winner receive?
The Championship winner will receive the CAMS Australian Formula 4 Championship trophy and substantial financial support for progression to the next appropriate development pathway. The amount of which is to be advised.