The Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) has officially launched the new Australian Formula 4 Championship, making the announcement at the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
With special guests including 1980 Formula 1 World Champion Alan Jones, former Australian Grand Prix winner David Coulthard and five-time world motorcycling champion and Karting Australia Chairman Mick Doohan present, CAMS unveiled the new single seater Formula 4 machine to be used in the CAMS Australian Formula 4 Championship starting in 2015.
With the assistance of French racing car constructor Mygale, CAMS was able ship the racing machine to Australian shores and unveil the Formula 4 machine at the Australian Grand Prix.
After unveiling the car along with Jones, Coulthard and Doohan, CAMS President Andrew Papadopoulos said this is a historic occasion as it heralds an exciting time in Australian motor sport.
“CAMS is proud to launch the Australian Formula 4 Championship at the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix and do it with the Formula 4 machine young drivers will be racing next year is fantastic.
“Formula 4 is the new link in the newly defined open wheel pathway as set out by the FIA and CAMS is proud to be a part of it.
“This is exciting for CAMS and Australian motor sport, but more importantly the talented young drivers of this country who will get to race this great Formula 4 machine at motor sport venues around Australia.” said Papadopoulos.
FIA President Jean Todt expressed his delight in seeing Formula 4 come to life through CAMS in Australia, one of the first countries in the world to launch a Formula 4 Championship certified by the FIA.
"FIA Formula 4 is a great initiative. Firstly, because this discipline represents the missing step which exists between Karting and Formula 3 today. Secondly, because Formula 4 creates a synergy between the FIA and all ASNs through the training of the talent of tomorrow in a championship which matches both control of costs with the highest levels of safety. With Formula 4, young drivers from every country have the chance to put themselves in the spotlight from the beginning of their career.
“Launching the Australian Formula 4 Championship during the weekend of the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Australia is a strong signal by CAMS, one of our leading clubs which has always believed in the championship. From 2015, the training of future Formula 1 drivers from Australia will get a new breath of fresh air.
“The FIA is proud of the confidence shown by CAMS and its President in this new discipline which we hope will become an indispensable one before long." said President Todt.
As President of FIA Single Seater Commission, Gerhard Berger was equally proud to see Formula 4 coming to fruition in Australia.
"For many years, CAMS has shown a real ability to detect and groom talented young drivers. Over the generations, it has worked successfully with youngsters from their debut in karting all the way up to Formula 1, from the likes of Alan Jones some years ago to Mark Webber and Daniel Ricciardo, to name but a few. To see such a major player as the CAMS become involved in the adventure of FIA Formula 4 sends out a strong message in favour of this new competition, which we are in the process of introducing. I strongly believe that many other countries will soon follow Australia’s example." said Berger.
Former Formula 1 driver, Coulthard was pleased to be at the launch and said the car itself and the open wheel pathway for young drivers is fantastic to see.
Coulthard said: “It’s great that young drivers the world over now have a real pathway that can guide them as they forge their careers in open wheel racing. It’s essential, to make it to the top of world motor sport, to have experience in wings and slicks category racing. There’s no doubt it will help them move onto the next level whatever they aspire to. And I also have to say that the car is looking pretty good, which is also important for this kind of series.”
It is expected the CAMS Australian Formula 4 Championship will become the leading junior category in Australian single-seater racing and also has the support of 1980 Formula 1 World Champion Alan Jones.
“Any incentive that encourages and helps young people come through the ranks of open wheel racing is always a welcome thing by me.” Jones said.
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.
As Chairman of Karting Australia, Doohan is pleased to see the CAMS Australian Formula 4 Championship car launched and the open wheel pathway coming together, especially for young karters in Australia who now have the road from karting to the top of world motor sport mapped out ahead of them.
“To now have a clear pathway from karting into the next step of a young drivers career is a very significant step forward for Australian motor sport,” said Doohan.
“With the F4 category being a ‘wings and slicks’ formula it will provide any aspiring racing driver with a great platform to further develop themselves as a driver at a cost effective level. Importantly, they will be competing in the same equipment that is raced in other parts of the world and the FIA standard carbon-fibre monocoque provides the drivers with the highest of safety standards.”
Essentially Formula 4 is a single supplier chassis and engine category for drivers aged fifteen and over, in which the focus is on driver development and keeping the costs at an affordable level.
The new category will be both nationally and internationally relevant and integrate with the CAMS Driver Development Program.
For photos of the CAMS Formula 4 racing car click HERE
For video of the shakedown for the CAMS Formula 4 racing car click HERE